There's often a big debate amongst youth coaches, club directors, trainers, and parents about what the focus should be when transitioning from high school and club soccer to collegiate level soccer. Before I answer that questions lets first start when a player verbally commits to play college soccer.
The recruiting process can be stressful at best. Even if you are a nationally top level recruit - the process in general is stressful for a multitude of reasons. But this blog isn't about the recruitment process, this is about how to transition once you've committed. Here is your trigger warning - because my stance will undoubtedly rub some people the w
Once a player verbally commits to a school that is a time to cherished, enjoyed, and celebrated. It's also a major turning point!
Once a player makes that school commitment the entire mindset of that player needs to change. College soccer is mentally challenging and strenuous. Players will face academic pressures, rigorous training schedules and competition for playing time. Fitness is also a major factor in college soccer - well beyond anything most players have experienced at the youth level.
After commitment is made the entire focus of training and game play needs to shift towards the next four years beyond high school. I hate to be the b
earer of bad new but your high school team and club team needs to become secondary to your future college team. Diet, fitness, training, mindset, and all other aspects of the game need to be leveled up in order to prepare you for college level play and no longer to prepare you for the weekend games or the next club season...
If you are a player that is still training skills and dribbling around cones with your trainer then you need to find a different trainer. Period! If you still want to focus on cone dribbling then go to YouTube or Instagram. Lots of social media trainers out there... But, training needs to be focused on speed-of-play, decision making, tactical mindset, all with a level of added stress. Fitness training needs to also level up. Less focus on the distance running (not as important in my opinion) and more focus on strength, speed-and-agility, core, and acceleration.
If possible and financially feasible players needs to have focused soccer training outside of their teams, strength training by a professional familiar with soccer, a nutritionist months leading up to college, and if possible a high level training group of like minded individuals with a trainer who will challenge you beyond your limits while supporting you and encouraging you.
If you think you'll be able to transition from youth to college without any or most of these things you're in for a very harsh reality check! Even the str
onger players get help and guidance.
Here is another harsh reality for you. The teammates who are already at your school will be friendly, their be kind, they'll be there to welcome you. The other freshman will be excited to meet you and get to know you. BUT, they will do everything in their power to make sure you will NEVER beat them. You're mindset has to be one that 'you will win everything' - no excuses! You're job as a freshman is to take minutes away or a starting spot away from an e
stablished player - their job is to make sure you don't!
Will you be read?
And start watching some freaking game film!!!
BJ Durel - Durel Football Academy