One of the best ways to acquire a soccer scholarship is to be the player coaches are looking for, but what does that look like?
Obviously, there will be many different variables for each program, but here is a list of 5 things that fall into the category of what most coaches are looking for.
I think it goes without saying that in order for a coach to bring you in, they have to believe you will help them keep their job--this is what pays the bills! A common misconception is that being a great player on a very poor team will get you a scholarship. The reality is, coaches want to see you compete. A coach can come out and watch you lose 2-1 and still offer you a scholarship provided the level is high and you show to be an important player on your team.
2. Players who are good in the classroom
Showing you are a good soccer player is vital, but if you are good in the classroom that is a HUGE added bonus. This can help coaches find additional money for you outside of athletics which can be limited for many college soccer programs. Having good grades could be what gets you in the door over other players
3. Players who are responsible/accountable
If your parents are the ONLY ones communicating, then the coach cannot be sure what your true level of investment is in playing for their program. Do you take initiative to reach out and email or is it always one of your parents/guardians doing it? If you are on a scholarship, will the coach be able to communicate with you without you always needing to talk to your parents? These can be red flags.
4. Players who have appropriate social media accounts
Once you receive a soccer scholarship, you are not only representing yourself, but the institution. Social media accounts have been shown over the years to cause countless players to lose out on scholarships because of the content that student-athletes post on Youtube, instagram, facebook, twitter, etc.
5. Players who have something very special along with being a good overall player
Are you really fast, technical, or strong? Do you have something special about you? Coaches often look for players who are strong overall players, but also have a unique skill that separates them from the pack. Being exceptional in the air or being able to dribble out of tight spaces successfully are some of the unique qualities. What is unique about you?
Of course coaches use their discretion and can be looking for different things depending on budget and positional needs, but if you are able to have all 5 of these then you are well on your way to putting yourself in position to get interest from a college coach and land that scholarship.