There are many different reasons for wanting to play at the college level. Some players have the drive and talent to go on from college and play professionally. In contrast, some players want to get recruited to pay for school, improve their resumé or belong to a tight social group. Regardless, getting scouted by college coaches and being recruited by a college team is no easy task.
Financial Benefits of Playing Soccer in College
Some schools offer scholarships for soccer players and other athletes that play at the collegiate level. Soccer scholarships are awarded to players and coaches, which can help pay for your education. Scholarships can be partial or full-ride.
Playing soccer in college can be an excellent way for you to get noticed by scouts and land a professional contract. College opens doors to:
- Showcase Tournaments
- Show off your skills on a national stage
- Elite semi-pro clubs based off of playing resume alone
Research Target Schools
Having a few schools in mind to focus on when starting the recruitment process is essential. Some schools may not need players in your position, whereas some schools’ teams have a large graduating senior class and need a lot of replacement players.
Also, it’s important to note if you can afford the school you are looking at. Some schools cannot provide a full-ride scholarship, so the fees will fall on you.
Make a Highlight Reel
In today’s YouTube and TikTok world, visuals are essential. Having a highlight reel to show coaches is necessary, and you will often be asked to provide one. It’s important to note that this needs to be a professional highlight reel; for example, it’s better not to use flashy filters or explicit music.
Your highlight reel should have:
- A concise intro showing your face detailing your name, age, playing position, height, weight, and contact information
- Trim the clips to show just the relevant action
- At the start of each clip, highlight yourself with a circle or arrow (coaches sit through thousands of these videos and have no time to look for you in the clip)
- Mix up your clips to give your reel some variety
Remember that the quality of your camera is not as important as what you do on the field.
Network with Teammates and Coaches
Like it or not, connections are very helpful in getting where you want in the soccer world. Even if you’re not extroverted and hate socializing, networking is an often overlooked tool for getting recruited by schools and teams.
An old teammate can vouch for you, put in a good word before a tryout, or even give you an in to talk to the school’s coach on a more personal level.
Also, many club and high school coaches progress onto college coaching. Having rapport with a coach before reaching out would give you an advantage when it comes time for coaches to recruit players.
Make a Playing Resume or CV
While not necessary, having a player resume makes you look more credible to scouts and coaches.
Your playing resumé or CV should list all of the clubs/school teams you played for, competition level, personal awards, or captaincy.