How To Get A Soccer Scholarship
How to get a soccer scholarship: the great quandary of every aspirant soccer star looking for a free education and an opportunity to further develop his skills on the pitch. We’ve put together your one-stop guide for getting that soccer scholarship.
- Create a profile. You’ll need to have resources to show to potential recruiters and/or coaches. Have friends and family take video and photo of you playing. Pick the best photos and create a digital photo album. Find the best clips and edit them together into a highlight reel. Create a biography for yourself, highlighting what you do best on the pitch, what your ultimate goals are as a player, and how you think you would be an asset to any team you play for. Put all of these materials together online, either on a blog or a website, and in a short report that you can send off to colleges and coaches. Be concise: coaches and colleges are pitched hundreds of times everyday. Brevity is a great ally.
- Network. Have friends or relatives who go to school on soccer scholarships? Visit them at school, meet the coach, and see if you can’t practice with the team. Get the coach’s contact info and stay in touch. Even if you don’t want to go to whichever school you visit, undoubtedly the school’s coach will know other coaches, recruiters, and sports folk. Go to soccer camps, events, recruiting bazaars, and any other high-profile function related to the sport that will allow you to meet the right people and make an important first impression. To this end, you can sign up for any number of online recruitment sites that will help network and hustle on your behalf. A simple web search will turn up dozens of such organizations.
- Play, play, play. You’ll need to play as much as possible to increase your expose to potential talent scouts and college coaches. These are the people who need to see you play if you want them to award you a soccer scholarship. So don’t just play for a high school team. Play for the local travel team, try out for state level teams, play in town or YMCA leagues, play exhibition games that you can work your way into, try out for the US Under-17 national squad, and even get together pick up games in the park. You never know where a scout’s gonna pop up, or why.
- Diversity and practice. You don’t need to be the flashiest player in the country to win a soccer scholarship. You need to be the best. Develop your skills as both a striker and midfielder. Develop your talent as a playmaker and passer as well as a top-rate goal scorer. Read up on soccer philosophy, like Total Football. Learn the psychology of the opposition and how to use it against them. Be a player, coach, and tactician, all in one, to increase your value to a team. You need to make it known to a soccer coach or recruiter that you’re not only the best player they’re likely to find, you’re also the most important asset to the team.
- Knowledge. If your recruiter, school, or coach is interested in you as a player, they’re going to ask you questions. You’ll need to have intelligent, well-thought out answers to these questions, and you’ll need to rationalize yourself. Don’t just know that Messi is your favorite player; know why. Know which team is your favorite, and why. Know where you want to go in life as a soccer player, and why. Most importantly, know why you want to go the school that’s interviewing. Know about the school, about it’s academic and sporting traditions and history. Know what you want to study, why, and how you’ll go about that while juggling a full athletic schedule.
And there’s your quick guide to how to get a soccer scholarship. Now get out on the pitch, improve your game, hustle yourself, and you’re on your way to success.
World Soccer Connection