This post will focus on some fundamental elements to help parents who want to steer their child in the right direction to obtain a soccer scholarship. This guide will also be useful for young players who want to know the necessary steps with actionable points to cover on their journey.
A soccer scholarship can yield great benefits and open up doors that otherwise may not have been easily accessible. It allows you to get a good education while having the best prospects to succeed in soccer and take your hobby to the next level.
Even if you do not manage to form a career out of the sport, you will have networked at a high level and obtained your qualifications to do many other things in the future, so it is a win-win for any aspiring athlete.
Many colleges offer scholarships for soccer in the US – here, we have compiled a list of 12 of the best ones!
7 Tips On How To Get A Soccer Scholarship
- Start Early
- Contact Coaches Directly
- Focus On Soccer
- Practice, practice, practice.
- Soccer Assessment & Determine Eligibility
- Use A Recruiting Agency
- Get Good Grades
This is probably the most significant consideration when searching for soccer scholarships in American colleges; starting early. If you have already been playing for a youth soccer team or playing since a young age, then next, consider getting on the varsity team in your high school as soon as you join high school.
Scouts can sometimes search for students who have been playing on varsity soccer teams for a few years. It is never too early to start playing soccer, especially if you want to increase your chances of getting a college scholarship.
In fact, many parents realise this and get their child into the sport as soon as they can. You will find that there are youth team categories from U5 (under 5 year old and 5 years old), U6, U7, and so on throughout the teen years.
These teams are designed to develop players at various stages and help them work their way up, improving their skills and playing matches against other teams in their category.
Contact Coaches Directly
You can get a soccer scholarship in an American college by contacting coaches directly. The best part about this option is that it is free, but you need perseverance, time, and patience.
It would help if you research various soccer programs, colleges, and degrees in America that you want and identify the college coach’s contacts.
You can then provide the coaches with your sporting and academic resume, exam results, a notes describing yourself and why you are interested in attending the college.
This would also be a good time to share your footage with them. It is highly recommended that you record yourself training and have match footage or a social media page which you share all of your development on. This can serve as a great digital resume for prospects.
The process is not as easy, but with consistency and hard work, you can secure a soccer scholarship.
Focus on Soccer
If you are really serious about playing soccer and getting a scholarship this way, it might be a good idea to give up other high school sports and focus only on soccer training. In the time that you would be playing other sports you could be developing your skills and techniques for soccer. The process of securing a soccer scholarship is not easy, and you don’t want to be drained by other sports.
You can join a private soccer club during the off-season to remain in shape and keep your head in the game. Never underestimate the power of playing on different teams with different players at various skill levels.
Private clubs are also an excellent way of securing scholarships if your high school’s team is not at a high level. They offer you a chance to play with other soccer players at your level. The best part is that the scholarship recruiter will notice your seriousness about soccer.
Practice, practice, PRACTICE!
I am sure this goes without saying, but practising your drills consistently is a necessity. You should be able to practise alone, with a sibling or with a friend and not just on your team or at school.
This will make all the difference, as the more touches you get on the ball, the better player you will be. You can find various solo drills to do with and without the ball, as well as strength and endurance training.
Simply going to the park with your ball, cones, agility ladder, and speed parachute and practicing after school, even if for only 30 minutes will yield huge benefits.
Soccer Assessment and Determine Eligibility
You need to know the scholarships that you are interested in and check on your eligibility. Some NCAA requirements for soccer scholarship eligibility may include SAT requirements, athletic abilities, and academic requirements.
You might be aiming at playing Division 1 soccer at the best American colleges, but it might not be the best choice. It would be paramount to get a professional soccer assessment to get unbiased information about your eligibility, what you need to secure scholarships, and your abilities.
Use a Recruiting Agency
Using a recruiting agency is the perfect way to go if you are serious about soccer scholarships in American colleges. Athletic scholarship recruiting agencies have an essential role in evaluating players.
If they realize that players have a good chance of securing a scholarship at a college or university in America, they sign them at a fee. The recruiting agency then creates a professional highlight video and assists players with their academic profile and resume.
Get Good Grades
Many aspiring student-athletes fall into the pitfall of thinking that grades don’t matter when securing soccer scholarships. In reality, grades are as important as your athletic abilities.
Students who get good grades while playing soccer in high school indicate that they can deal with student-athlete life’s academic demands. You will lose your soccer scholarship if you cannot maintain a given GPA while still training.
Gaining a college scholarship through soccer is a very secure route for any aspiring soccer player. Not only do you get the opportunity to play for your college team and widen your professional prospects, but you also get a good education, which opens up even more doors.
Another huge benefit is the network that you are able to build in the process. The key here is to focus and narrow in on your goals to achieve this, leaving no stone unturned.
There will be many youth players who also want this shot making it even more competitive. As well as narrowing in on soccer, you need to ensure your grades are up to a high standard also, it is not solely about what you can do with the ball.
It is important to note that if playing professional soccer is a big aspiration for you, another option is taking the route to becoming a professional soccer player in Europe. This is by no means an easier route but I wanted to inform you that you have options, and if you want to reach your goals it is important that you assess all of those options thoroughly.