The whole process to play college soccer is not easy. I remember the nervous feeling of wondering if I would get on a college roster. I knew I could play at a small DIII soccer school, but I wondered if I was good enough to play at a top 20 DII or DI college. These are feelings that most kids in high school and middle school go through. We wonder if we are good enough. You are good enough, the hard part is knowing the process, working hard at the right things and being patient. Note: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
High school soccer in America
High school soccer in America all depends on the location/region. Up in the Great Lake area some high schools are having a hard time even having a team. Just not enough players.
In other regions like North Texas the high school soccer is very strong. Some teams have 3-4 players going D1 NCAA every year. That’s crazy. Imagine a team with 3-4 seniors going D1 NCAA every season.
In the past decade US Development Academy, ECNL and MLS have competed for the top tier. DA went out of business in 2020 due to covid.
Girls highest level currently is ECNL, but a few years ago was DA. Before DA was the highest, ECNL was. So it’s gone back and forth.
On the boys side the top tier is now MLS Academy. Before 2020 DA was the highest league for boys.
The players who played DA were not allowed to play high school soccer. ECNL allows the athletes to play HS. Most players like playing for their high school.
College scouting in high school games?
Some of the Women’s College Coaches were scouting from the top local High Schools but now I think they will put their time into ENCL & DA. Just recently the top recruits were playing High School soccer, which meant the level really was high for SOME schools. Most High School soccer in America is not good but trust me there are some really good teams still. If a college coach really likes a player they will go to a local high school game. But don’t expect them to travel very far. College coaches will always spend more time scouting club soccer.
Why some high schools are better
Lets face it. It’s mostly the neighborhoods because they have that extra cash flow to pay for private soccer training. Most of the top ranked HS programs are good because the majority of the athletes play club soccer. This gives them a deeper roster with players, who have had many more hours of training for several years compared to players who only play HS soccer. If you are not playing club soccer it’s going to be very difficult to make the HS team. The only way this can really happen is if you are a beast of an athlete, faster and naturally athletic. Or if the particular HS is a small soccer school.
College commits & players training @ gftskills
Have the culture to keep improving no matter what
Most kids age 14+ think they “know the skills” because they have done them since they were younger… They might “know” the skills but they are not precise and consistent at the detailed skills. The best players are either really athletic or they have great desire and work on their technique consistently with a trainer. Many of the players we have come across who go to top NCAA schools are the ones who are always wanting to get better. Even the pros in any sport will tell you they still need to get better.
So if you love your sport and you are good at it don’t ever be content with where you are. Always try to improve your game because there are other players in other parts of the State, Country & World who are working hard to improve their game and life. Just because you play DA or ECNL or select soccer, don’t think that’s good enough and that you can’t improve as a player. Set up your own Private Individual Lessons. We have helped players who played 3rd tier select soccer get scholarships to D1 College Programs because we know what collegiate coaches want!
Learn how to strike the soccer ball clean
Using the laces learn to get both feet off the ground and land on your shooting foot. Keep your hips & shoulders at the target as you shoot. Keep your ankle locked and your form proper with bent knees. Lean over to keep the ball lower and lean back just a little to lift the ball higher. Make sure your kicking foot is places at the correct angle this is key. Check the video above of this player who currently plays D1 College soccer and has trained with gftskills since age 10.
Find the school that wants you
Most people find out that it’s not so easy to pick 1 or 2 schools and then actually get that chance to play there. Pick 100 schools and contact all of them. In doing this you will hopefully get about 20 schools that draw interest. Now if you pick all top 100 ranked schools, you might only get 1 or 2 that follow up. So make sure you are real about your ability. Choose some D2 schools also and know that some of the D2 schools will beat the D1 schools. The top 30 D2 Soccer Universities are really good programs and the level of play is solid. They just don’t have the depth of the D1 schools. Either way you are going to play to play not sit the bench, so make sure you pick a school that is good for you and that wants you.
Highlight video to showcase your soccer talent
Many players put highlight video’s together. The problem is the content and choosing of highlights is poor. If you are a forward then make sure you get at least 1 goal in your video. If you are a defender then don’t worry about goals focus on showing your defending ability in open space as well as your ability to distribute the ball out of the back. If you really want to make sure you get this right check out my DIY Course on how to make the perfect highlight video. This is one of the most important parts of the process, so make sure you get it right!
Make sure your sports brand is positive
There are many athletes losing their sports scholarship because they are making bad choices. Many times this comes from social media. I have heard just about everything from people posting themselves at party’s or fighting. Then for these people to find out the same day that their scholarship has been pulled. Listen, the Universities have a brand to protect and you better bet they are watching your every step. They will drop you to protect themselves, so make sure you are keeping your brand clean. Your brand is more than your ability to play sports. Your brand is what other people think of when they see you or hear your name. Here is how you can learn more on your personal brand. Remember it’s not what you think about yourself, it’s what other’s think.