Playing Soccer at the College Level by Coach JB Belzer

Playing Soccer in College takes focus and determination. As a rising high school freshman, sophomore, and junior there are many questions regarding the entire soccer college recruiting process.  The process can start with asking several questions of yourself on what you may want from a college education. Regis University Head Coach, and SSA Staff coach, has put together several presentations over the years for the SSA High School College ID & Player Development Camp. In his classroom session at SSA, JB challenged participants to self-reflect on what they might want out of a college education/experience, both on the soccer field and in the classroom.  He also delivered helpful facts on what to expect from the daily life of a college student-athlete.

So You Want To Play College Soccer?

Presented for: Steamboat Soccer Academy
High School Player Development & College ID Camp
Presented By:
J. B Belzer
Regis University
Women’s Soccer Coach
303-964-5486 fax

Find Your Balance


Choosing for Academics

  • College is an opportunity to prepare for and get placement into Prestigious Graduate Schools or  the work force Work Force
  • Understand what the College or University has to offer. What Degree programs or Fields of Study  are offered?
  • Do you thrive in Small or Large Class Sizes? What is your ideal learning environment?
  • The Classes you will attend in college, are they taught by Professors or Graduate Assistants?
  • Does the college or University offer flexible majors or Individualized Degree Programs?
  • What is the true cost of the school, including room & board, Tuition, books, etc.

Some Great FREE Academic Comparison Tools


A Typical Week in A College Soccer Player’s Life

Are you Committed and Disciplined Enough?

Playing soccer in college in not the only part of your week as a college athlete. Take a look below and think about how much time you will need to commit to being a part of your team.

Time in Class 12-18 hours
Preparation for Class 18-27 hours
Practice 10-12 hours
Weight Training 2-3 hours
Film/Team Meetings 1-3 hours
2 matches per week 6 hours
Average travel per week 6-12 hours
Total Hours of Commitment each week  55-81 hours

Choosing for Athletics

  • How soon will I get to play?
    You may get to play as a Freshman for some smaller schools, but you may not play until your Junior or Senior Year from some Universities. Are you willing to wait to play and learn, or do you need to play right away.
  • How important is it to play for a winning program?
    Winning programs tend to have long lines of players waiting to play. The better the program the longer your wait to play maybe, but if winning is important to you, the wait may be worth it.
  • What is the commitment level expected of me by the program?
    Will you be expected to spend all your spare time preparing for games or with social groups? What do you expect?
  • Is a scholarship available for me?
    There are many different kinds of scholarship. The hardest to attain is an athletic scholarship. Each team has a limited number of scholarship available to all players, including Seniors and Juniors. Also, some scholarships may not be available to you as a freshman, unless a scholarship opens up from a graduating player. Be aware of available academic and social scholarships to help get you into the athletic program of your choice.
  • At what level of play am I capable?
    The NCAA has three levels of competition, Division I, Division II, Division III. There are also the NAIA, Junior College, Community College and City Colleges.  Check out this article for more about the different levels of play in college.
  • Do I aspire to play professionally?
    In the MLS, just about every single player drafted between 2010 and 2013 attended college. Only sixteen players who were drafted did not play soccer in college. Most of those who did not play in college were foreign-born. 59 colleges are represented by current(2014) MLS players drafted between 2010 and 2013.

What Does It Take To Play College Soccer?

  • Technical- The ability to master the ball so that speed of play is as fast as possible.
  • Tactical
    • Being able to recognize what is happening on the field.
    • Executing decisions that maximize benefit to your team and hurt the other team the most.
  • Physical- Mostly inherited, physical speed, strength, agility, and quickness can separate players
  • Psychological- The capacity to deal with adversity. A Player’s Composure, Confidence, Concentration, and Commitment.
  • Academics- Solid core-course preparation and GPA.
  • Adequate to above average test scores.

CollegeSoccer Programs

NCAA Allowable Scholarship Equivalencies(as of 2014)

Football M 85.0 M 36.0
Basketball 13.0/15.0 10.0/10.0
Soccer 9.9/14.0 9.0/9.9
Baseball/Softball 11.7/12.0 9.0/7.2
Volleyball W 12.0 4.5/8.0
Cross Country/Track 12.6/18 12.6/12.6
Wrestling M 9.9 M 9.0
Ice Hockey 18.0/18.0 13.5/18.0
Tennis 4.5/8.0 4.5/6.0
Golf 4.5/6.0 3.6/5.4
Lacrosse 12.6/12.0 10.8/9.9
Field Hockey W 12.0 W 6.3


Some helpful Athletic Comparison and Information Websites

Choosing for Social

  • Big school or small school
  • Big city, small city, or rural college town
  • Geographic location
  • Greek organization membership
  • Student-Government/Leadership opportunities
  • Diversity of student population

Organizing Your College Future – The 3 P’s

  • Be Proactive
    – Continuous evaluation and prioritization of academic and athletic goals.
  • Be Persistent
    – Continuously express your interest in the school and program of your choice.
  • Be Prepared
    – Satisfy all necessary academic and athletic eligibility requirements.