The fall is a time of year when we really want to encourage our student-athletes to make sure they are putting the necessary effort into their studies. This is especially important for freshman as you want to establish good study habits and do your best to keep your grades as high as possible the first year you are in high school. You want to avoid trying to play catch-up because you did not put the necessary effort in your freshman year. Academic excellence is something we want our athletes to make a priority over anything else and always remember that your school has people in place that will help you in you need help to make that a possibility!
If you are hoping to make soccer a part of your college experience it is important that you show that you are able manage your time well so that you can perform both in the classroom and on the field. This is something that college coaches look at closely when considering a player to be a part of their program. If you don't have the grades to get into the college you want to play for it will not matter how "good" you are.
If you need to miss training in order to study for a test, work on a project or get help because you are struggling in a class or two you should definitely make that your priority over sports. That being said it is your responsibility to communicate with your coach and explain, in detail, what is going on so that they understand your situation. We want our players to make their education the absolute priority but you also need to be at training. When the two come into conflict academics take the priority but it could be at the cost of being on the field during games as much as you would like. The solution is to be proactive in making sure you are doing things in a timely manner when it comes to your academic load.
Secondly, the fall is the only time of the year that you will have the opportunity to watch competitive college soccer. It is very important for you to invest some of your time in watching the game. Watch every level: NCAA DI, DII, DIII, NAIA and CC. If you are looking for a home it is important to watch the programs you hope to play for one day on a regular basis. This will give you an idea of what a coach looks for in their players. Make sure to watch their style of play and the athletic level of their athletes.
There is a lot more to be said about watching the game and its benefits to young players hoping to play soccer in college but I have run out of the space allotted in this newsletter! I am always open to answering any questions you many have so feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to chat!
Director of Coaching Education
College Placement Program Advisor