Playing Soccer in College

As part of the Steamboat Springs High School Soccer program, we are dedicated to helping you to create a better life on and off the field. If one of your goals is to become a college soccer player, you are in the right place. We have a few resources to get you started. We highly encourage you to talk to your coach about all the support they are able to provide. They have been helping their players find college programs for over 20 years! They will be a great resource for you as you prepare to play in college.

From the
Cornell University researchers found that former high school varsity athletes seemed to have higher-status jobs, volunteered more in the community and donated to charity more frequently than non-athletes. The results formed the basis for “Sports at Work: Anticipated and Persistent Correlates of Participation in High School Athletics,” by Kevin M. Kniffin, Brian Wansink and Mitsuru Shimizu and published in June in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. Read the rest of the article here… 

We want all of our athletes to participate in soccer and in life, to the best of their ability, and a goal of attending and possibly playing soccer in college should be part of of that conversation. Our head coach, Rob Bohlmann, has more than 25 years experience in preparing his athletes for the next step of life.

If playing soccer in college is a dream, we have a few tips and concepts to get you started.

1) Dedication – The recruitment process is a very long process that should be started as soon as you decide that you are interested in playing soccer in college. You will need to be dedicated to the game, to your team, to your studies and to your family. No matter how much you may want to play in college, it will be your dedication and actions that prove you are prepared and ready to play at another level.

2) Skills – All of your skills will be required to be the best to be included on a college recruitment list, both on and off the field. Your Academics, test scores, soccer skills, knowledge of the game of soccer,  ability to draft letters to coaches, your other extracurricular activities and your character will all be things coaches will evaluate when deciding to make you a part of their team and possibly even provide soccer or academic scholarships to you.

3) Knowledge – You will need to seek out all the information that you need to make a good decision when decided where to play, what you want to study and who is the person you want to become.

We will provide a few details here but we invite you to look in as many places as you can for the information you need need to make a great decision that will help you become a Collegiate Student-Athlete.


Freshman Year:

  • Focus on your Academics first, and your athletics second. Learning how to learn will be one of the greatest assets you can attain in life.
  • Learn about the different levels of play at the collegiate level. Visit the, and websites to learn more about the divisions and level of play available.
  • Start making a list of the schools that stand out to you.
  • Train Hard and Smart! You may or may not be on the Varsity team yet, but every minute you train, in practice or on your own, will help you to develop as a player. The more touches you have on the ball, the closer your dream of playing in college will become.

Get more information: Athletic Recruitment: Freshman Year by Megan Gibbs

Sophomore Year:

  • This is your first year of Standardized Testing in School. With good scores, your recruitment process will be much easier. Learn how the SAT’s works by taking the PSAT and preparing yourself for how the SAT will be when you take it as a Junior.
  • Time to Start telling schools you are interested in playing! Coaches are not allowed to contact you to say they are interested in you, but you can certainly tell them you are interested in them.
  • At the end of your sophomore year before school ends, request a copy of your transcript and school profile. Send a copy of your transcript, any test scores you have, and your profile to each school you are interested in.

Get more information: Athletic Recruitment: Sophomore Year by Megan Gibbs

Junior Year:

  • Take your SAT and ACT tests. This will be your first time taking them, but do your best. You will have more opportunities to take them again, if you need to, to improve scores but it is a great practice to take the tests to see where you stand your Junior Year.
  • Talk to the High School Guidance Councilor about your academics, the schools you are looking at and make sure you are on track for all the requirements your schools will need for you to apply and get in.
  • NCAA Rules are very strict about Your contact with College coaches. Be sure to read up in their rules to make sure you and the coach are not violating any rules that could make you ineligible for that school to recruit you.

Get More Information: Athletic Recruitment: Junior Year by Megan Gibbs

Senior Year (Summer before your Senior Year too!):

  • Take your SAT and ACT tests again to hopefully improve your scores. Remember, the admissions board at the College or University still has to except you as a student before you can become a student athlete for the athletic program.
  • This is the year that college coaches can contact you more often. You are also allowed to visit colleges in an official capacity and have your skills evaluated by the coaching staff and the team.
  • Coaches want to see you play live. They can get a better feel for how you move, how you play, and your decision making. If given the opportunity to play in front of a coach, GO! This live performance may be one of the few chances you have to solidify yourself on a team, or decide that the team is not the team you want to play on.

Get more information: Athletic Recruitment: Senior Year by Megan Gibbs

Getting Noticed for all the Right Reasons

When you think about the number of High School Soccer players graduating each year, you will start to realize that you need to be not only the best player, but a better student, a better player and even a better person than the other students that are graduating and trying to get recruited for the same team as you.  How will you get noticed by College coaches for all the right reasons? That is up to you.

From the College Recruitment Game by Megan Gibbs:

There are many factors involved in getting noticed by a coach, including more than just your athletic ability and academic performance. “Make sure you represent yourself in the best possible way, especially off the field,” says Lemire. “Most coaches will look at how you treat your parents, how you talk to other people, and how you talk to your teammates. It may seem small, but it’s a very important thing.”

At the end of the day, a coach wants the overall player. (Head basketball coach at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Mike) DeGeorge adds, “We work hard to evaluate in the spring and summer at AAU and exposure events, and then find out about academics and character to find the right fit.” It’s all about the melding of all aspects of an athlete. (Susie Whelan, head field hockey coach at NCAA Division III school Worcester State University) offers another great piece of advice: “Always be polite and don’t let your parents do all the talking! Parents should never be the ones calling the coach.” As you enter college, you are now an adult, so the recruitment process is something you really have to take ownership of.

In the end, this is a process about your future. Take control of it.

Don’t worry about getting on to the best-ranked team. Worry about getting on the team and into the college that best fits you.  Do your research, go visit the colleges you are interested in, and make sure you are picking your #1 school to achieve all your personal goals, in soccer and in life.