Micah Varner is a former college player, current D1 college coach and coach with OSA Soccer Camps and Online Soccer Academy
Former college player, current D1 college coach and OSA Coach
"I coach to help my players reach their dreams because I get to live mine everyday!"
Besides coaching I also use to be like a field manager. Trying to farm perfect grass for my players!
My favorite quote is, "Hustle plus heart will set you apart!"
My Videos will be out in Winter 2018 / 2019.
For now... enjoy my #Believeinit Story Below
Story of How I Started Soccer Late but Still Played in College
Little dap! My name is Micah Varner. I’m a former college player, current D1 college coach and coach with OSA Soccer Camps.
This is my #Believeinit story on how I played college soccer despite not starting soccer until high school. I also share how I played club soccer even though I couldn’t afford it. I hope my story can serve as a source of inspiration for you.
In fall 2007 I entered my freshman year at a brand new high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Knowing only a handful of people I was pretty nervous for school to start.
Growing up I was always athletic. I played basketball and baseball, not soccer. Since I was nervous about making friends my thought process was a great way to make friends would be to try out for the baseball and basketball teams at my new school. Problem was it was the fall and baseball and basketball weren’t in season.
So I looked at my options for fall sports. Soccer was an option and the soccer team needed a goalkeeper. I figured since the goalie position is foundationally based on athleticism and footwork that I could be a goalie! Plus I’m use to using my hands on the basketball court, I’m athletic and all I need to do is keep the ball out of the net. I’m thinking, “no problem! I got this.”
Yikes, was I wrong!
As a freshman playing Varsity level soccer as a first timer, yep a first timer, it was like everyone else was playing a different game than me. It’s like they were playing soccer and I was just trying not to drown in a pool. It was hard!
Despite it being hard I was up for the challenge to improve and become the keeper I believed I could be!
The next 8 months I was getting my touches in everyday and devouring youtube videos of pro goalies. I wasn’t watching videos like a fan in awe… I was studying like a student trying to make straight A’s. I was learning! I studied their footwork, their hands, positioning, decisions they made, etc. I was a student of the game and hooked on improving! I constantly wanted to improve and was in love with soccer!
When I was in it day to day it sometimes felt like my improvement was slow. Or that maybe I would never be as good as I wanted to be because my teammates had been playing since they were five and I had only been playing 5 months!
With the mindset of “Hustle plus heart will set you apart!” I improved so much over the course of my freshman year. In my sophomore season I had a very successful season and helped my team make it all the way to the semi-finals of the North Carolina State Tournament.
Despite the team success I wanted more in soccer. My sophomore year I was still playing baseball and basketball. It was a hard decision, but I knew in my heart it was time to focus solely on soccer because that was the sport I loved the most and I needed the time I spent in other sports to improve more in soccer.
My Junior year was a big year for me. With 100% of my athletic focus put towards soccer not only could I see myself improving, so could my peers. I was named Team Captain and earned All-State, All-Conference and All-Tournament accolades.
This success gave me even more confidence that despite only playing soccer for two years I was good enough to play college soccer. And college soccer was what I wanted!
In order to play college soccer I knew to increase my odds of being recruited I had to play club soccer and attend showcase tournaments. Fortunately, one of the top youth clubs in North Carolina was in my town; Charlotte United Futbol Club. Unfortunately, I had no money to cover the fees associated with playing club soccer.
Not having money to play club soccer was a big downer. However, I was determined to reach my dreams. I wasn’t going to let anything hold me back… not even money!
First, I tried out and made the top club team. I wanted them to see how good I was and how much I cared. Second, I presented my case to the Charlotte United club president on how I wanted to play, but couldn’t pay. I shared my story. I shared my desire. I poured my heart out and hoped for the best!
The club president listened and came back with a proposition. He said, “How about you coach are younger goalies until you coach enough hours to cover your club dues?”
Despite knowing nothing about coaching kids as I was basically a kid myself I said, “Yes!”
This is how I paid for club soccer. By coaching. Club soccer was a success for me! It was a stepping stone for me both as a player and a coach.
As a player I went on to play college soccer at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. Yep, I played college soccer even though I didn’t start playing until freshman year of high school. In college I was a part of a team that was runner up in the NCAA Division 2 National finals.
As a coach I continued to coach in my college years with youth goalies. My love for playing was just as equal to my love for coaching. Really… I just love soccer and want to be around it any capacity. Fun fact, at one point I did field maintenance because I loved the game so much. I was like a farmer of grass!
My love for coaching blossomed into my career. I’m now a college and youth coach and still loving being a student of the game just like when I picked up a ball for the first time freshman year of high school.
My coaching philosophy is simple; I coach to help my players chase after their dreams because I am fortunate enough to live out mine everyday. I always remind myself to stay humble, work hard and never be too big to do the small stuff. Don’t forget, hustle plus heart will set you apart!
My name is Micah Varner. I hope you enjoyed my #Believeinit story.