5 Lessons I Learned From Playing Division I Soccer
Playing Division I soccer was an experience unlike any other. It was both the most difficult thing I’ve ever done and the most rewarding.
Everyone’s experience will be different but there are a lot of ups and downs that will occur. You have to realize that the high points are definitely worth the low points.
Here are five of the many important lessons that I learned during my collegiate career while at the University of Toledo.
1. Balance is extremely important
You need to figure out your school, soccer, and life balance. Soccer becomes a fulltime job that you will dedicate most of the hours in a day to, make sure that’s what you want.
Although you have less hours than most students to dedicate to school, schoolwork has to take top priority. If you aren’t in good academic standing, you won’t be able to play.
It is vital to understand that you are not a “normal college student.” There will be social events that you have to miss.
2. With great power comes great responsibility
We are put in a position of role models and we need to act like it.
As a division one athlete, your life is put in a spotlight and people are watching your social media accounts and how you act every day. Be smart and kind.
3. Communication gets you everywhere
If you never ask, you’ll never know. You need to constantly be communicating with coaches, trainers, professors, teammates, friends, and family to make your experience a positive one.
Professors really appreciate student-athletes who let them know their schedules and when they will be missing class or tests.
4. Nobody understands your daily life and struggles better than your teammates
Lean on them, be there for them, and hang out with them off the field.
I find that teams with stronger bonds often play better as well.
5. The game doesn’t last forever
When it comes to your personal health or wellbeing you need to do what is best for you.
It’s important to think about the rest of your life. If your quality of life is negatively affected by playing your sport, you may have to take action. Talk with your coaches, trainers, and doctors to see what your options are.
Some other important points to remember are to make sure you like the college and that it offers the programs you want in case you are injured and can no longer play. Find a coaching staff that will treat you like a person and not a product.
Always do your best and remember why you started playing soccer in the first place.