What Socceristas Should Consider When Choosing A College

Soccer has been in your blood for so much of your life. The ball is ALWAYS at your feet. You live for game day. You’re halfway through your high school career and already looking at colleges to play at the next level. Maybe you have a coach guiding you through the process. Maybe you have a parent or a friend helping you. Even if you have guidance, there are some things you need to consider when choosing a college.

Student Population and Location

When choosing a college, one of the most important things to consider is just how big you want your campus to be. Also, note what percentage of the school is made up of student-athletes. Take into consideration whether you want to attend a college where athletes have a large presence or are a small minority. Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond? A small campus or a big campus? A campus in the city, suburbs, country, or by the beach? These are crucial factors to consider when choosing a college.

Level of Play

Get clear about the differences between a division 1, division 2, and division 3 college. Talk with coaches from each level to see where your skills fit best. Then, understand what type of commitment you want to make to the sport. Playing college soccer at any level requires a ton of commitment. However, there are some differences between divisions. Or do you want to join a new college soccer program with its own benefits?

Get Your Feet Wet

Attend a summer camp at the college you’re thinking of choosing. This way you can get a feel for the campus and some face time with the coach. You can also work a summer camp for younger kids at a college you’re considering too!

Remove the Athlete Factor

Athletic participation is only a portion of the student-athlete experience. Try to imagine how you would feel at the college if you weren’t playing soccer. If you get injured or the season is postponed, would you still want to attend that college? Why? These answers will help you create a list of priorities to consider when choosing a college.

Check Out the Team

Check out the roster. Get to know the players by planning a trip during the recruitment process. The best way to know how you’ll fit in with the team is to actually visit them. During your trip, you will hang out with the team, practice with the team, eat with the team, and get an inside peek into what everyday life is like for athletes at that school.

Graduation Rate

Checking the graduation rate of athletes will show if campus life facilitates student-athlete success. Being a student-athlete requires balancing athletics and academics. Academics are crucial, so you definitely want to make this part of the search a priority.

Get to Know the Coach

You will be spending a lot of time with the coach. This will be one of your most important relationships on the team. You should feel a rapport with the coaches at the colleges you’re interested in. Be sure to ask your potential coach tons of questions to get a better idea of their coaching style, the team, and the team’s culture. 

Take your time. Check out a variety of colleges. Ask questions. And make the best decision you can for your current and future self. Soccer. Academics. Social. Career. Relationships. And well-being. They are all important. Good luck!

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons



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