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Full Send or No Send Soccer?

squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
Truly the largest conundrum of my life...

As an Asian American, I know that getting into top colleges is quite impossible. This is why my dad has pushed me to train soccer since I was very young and I became stellar. In fourth grade, I was one of seven on the east coast selected for the 6th grade division to compete at nationals for futsal in Kansas City. However, in the beginning of sixth grade I had an arm injury and was out for a few months. It was at this time I also developed growth plate issues and they would persist with me all the way until now, as a high school freshman. They have hindered my ability to play so much, and my skill declined. I was once at the top of my game; but slowly, I saw people catching up to me. One of my teammates has moved from the east to the west coast to play for a top club and is on the national team for our age group. My other teammates play for other top clubs in the area. The difference between me and them is this—they have little academic merit. Academics have always been side by side in my life, and I'm on track to finish over 10 APs in high school. But the difference between me and other Asians is that a lot of them are a bit better.

Without sports, I have a chance to get into many top colleges; however, if I pursue soccer, this will take up so much time from academics and it might end up backfiring in the end if I can't get recruited. Money isn't a huge issue; it's more about the level of the school. With sports, Ivies are attainable, maybe if I work hard enough and somehow manage to balance everything out. If I seriously want to play soccer, I'll probably end up spending 20-30 hours a week which doesn't seem manageable with my course load and ECs. If I don't focus on soccer, my most likely bet is to get into one of the top state schools for CS such as UIUC.

Thus I need advice on what I should do. Although my soccer isn't at the level that it used to be, I'm still one of the top players in the region and if I set my mind to it, I could get a lot of what I lost back. But is it worth it to sacrifice my grades and ECs? Otherwise, I will just play for my school team and use it as an EC when applying.

Soccer was always the dream, and the harsh reality has hit me too fast.

My dad seems to avoid the topic of soccer, and is just helping me focus on the academics portion of the college admissions process. The question constantly lingers in the air. I could play academy, the top level of soccer for my age group, but the academy team closest to me is one of the worst in the country.
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Replies to: Full Send or No Send Soccer?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22122 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,136 Senior Member
    Sounds like you still want to play soccer, that you are good at it, and that it can help you get into the level of school you want (Ivy or similar academic level). If so, do it.

    If you said you didn't like soccer any more, I'd tell you to just work on academics, but really, sports do help with admissions if you are good at the sport.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
    @twoinanddone The thing is, I'm not sure if I can keep up my academics with soccer...and I live the sport but I'm not sure I can handle 20+ hours of exhaustion every week.
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5319 replies90 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,409 Senior Member
    Tough call. If you weren't doing it in the hopes it would help you get into college, would you play. If so, then you should. If not , well that's the answer.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
    @lostaccount I would play, but just for school and not to the extent for college. I'm still by far the best player in my grade, and wouldn't let my talent go to waste like that.
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  • sushirittosushiritto 3544 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,553 Senior Member
    The thing is, I'm not sure if I can keep up my academics with soccer...and I live the sport but I'm not sure I can handle 20+ hours of exhaustion every week.

    So, I'm reading between the lines. Committment and dedication are crucial to be a recruited athlete. I may be wrong here, but I don't feel "it" from you. Focus on grades, test scores and EC's. Also, there's no way of knowing if your growth plate issues may or may not continue. And then what?

    If you can star or be one of the stars on that local academy team, and you're willing to dedicate the time and comitment to getting better every day, then I'd play.
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  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone 22122 replies14 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 22,136 Senior Member
    If you can't keep up the academics along with athletics, you won't do well at an Ivy. You want the benefits of being an athletic recruit but you don't want to do the work for both.

    If you give up soccer and only concentrate on academics, then your chances of an Ivy or other elite go down. It's a fact that athletics really helps with admissions.

    I, personally, don't think your academics will improve when you give up athletics. Athletics keeps you organized and focused. If you had 20 extra hours per week, would you take 4 more AP classes or get an A+ in a class you otherwise would only get an A? And would it matter? The advice usually given on CC is if a student drops an EC, another EC should be added - band, art, working on the school paper.

