Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Being Different in an Ocean of Great Players
by Avi Stopper, November 27th, 2008 10AM

TAGS:  youth boys


By Avi Stopper

Every young player knows the feeling. You're playing in a big game and there are college coaches on the sidelines. Every time you do something good, they seem to be looking the other way. Every time you mess up, they're looking right at you.

The question is, how do you get them to pay attention to you long enough to really see what you're capable of? The answer is that you have to be different; you have to do something to stand out from the mass of other players around you.

Don't take this the wrong way. The point isn't that you have to do something miraculous while coaches are watching you. You don't have to have a three bicycle-kick hat trick. Instead, you should focus on "playing your game," doing things the way you normally do them. The time to be different is when you're corresponding with coaches.

Think about it, college coaches are constantly being inundated with emails from prospects. There are only so many emails that they can read that say, "Dear Coach, I really want to play for your team. Really, really, really badly. Sincerely, Mercutio." Yawwwwn. The key is to do and say things that are different. Be honest, but avoid the obvious lines that everyone else is using.

An example might be to say in an email that "My family just got back from Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful is the best! And I just created a 'Save the Yellowstone Wolves' group on Facebook." Granted, it's a goofy example, but it's something different, something that college coaches haven't read 239 times already today. You might also do something really out of the ordinary, like create a collage of pictures of yourself and the college team and quotes from your friends and coaches saying why you'd be a good fit.

Brainstorming stuff like this is fun. Sit down with a piece of paper and just start writing the goofiest ideas that come to mind. Don't do them all, but do some. Why is this so important? Because college coaches will remember you when they are at your next game. They'll remember the funny card you sent them or the camel-riding picture from when your class went to the zoo. And they'll be more inclined to keep watching you to see what you're really capable of doing as a player.

(Avi Stopper is the founder of , a software company that walks high school players step-by-step through the college recruiting process.)




No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Youth Soccer Insider
USA sends young squad to qualifiers for U-20 Women's World Cup    
The 20-player squad named by Coach Michelle French for the U-20 Women's World Cup Concacaf qualifying ...
Reffing Futsal (Part 1): Calling and counting fouls     
Futsal has been growing rapidly in the USA as it's a wonderful player development tool. But ...
'Fun, friends and health' is what youth soccer should be about (Q&A Shannon Higgins-Cirovski)    
After starting for the USA when it won the inaugural Women's World Cup on 1991, Shannon ...
After Concussion: Don't Just See A Doctor, Be Sure To See The Right Doctor    
Much has been written about concussion in young athletes but today I want to devote a ...
Ref Watch: How the last game of the season can present unique challenges    
I'm a positive thinker. But all the positive-thinking in the world cannot erase the fact that ...
Brain expert explains the wisdom of USSF's heading policy for youngsters     
Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the USA's leading experts on concussions in sports, responded to some ...
The border tug of war: Mexico courting U.S. talent is a 'good sign'    
In 1998, the Mexican government changed its laws to allow dual citizenship, thus enabling U.S.-born Mexican-Americans ...
Heading ban for 10-year-olds and younger makes sense, but important concussion questions remain    
In recent years, new science has provided clearer information on the dangers of concussions and studies ...
Stop interrupting: Substitute sensibly     
Part of this I found amusing as I reffed 8-year-old boys whose coach had them wear ...
College Choice: Taking the right steps makes the process more enjoyable    
Selecting the right college can be frustrating, and even cause anxiety for many families. Many kids ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives