The process of becoming a high-level college athlete can be long, challenging and at times frustrating. However, the rewards for planning, persisting and remaining focused are great!
Below, we have provided a list of 7 vital steps every prospective collegiate athlete should utilize to secure positions in top athletic programs.
1- Set Goals: Setting realistic, informed college goals will go a long way in ensuring that you both play to your full potential once in college and enjoy every minute of it. Clearly, many Division 1 programs offer high-level soccer. However, many Division 2 and 3 colleges offer outstanding programs too! Keep an open mind and try and see your final college choices play in a competitive match. How will you fit in with their level and style of play? Ask your current coaches for honest feedback – and be honest with yourself. A great four-year experience depends on it.
2- Research Fit: It’s important to identify schools that fit your personality and preferences. Do you want to be on a large campus with thousands of other students, or are you looking for something small? Do they have your major? Do you want a public or a private college? Do you want Division 1, 2, or 3? Do you like the location? These are a few of the questions you must ask yourself when considering the type of school you see yourself becoming a part of. The College Board offers a series of important considerations.
3- Create a Quality Highlight Video and Resume: Coaches want to see you in action but may not be able to see you live, particularly in the early phase of the recruiting process. A quality video will serve as a good introduction of your abilities. For more on creating a quality video, see our blog HERE.
4- Start Early: Reach out to coaches at programs that interest you early. Begin developing relationships with them. It is far more beneficial in the long term to personalize your interaction with coaches, as opposed to mass emailing programs and seeing who bites. Building personal relationships and networking takes time.
5- Attend The Right Camps: The benefit of attending quality summer camps that offer maximum exposure in a short amount of time, to top level coaches, is invaluable. However, make sure to do your homework and that the camps you choose are high quality and deliver what they say they deliver. For more on choosing a quality camp, see our blog HERE.
6- Train Hard: College soccer will demand a great deal from you physically, technically and tactically. Therefore, you must be fit, strong, technically sound and ready to compete. Make sure you are training hard and continuing to develop all aspects of your game. And remember, you must enter college preseason in your best shape ever!
Be positive and don’t become dismayed if things don’t go your way with a particular college. Keep working at it and before you know it, you will be experiencing 4 of the best years of your life!