Volume 1 | Issue 4
OGFC College Recruiting Newsletter
Investment should be at least equal to Expectations
Parents and Players,
 
How many high school age soccer players end up participating/playing at the varsity collegiate level? And when we ask that question, lets make sure we define what we mean by participating/playing.

Lets look at the college playing experience as a bell shaped curve. On one end of the curve you have a freshmen who immediately steps into a starting spot or important reserve role on the team. On the other end of the curve you have the player who rarely if ever plays during their 4 year career, but at least gets to wear the uniform. the middle represents the playing career the majority of players will experience. 

This large middle generally is marked by a first year where a player is struggling just to get quality minutes. The second year a player is legitimately competing for quality minutes. The third/fourth year a player is a starter or competing for a starting position.

I have found most players aspire to find a collegiate program that falls within the middle range. In order to answer the question then, we will utilize the experience of the player who is either an immediate impact player or those who fall within the large middle. We will eliminate from consideration those players who rarely if ever play during their 4 year career - because I don't believe any player truly aspires to be the last player on the bench. 

How many high school age players move on to the varsity collegiate level? Depending on gender and collegiate level (D1/2/3, NAIA), you will find supporting data suggesting anywhere from 1.5% - 7%, with of course some slight margin of error on the upper end.

Regardless of accuracy, the number is small. This means that playing collegiate soccer is a difficult road. It is especially difficult the higher the level you go.  
With outdoor training beginning later this month, decide what your goals and expectations are as it relates to playing collegiate soccer. 

If you aspire to move beyond the high school experience, your investment should at least be equivalent to your expectations. This means you must prioritize training and games. 

We live in the age of the over-scheduled and under-committed youth player. They believe they can be multi-sport athletes (which I encourage) without prioritizing one over the other. They believe they can skip training or not take full advantage of every training opportunity and somehow still stand out from the crowd in the recruiting process. They believe that they can miss games and competitive opportunities and still be good enough. 

You can have dreams of playing collegiatel soccer. However, remember the saying "dreams without action are hallucinations". If you have the expectation of playing at the highest level you can, you must prioritize training opportunities, games and your overall development. 

Remember, every time you don't, there is a player somewhere else who IS training, IS playing and IS making the investment.
Recommended Reading
How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior -  Leonard Mlodinow
Thought for the Week: In choosing a school, ask yourself this question "If soccer was taken out of the equation, due to injury or other unforeseen circumstances, would I still want to be at that school ?"
What I told 'em tonight was, 'Listen, we give ya scholarships, we give ya stipends and meals and a nice place to live. We give ya nice uniforms. I can't give ya guts and I can't give ya heart.'" Dabo Swinney
Pat Ferguson is our editor for this series of college recruiting newsletters. Pat is currently our girls director of player development and the women's soccer coach at Wright State University.