My College Soccer Experience
It was our last game of the season, and we were playing the best NCAA Division II team in the country. I waited in line for my name to be called on the loud speaker introducing the starting line up. My name was called and I ran out to the center of the field. I knew at that point all my hard work and preparation paid off. It’s an amazing feeling being able to play collegiate athletics and the experience truly changed my life.
Playing college soccer is a goal that many young men and women strive to achieve. It takes years of preparation, discipline, and goodgrades to end up playing for the college of your choice. I played soccer with Boulder County Force from U7 to U18 and played for the top team every year. I earned many honors and awards throughout high school, which helped propel my soccer career. Although the process of playing college soccer was much tougher than I ever imagined.
After signing to play for Regis University, a sense of accomplishment overwhelmed me. I was able to soak in the feeling of signing a national letter of intent. Nevertheless before I knew it, I was preparing for the season. I received a fitness program at the beginning of the summer, which consisted of running six days a week. I worked out four hours a day, which consisted of running, lifting, and shooting each day of the summer. I knew if I wanted playing time it would be necessary to meet or exceed thegoals of the fitness program. As the summer came to an end, I was doubling my fitness sessions in order to be in the best shape possible. I knew that college soccer players were going to be bigger, faster and stronger than players I previously played against.
During preseason training we went through a series of tests that we needed to pass in order to play on the team. We completed three weeks of two a day practices. Each of these tested us both mentally and physically. It was easy to see which players decided to follow the training program over the summer and which ones didn’t.
As we began our season, practice was at seven in the morning, six days a week and at least one game a week. I started the first five games of the season, which was somewhat of a surprise. I always thought that I had the ability to play at the Division II level, however, after I experienced my first few games I had a new appreciation for the level of play.
College players were exactly what my club and high school coaches always told me they were going to be. They were bigger, faster and stronger. Not only was soccer tougher, but the school work tested my ability to manage my time. It was a challenge to practice and perform well in the classroom, although it’s worth the sacrifices if you love playing the sport.
By the end of the season I started sixteen out of the nineteen games played. I was both surprised and thankful that I was able to start on such a competitive team. The experiences I have taken from playing will be incorporated into my daily life. The demanding schedule has taught me to be able to balance school andcompete notonly on the field but also the in the real world. If college soccer is an ambitionor goal of yours then I can tell youthatit’s an amazing experience that you will never forget.