The purpose of sharing these stories is to educate younger student-athletes on the demands of college soccer.
We do not want to discourage players from having lofty goals. DREAM BIG
The college soccer experience can build character and life skills that can stay with you for the rest of your life. The goal of our college development program is to assist in finding the right college fit: soccer, financial, admissions, academics, cultural.
Below are a couple of quotes from our current college freshmen who just finished up preseason.
Marisa Kest, Kean University: “”Preseason was definitely a huge challenge that I had to overcome. It came harder than I expected. As challenging as it was, it showed me that as a soccer player I not only have to be tough physically but tough mentally as well. And that goes for all aspects of life, especially being a freshman in college and starting something brand new.”
Jake Wright, Hobart and William Smith Colleges: “These past few weeks have been an absolute roller coaster of emotions. Kickin’ off preseason with a 5 min mile test & a week of 6am circuit training till we’d puke wasn’t exactly “fun” but w/out those hard practices the team would not have come together so well. We definitely wouldn’t have gone 2-0 against Messiah + NYU this weekend!
My biggest point of advice for anyone looking to play college soccer is fitness. Being quick, strong, and hard working will make all the difference in getting accustomed to the next level of play. Two quotes I’ve really come to appreciate from my coaches are “only doing is doing” & “if anything matters, everything matters.”
Emily Vinick, Skidmore College: “Despite the early morning conditioning and taxing double sessions, playing soccer in college has shown to be an amazing decision. Preseason was a challenge, and I was sore for about two weeks straight, but I felt very prepared for it and am very confident going into the season. Also, preseason was a great time to get to know the other athletes and the campus, as the rest of the student body hasn’t arrived. This made my adjustment to college life much easier as I had built in friends right off the bat as well as supportive coaches and upperclassmen to teach me the ins and outs.”
Luke Chozick, Rhodes College: “Entering college soccer as a freshman has been a huge change of pace. Practices and early morning fitness tests pushed me harder than I thought possible. Mentality and constant focus becomes crucial as the game moves that much faster and you have to adapt quickly. However, once I pushed through the difficulties of preseason and gained some confidence, I have had so much fun playing at the highest level I can and am excited to continue improving each day. Having preseason before classes started also helped me to figure out the best ways to manage my time and provided me with a group of friends going into the first day, making the college transition much easier.”
Brooke Pappalardo, Kean University: “Coming into preseason this year was a tough challenge physically and mentally. I was not expecting there to be as many mental challenges during preseason as I experienced. I had to push myself through tough situations even when I didn’t feel like playing anymore and stay positive. Physically, I would go to rehab every day after practice and go in our cold whirlpool to rest my muscles to be ready to play my best the next day.
In the end of preseason, as hard as it may be, you better yourself as a player and learn how to overcome the challenges you face. Once school starts the days go by quick. From going to classes and then practice it’s important to manage your time making sure you get all your assignments done.
Morgan McCauley, Muhlenberg College, “College soccer is a commitment you have to be willing to take on. All the hard work you put in is worth it in the end when you are surrounded by your new teammates who are now your family. Getting acclimated to college lifestyle is easier when you are a fall athlete because you are surrounded by other fall athletes who are going through the same things you are.”
Tyler Bernard, Washington & Lee University, “College soccer is mentally and physically demanding. In high school and club soccer, a skilled player could get away with below-average conditioning. At the collegiate level, you simply can’t compete without being in excellent shape. On top of that, the game moves faster and decisions need to be made quicker and with fewer touches. It’s a hard transition for sure – but if soccer is what you love and something you want to continue to do, you just have to struggle through and work as hard as you can to adapt as quickly as possible.
Even emotionally, I felt challenged as I adjusted to living on my own, dealing with homesickness and making totally new friends. As a whole, the adjustment to college life is as severe as the adjustment to college soccer is, but they’re both well worth doing.
Christian Clark, Franklin & Marshall, “College soccer is definitely way tougher than anything I’ve done before. People always talk about how everyone is bigger and faster and stronger and that’s why it’s so tough but honestly, it’s the mental part that is so difficult. Most people that play college soccer are the best on their club and high school teams and play every minute and that changes in college and you have to work to just get on the field. But mentally it’s tough to be able to work hard in every practice and then support your team from the sidelines the whole game and do it over again.”