Love the Game!
Date Posted: 5/17/2016
So, this past weekend the unthinkable happened. The u-18 club team I coach did not have enough players to play in a game. This was embarrassing and frustrating for me and for the players that showed up to play. I asked myself how this could happen? Here is a possible answer.
Within our present youth soccer system there is a strong push to play sports to satisfy the wrong needs. These being ego and playing in college (with an expectation on getting an athletic scholarship). Sometime soon after the high school soccer season ends the bubble bursts for many aspiring players. The Division I coach that they were hoping would call doesn't call. The scholarship offer they were expecting isn't made and the promises many club coaches have made are broken. Heartbroken and embarrassed, many of these players choose to stop playing soccer.
At a recent college presentation to high school age players I informed the group that there is a program for virtually every player interested in playing soccer in college. This might be NCAA Divsion I, but most likely the program they are best suited for will be NCAA Division III or at the club level at a major university. The reality is that very few players will play Division I soccer and fewer will get a college athletic scholarship.
My suggestion to every high school and club player is to play soccer because you love the game. You love the camaraderie with your teammates, the exercise, the skill development and the challenge of the game. When choosing a college to attend, do so with the intention of attending a school that meets your "other needs"--academic program, rigor, size and location.
Ask a college coach or a club coach that has played college soccer to fairly access your abilities and to direct you to a school you can excel at in all areas.
During the summers before your sophomore, junior and senior year of high school visit colleges that interest you and attend soccer camps that are at these schools. Attending a College ID camp is an opportunity for you to work with college coaches, meet current, former and future collegiate players and visit a college campus. Use this time wisely to learn as much about a college and a program.
At Denison we conduct a College ID Program, however, we know we are not the right school for every prospective student. We could be right for a student that is looking for a Top Tier academic university, that will challenge a student in the classroom and on the soccer field. If you love to play the game and you feel Denison is the right fit for you, we encourage you to look at our University and our camp program http://www.scoreandsavesoccer.com/content/2014-college-id-camp.