High school and college soccer can be a touchy subject – especially in certain parts of the U.S. That is because it’s definition, meaning and implications are very different based on location. What is nearly impossible and a very vital opportunity in Dallas, TX will not mean the same thing to someone in a smaller town 2 hours outside the big city area.
Making the college soccer team can be easier than some high schools
Some people look at me crazy when I tell them this… Making the high school varsity team at some of the high schools will be harder than playing college soccer. I know it sounds crazy at first. But when you think about it this statement is very accurate in some areas.
There are high schools in the nation that have all club players who are already committed to big D1 schools. Think about being a Sophomore or even Junior trying to compete for playing time. While if you were at a smaller high school with a soccer program not very strong, you would be the star player. So it all depends on where you are and your situation.
Why high school soccer should not define your chances
There are several high school teams that are so strong due to all the high level club players. For some, making the varsity roster will be harder than the college team.
Good new is there are so many college soccer programs across America. California has so many! The east coast as well. These locations as well as North Texas soccer is by the top 5 areas. If you lived in most states you would be a star compared to living in the big soccer cities. [But don’t despair – have you ever heard of Alex Morgan?]
Unfortunately for those who do live in a more metropolitan area, soccer is still often limited to those who have more financial opportunity. This is one reason why I believe in giving back. GFT offers programs that reduce or eliminate the financial concern for some families, like single moms.
Better opportunity to play college soccer
There are over 1,500 college soccer programs in America for both boys and girls if you count Div-I, Div-II, Div-III, NAIA & Junior Colleges. That is a lot of schools that have soccer programs!
For girls it’s much easier than boys, just because there are 100 extra D1 schools for girls programs. About 300 D1 schools for girls and 200 for boys. That’s a lot of schools for both, but especially girls. With a roster size of 24 players that’s 2,400 extra roster spots girls have compared to boys in D1 college soccer.
When you live in towns or cities that have a lot of good club players that are competing to make one team and the coach can pick from ages 14-17 for that team, it makes it hard to crack the Varsity Team, especially starting lineup. You pretty much have to be one of the top 4 players in your class, fit a need on the team, be what the coach is looking for, and be a well-rounded player [or a multi-positional threat].
For example, if you only play forward then that make it harder that if you can play different positions or at least be open to it. However, please note that while not all high school soccer is a high level like ECNL or a top club or travel team, the top high school teams do play high level soccer.
Keep training on your own
While in high school, regardless of whether or not you’re on the varsity team, there are certain skills you should be working on to prepare yourself for college ball. You can spend time dribbling on your own or improve your passing and first touch using a wall or rebounder.
Other skills you need to work on are striking with your weak foot, chipping and simply trying to be perfect at the simple things like short passing and first touch. Click to see video with 15 different training ideas using a rebounder. Practice and enjoy!
Never be content when you are up
For those of you who DO make the varsity team in these highly competitive areas, keep working hard. There are high level leagues that don’t allow players to play high school soccer. If you are in these leagues remember, there is always room for improvement, no matter the level. Never be content. Keep striving… & don’t let anyone else determine your future but you.
How better players lose out on scholarship for college soccer
I can promise you that there are better players receiving roster spots and money over others, all because they know how to promote their talent. Yes, playing on a top club helps big time. At the same time, I’ve seen top youth players get recruited and end up with zero scholarship money.
You don’t have to play for an “elite club” or be on the varsity team to play college soccer. Think about all the many college coaches and scouts, who only have a few trips they are allowed to make. Yes, they get lots of highlight videos, but they admit that the majority of these videos are not good. Coaches say that the highlight videos are so bad that they don’t even open them if the player was not recommended by someone.