Want to go to college for free on a soccer scholarship?
The author traces the steps she and her parents took from age 11 through earning a full soccer scholarship at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. A regular contributor to Student Athlete magazine, she discusses the decisions student athletes face, and the success they can earn. Her experiences help student athletes in all sports develop a plan that will lead to college, a place on the team ... often with a full scholarship!
The Author: Christina Collins
Maybe it was my British accent, or being born in Munich ... but it wasn't my soccer skill that landed me a spot on a Florida club team when we returned to America. I was 11.
"No way," said Mom when I wanted to quit the team, "You'll finish the season." In London I had been good at sports in school, but girls just didn't play soccer there. Here in America, I was miserable.
That summer I went to a soccer camp run by a college coach. "Whoa ... this can be fun ... I thought." And in the fall our club's new coach was also a college coach. "Hmmm, after skill comes tactics. Cool!"
In middle school I made the track, cross country and soccer teams. I was too busy to ever get out of shape, and this has helped me avoid injuries.
I worked very hard at school and maintained a 3.5 GPA. Because Dad had retired from his London computer business to start publishing Student Athlete magazine, we had very little money. Both Mom and Dad attended college on scholarships, and they believe in good education. They always told my sister and me that our "job" was to get good grades and become good at soccer. And that would enable us to go to any college we chose.
When we returned from Europe, Dad was so concerned about the rising cost of college that he began Student Athlete magazine, with college coaches, to help student athletes get to college. It has really worked for me. Read on to find out how.
U-18 Florida State Champions
Now, I was 14 and tried out for ODP, the Olympic Development Program; I made the Florida State team and spent a week training with my team and another week competing against 11 ODP state teams in our region. The ODP gave me a chance to play with and against very good players; later it would help me get noticed by college coaches.
I was feeling pretty good about soccer, but sensed that something was still missing. I knew I could learn to be a better player, but I didn't know how to train. That was it! I needed a personal trainer.
A friend told us about Tony Stevens, a trainer with a wonderful gift for helping players develop college level skills. Unlike team coaches, trainers have to concentrate on only one thing ... helping individuals become as good as they possibly can be.
After a few months, averaging four hours a week with Tony, I could see the improvement in my game. My Dad was so impressed that he wrote an article in Student Athlete magazine about the trainer's role"... musicians have orchestra directors (coaches) and music teachers (personal trainers)." It makes sense.
I attended summer soccer camps run by college coaches I might someday play for; Duke, Florida, Clemson, Maryland and Vanderbilt.
My good grades continued and I began taking the SAT tests. My scores improved each time. My Cross country team won the State championship. Track and cross country were helping my speed and endurance in soccer.
Our club team was on a roll; we beat the Dallas Sting to win the Florida Orange Bowl, we played a Division I college team, Florida State, to a scoreless draw and we won the Florida State Championship. Yes!
As a high school junior, college coaches were watching at club and ODP regional tournaments. Now everything that Tony Stevens had taught me was paying dividends. And those hours of conditioning in three sports and five teams kept me playing hard all 90 minutes.
On July 1 (before 12th grade) recruiting begins. College coaches can phone and write. More than 20, including Princeton, U Penn, Tulane, Duke, UNC, Alabama and Wisconsin, recruited me. I chose Southern Methodist University in Dallas, then nationally ranked #11. SMU has a team of genuinely nice girls who love to play and win; and I can't wait to join them! Go Mustangs! Subscribe to our magazine. It worked for me!
Student Athlete Magazine
(Editor Note: The author received $120,000 in athletic scholarships, earning her entire college education. She was named All-American, graduated cum laude with a BA and will graduate from SMU Law School in 2008. She is a regular contributor to our publications.)
If you found this article helpful, please subscribe to Student Athlete Magazine and see our website (http://www.student-athlete.net) for information about our College Scholarships SYSTEM that includes 3 books, 18 pamphlets and a video. Since 1991 our SYSTEM has helped over 1 million families get the kids to college and on the team ... often with full scholarships.