10 things I wish I knew before playing University Soccer….What the brochures didn‘t prepare me for.

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You think you have done all the research you can, so that when you get to your freshmen year, it will be a breeze. You think you dominated that,“ know before you“ go, phase. You think you got it in the bag, just like the rest of your athletic career that has led you to this point. But aside from the school, which you know will be tougher than your education thus far, and athletics, which will possibly consume your life, there are bits of information that you might not have been prepared for before signing your letter.

Here are 10 things that you won’t know before you grab your gear and get handed your dorm key at initiation, but will happily tell others after your freshmen year is over, to try and prepare them for their collegiate future.

  1. You need to separate your self worth from your sport.

Your day-to-day life will be submerged in athletically inclined tasks. It will be so hard to distinguish who you are from what you do. But. This. Is. Key. Make friends outside sports, join a group, go to church, do OTHER things  – in the off season 🙂

  1. There’s a preseason before the preseason.

Make sure you are fit and prepared before you have to be fit and prepared. In other words, do your on-the-field and in-the-gym homework before showing up for your first day. First impressions only happen once.

  1. Use your resources. All of them.

Go to study hall, sign up for tutors, go to office hours. Be prepared mentally, physically and punctually to tackle anything that comes your way.

  1. Watch what you eat.

Even though you might think you are an athlete so the freshmen 15 means nothing to you, inhaling 19 slices of pizza at dinner will not prepare you fully for your 5 a.m. morning session. You are what you eat.

  1. Like it or not, your team will become family.

You will fail, triumph, train, eat, sleep and live with your teammates. Try your best to build those relationships right off the bat.


Learn how to use the time you’re given wisely. To eat, to get work done, to be social… It’s a tight schedule and if you don’t know how to get your time management right, you’re in for long, sleepless nights (more than usual).

  1. There is no guaranteed spot.

No matter what they tell you, with the number of players on the team to the recruits coming in. Work your butt off to get your spot on the field, then maintain it.

  1. Stay in touch with home.

Though it’s easy to be busy with a loaded schedule, call mom and dad, sis and your grandma every once in a while.  You’ll need them more than you know.

  1. You’ll never love and hate soccer at the same time so much in your life.

Your relationship with the sport will be up and down.  So passionate and infuriating at the same time, it will drive you insane. Yet, you will be in the best relationship you will ever have in your life. (Sorry spouses).

  1. You will LOVE it, and miss it when it’s gone.

Your lifestyle will probably change drastically if you don’t pursue athletics after college, so even though it’s painful at times, cherish it.

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