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  • RightCoasterRightCoaster 2868 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,872 Senior Member
    Have some fun with your life and play soccer. Stop worrying so much about “top colleges”. There are lots of very good schools in the US where you can go if you have decent grades and participate in extra curriculars. You’ll have a better time in HS and have better memories than just grinding for grades 24/7.
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  • tpike12tpike12 490 replies9 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 499 Member
    Go for it your first year and see if you can keep up academically. Reassess after one year. You have plenty of time to adjust.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
    Alright, thanks a lot guys. I'll probably going about being one of the top players on varsity next year as a sophomore and then playing for the academy team in the spring, and we'll see how that goes. Two of my classes are online, so that will give me a lot more lenience. I'm really, really bad when it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone...I played one game this year with academy against a much better team as a test and I scored our only goal. The coach really liked me, but soon I got too bogged up in my schedule and I never heard from him again. I'll try again next year.

    @sushiritto you are quite right that I lack the "it." Throughout my entire life I've genuinely had a passion for the sport, but I was never the one who would push myself long, hard hours to improve. All my skills were handed down from my father who taught me well. Perhaps my lack of inner drive has to do with this, or it's a somewhat innate characteristic.
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  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1244 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,260 Senior Member
    What year in school are you? Your prepubescent performance is irrelevant for college recruiters. Not really sure if it is possible to know your tracki to a number of AP classes and be young enough to still get on recruiters radar.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
    @Eeyore123 I'm graduating high school 2022...

    What do you mean by "to know your tracki to a number of AP classes and be young enough to still get on recruiters radar"
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  • bopperbopper 13920 replies98 discussionsForum Champion CWRU Posts: 14,018 Forum Champion
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 1807 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,827 Senior Member
    "If I don't focus on soccer, my most likely bet is to get into one of the top state schools for CS such as UIUC."

    I wouldn't take that bet. UIUC accepts only about 10% of computer science applicants. Michigan, U Washington, and Purdue's CS departments are similarly competitive. The acceptance rates you see publicized are for the university as a whole (all majors and undecided candidates). In fact, these "public ivies" rank higher for CS than most of the ivy league and a fair number of the T30 schools.

    Soccer may help you get into a great school, but you'll need very, very strong academics to get into a highly-ranked CS department.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
    @Groundwork2022 I acknowledge that these top CS programs are very selective; UIUC stands out to me because they recently started a CS + Geography program that I feel like I would suit me the best. They are looking for students in the program, and I came top ten in the nation in the geography bee last year and if I choose to do the International Geography Olympiad, I could probably come top 20...CS is my main focus in HS and if I combine the two and show lots of interest to the program, then I say I have a high chance.
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 1807 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,827 Senior Member
    ^In your first post you weren't sure you could balance two things (academics and soccer). Now you've added a third: geography. That still doesn't convince me that a public ivy for CS is a viable backup plan. No college will care how you place in geography competitions unless you also have the right grades and test scores. My point is, as other posters have mentioned, for a top college - and especially for a top CS program - you need to have the whole package. It is not an either/or choice.
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  • Happy4uHappy4u 208 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    What brings you joy? Most of the successful ivy college recruits I know had so much passion for their sport that you couldn't keep them off the practice field. Yes, their grades might have suffered (slightly). It doesn't mean they weren't still academically qualified. Pursue what you are passionate about - your happiness matters.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 319 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 342 Member
    @Groundwork2022 My grades are still up there...I don't spend time on geography anymore. That was just a middle school thing. My test scores will be fine; and my grades are stellar.
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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 246 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 248 Junior Member
    Pursuing college soccer is extremely demanding. First, you will have to play at a high level, which means club or academy soccer, or possibly ODP though I know nothing about that.

    It sounds like your level of play has declined (not staying on varsity is a red flag) so you will want to practice, hitting a ball against a wall, finding YouTube videos on soccer skills and then doing the drills, finding pick up games on your own time, in addition to playing club. To make up lost ground you would practice every day, ideally.

    I would guess this would take 8-15 hours a week, at least.

    The biggest predictor of success is not talent, but drive. If you don't have that drive (and nothing wrong with that!) I would not try for soccer to help with college.

    As an aside you have to be a strong D1 level player to be recruited to the Ivy League, it is not easy to achieve that level, and 99% of soccer players out there don't.

    Also PS your Dad is right about those camps. Although, you could pick one that is known to give evaluations and this would tell you where you stand regarding recruitment, so that probably would be a valuable first step.
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  • CC AdminCC Admin 29516 replies2975 discussionsAdministrator Posts: 32,491 Senior Member
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Soccer Conundrum.
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