Additional Tips

Preparing Youth Players for College Game

Presented by the Duke Men's and Women's Soccer Coaches

What are qualities are college coaches looking for (in no particular order):

  • Competitiveness--youth coaches must own this by adding competition into all training sessions, keep scores/results, have a winner in exercises/games
  • Athleticism-- small sharp movement, changing directions, acceleration, deceleration
  • Willingness to take players on 1v1--take risks at the right time
  • Do they have a special quality? Good in the air, strike a ball well, scoring goals?
  • Working off the ball--forcing the defenders to make a decision, move off the shoulder of a defender
  • Coachable--willingness to play different positions; how does the player react to the coach, referees, teammates, opponents?
  • Fitness--physically strong for 90 minutes; is your second game of a tournament played at the same physical level as your first game?
  • Psychology--mental toughness for 90 minutes
  • Experience--what level do they play at? ODP? National team? Has their Club team been active in attending showcase tournaments?

What holds players back from playing in college right away:

  • Grades--if you can't get into the school, it won't matter; once in, you must maintain your academic eligibility
  • Defending--you absolutely must be able to defend in 1v1 situations
  • Speed of play--physical and mental speed during the game
  • Final third risk taker (if you feel you are an attacking player)
  • Heading
  • Playing under pressure--technique without pressure is not good enough; what can you do when a defender enters the play?
  • Understanding structure--flexible to play in and between various systems
  • Fitness--being healthy and fit coming into college season

**When sending a video to college coaches, you must highlight yourself both on and off the ball in a game situation. Do not send a clip of yourself demonstrating various techniques and Coerver moves.


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