Playing on a soccer scholarship in the U.S is an exceptional opportunity if you are lucky enough to obtain one. The skills which you gain and the experience you receive cannot be matched anywhere in the world. I have outlined a few benefits of a soccer scholarship which I believe is the most important.
”“10,000 hours of practice to master a skill”Malcolm Gladwell
Quality and hours spent on the training field
Averagely if you are playing at a semi-professional level or on a football scholarship in the UK between the age of 16-19 you average around 6-8 hours per week of training. Players within professional setups at the same age average between 15-25 hours per week.
College soccer scholarships match the same amount of time professional clubs spend on the training ground averaging 15-25 hours depending on the university. Along with building the technical side of your game, coaches also focus a lot on analysing your tactical knowledge. Video analysis allows you to identify the opposition’s game plan as well as improve your individual game.
The quality of the facilities do not allow for days off. With indoor facilities at some universities it provides you with the perfect platform to succeed. It is important to take advantage of the facilities at your disposal and work on your game outside practice hours. Utilising the gym,swimming and practice field will allow you to gain an edge over your teammates and opposition. In a game like soccer, the smallest difference can make a huge impact.
OPPORTUNITY TO NETWORK
Being on a scholarship in the U.S you have a great opportunity to network with people from all over the world. Having people from all over the world allows you to learn new things and gain exposure to other cultures. Adding to that is the fact many will become friends for life and you never know how beneficial they may be to you in the future.
Once you complete your 4-year degree there are many possible routes available to you. If you have performed exceptionally well throughout your university soccer career the opportunity for you to be drafted to the MLS may occur. If nothing works out with the MLS, heading overseas to pursue your professional football career is a good option to take up much like QPR’s Tyler Blackwood did http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/33477939
Additional to the football path, pursuing a career in other fields is an option. Compared to a typical UK graduate your CV will stand out amongst the rest. Studying in the U.S is a point of interest for many employers as it is a unique experience. Having the confidence to move to the U.S by yourself and pursue your dream shows that you have excelled in the sport field which has allowed you to receive the initial scholarship.
Everyone would love the opportunity to explore renowned destinations such as: New York, Atlanta, California and many more. From being in the U.S you have the opportunity to do so with football being the reason. During the season you will have many away matches which will require you to travel to various destinations allowing you to be exposed to many places.