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How a Club Coach Helps You To a College Scholarship


Pat is an LIJSL Hall of Famer, Chairman of the LIJSL Scholarship Committee, and Director of the league's College-Bound Athlete program.  Her articles appear regularly here on lijsoccer.com.

This is not a story about blue chip teams whose coveted roster guarantees membership in The Golden Circle…and underwrites dreams of college and soccer. This story is about club teams with coaches who work exceptionally hard to fulfill their players’ dreams of playing in college, but more importantly, go into the task with a battle plan. Sure, the team had a few ODP players, some former academy team players, but a closer look at this club team made me realize that it consisted of solid varsity players who were determined and had a desire to play at a higher level. Together, players, parents, team manager, and coach made the strategic decision to hire a professional coach to prepare the players for years of trench fighting that could lead to college and berths on top teams. 

Money for coaching, travel, tournaments, training and expenses were minted. Parents and players signed on for a year-round commitment and mandatory practices, clinics, tournaments, and lots of hard work. 

Did their plan work? Yes, and here is how they did it. They trained and trained, began to attend the most competitive tournaments knowing they would probably not take 1st Place, but they wanted to play against the best competition. They fought their way through the USA Cup, Dallas Cup, Surf Cup, Disney Classic, The Columbia Invitational, and Potomac Invitational, then attacked the best teams in the Carolinas. With every battle… they grew. 

Team managers maneuvered into position. Academics were stressed. Collecting player GPA/SAT & ACT scores, stats, references, preferences, and photos became a priority in creating their “projectiles” … player profiles… to be launched with deadly accuracy at college coaches; first by hard copy, snail mail, and then attached to every e-mail they sent out to college coaches, always updating, networking. 

As the smoke of battle cleared and the players were packing for their college soccer mission, the club coach spoke out and said, “To watch boys grow into men with purpose and dedication makes all the hours of hard work worth it. It was our investment in their future. Now the college coaches all agree, there will always be a place for the blue collar player, as well as the blue chipper, on their college teams.”

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