Individual Awards Mean Nothing for College Recruiting

Awards like being named all-conference or all-state DON’T MATTER in college recruiting.


Coaches only care whether or not you can play and if you fit in with their program. The fact that your son/daughter is an All-State, All-Sectional, All-Conference selection means next to nothing. Why? These awards are all-relative. All-State in one state might not even be good enough to be all-conference in another area of the country. Don’t get me wrong, I had kids that played for me that had earned a lot of high school accolades, and I also had great players for me that were all-state in high school who rode the bench. I also had other players that had zero awards attached to their name that turned out to be way better college players than their “all-state” teammate.


I’ve never found a system of voting for all-conference that was accurate. I’ve seen the challenges.  Coaches that don’t vote, coaches that are forced to give a certain # of accolades based on how their team did. It is not a perfect science and some kids get left off and others make it based on things like team place finish, position, politics, etc.


The teams I coached were really good, but our goal was always to win a national championship. Many times, I didn’t even play my best players against some teams to rest them if they were dealing with a minor injury. Those opponents could not vote for my player that didn’t play against them in all-conference voting. We didn’t care because it was all about team success at the end of the year. Additionally, what if your son/daughter is a defender and they play against some bad teams? The defender is not going to get tested in some games and then that opponent won’t even know if they are good or not. I urge you to not worry about this, college coaches only care if the student-athlete can play and how they fit into their program on and off the field. On top of college coaches not caring, accolades and awards can pit jealousy among teammates and their parents. We didn’t even talk about awards on our team. Most awards came out when we were in the playoff portion of the season and I was not about to let the awards drama take away from our team’s success.

The same goes for statistics. They are relative based on who you are playing and level of competition. There aren’t many stats in soccer and while they can show facts, they can also be inflated. I’ve seen players be kept in games long enough against bad teams to get six goals, and I have also seen coaches rest players who would “mop up” on bad competition and not play them to rest them, so they don’t get the stats that day.
Soccer is a team sport. The goal of the team is to work together to beat the opponent. I personally think individual accolades and even individual goals are silly in team sports, and way too much emphasis or excitement goes into them.


Personally, there is way too much ego and emotion put into this by student-athletes and parents alike, and if I’m being honest, more times than not it’s the parents who care more than the athletes. I know it feels good to be honored, but the award systems are flawed and we must remember this. You can’t set goals that you have no control over, like earning All-State.


At the end of the day, remember that accolades do not matter for your college recruitment and don’t let this small aspect of high school soccer inflate your ego and get in the way.