10 Things I Wish I Knew About College Soccer

When speaking about college soccer, recruiters sell prospective players on the hard work and the game day glory. The history of the team. The “why” we should feel so honored to play for that prospective college team. But there’s more to college soccer than what we learn on recruiting trips or in conversations with possible future coaches. So… here are ten pieces of college soccer advice I wish I knew before starting my collegiate career.

  1. DO NOT BE LATE. The whole team will pay for your lateness while you watch. There’s nothing more uncomfortable as a first-year player than watching your team run sprints because you were a couple of minutes late to training. 
  2. DON’T SHOW UP TO PRESEASON DECONDITIONED. Your whole season will be determined by how prepared you are when you show up. Hit the track, do the workouts, and don’t wait until mid-July to start training. Set the tone for your season by showing up prepared and in shape!
  3. GEAR. You don’t need flashy gear or cleats. Your footwear does not determine your skill. However, if you choose flashy boots, you may get a “cute” nickname: “Heyyy, white shoes!” Don’t be that person.
  4. LOVE & KNOW YOUR BODY. You are uniquely YOU. Don’t let locker rooms or sports magazines determine your worth. Learn your body. Be prepared for how the season may affect your menstrual cycle, so it’s not a surprise when it happens. 
  5. DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR ACADEMICS. College courses come with a lot of school work. College soccer comes with a lot of physical work. They both require a lot of time. You will need to balance both to be a successful student-athlete. 
  6. RESPECT YOUR TEAMMATES. You are not just a team. You are a family. You don’t need to be best friends with everyone, but you do need to respect them. You will be going to battle on the field together. You will go through challenging times off of the field together. Be a good teammate.
  7. BE A CLASS ACT. You now represent a brand, a college, a team, and your family back home. Act with class, dignity, and respect in ALL that you do. Just know, your coach will find out about the nonsense that goes on off the field.
  8. SET GOALS. Before every season, set your goals for the next year. Having short- and long-term goals in regards to your soccer career will keep you focused and motivated. A vision board is a highly recommended visualization tool.
  9. A ROLE PLAYER IS IMPORTANT. Just because you don’t start doesn’t mean you aren’t a key player on the team. The supporting players make the starters BETTER.  Play hard no matter if you’re a starter or role player.  You are an integral part of the team.
  10. FUEL YOUR BODY PROPERLY. Nutrition is a key component of performance. Don’t get caught up with partying and late-night pizza orders. Your fuel for performance comes from food and rest

There are many more things you will learn about what college is through experience. Learn. Grow. Take these tips to heart. They are packed with information to help prepare and equip you for college soccer. College soccer could very well be one of the best times of your life! Your teammates might become family for life. Your coach could be the person you never knew you needed to have in your corner. It will be hard, exhausting, and downright challenging at times. You may want to quit. Your best decision will be to stick with it. You only get one college career. Enjoy the ride!

Featured Image via Pixabay


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