College Soccer Preparation

 

Qualities College Coaches Look For In Youth Players

 

Competitiveness
  • Willingness to win 
  • Battle for every ball 
  • Never give up
Practice competitive situations i.e. 1v1, 2v2’s, headers against an opponent, never be satisfied with your performance, strive for excellence and push yourself.
Athleticism
  • Run the fastest
  • Jump the highest 
  • Speed to support teammates
Agility work through speed poles/fast feet exercises through speed ladders/Yoga is fantastic for flexibility, agility and injury prevention.
Willingness to Take Players 1v1
  • Be creative 
  • Risk takers’ in the right areas of the field
Practice attacking moves so that they feel natural and become part of your game.
Do They Have a Special Quality?
  • Encourage special areas in players. (I.E. finishing, passing, tackling, free kicks, corner kicks, long throws….)
Practice what you are best at; give yourself a ‘special quality’ that is better than everyone else.
Working Off the Ball
  • Coaches are always looking at what players are doing off the ball:
    • Are they prepared off the ball to receive a pass?
    • Are they working hard to look for the ball?
Try and move into space instead of standing next to your marker, always prepare your body early to receive the ball.
Coachability
  • Coaches watch players reactions after refereeing decisions: 
    • Are they a good or a bad teammate?
Try to respect decisions made from the referee whether correct or incorrect. Encourage teammates when ever possible.
Fitness
  • Being able to get around the field for 90 minutes 
  • Fast recovery after strenuous bursts of energy
  • Go into trials/college in peak physical condition
Fitness is something that can always be improved, never be content with your fitness levels, fitness is completely in your control, what have you done outside of practice to aid your fitness?
Psychology
  • How is a player’s mentality when up against a weaker/stronger opponent?
  • A player’s reaction when their team is getting beaten heavily
Experience
  • What is that player’s level of soccer experience
Girl’s push yourself be training with boys. Encourage quality players to play ODP if they aspire to play at a higher level of soccer.
What holds players back from playing College Soccer straight away?
  • Poor Defending (individual/team)
  • Slow speed of play
  • Final third risk taken
  • Heading
  • Playing under pressure
  • Understanding structure
  • Fitness

 

For more information and helpful tips check out the NSCA Athletic Recruiting Blog here