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Part 2: Staying in Love (Mentors)

Kudos to Koach Karl for his SOCCERevolution project. Instepper and its Instepper Mentoring Program are proud supporters and are doing our part to reduce soccer drop-out rates. To learn how to enjoy our 3-part “Love” series.

In “Part 1: Falling in Love”, I explain how mentors can help improve younger players’ FUNdamentals that will lead to greater individual and team successes. Hopefully, it will keep these younger players in the game longer. But as we adults know, falling in love is easy. Staying in love is the challenging part.

At these ages (roughly grades 9-12 … 15–18-year-olds … and college players), staying in love with soccer can be challenging. For example:

  • Many competing interests (i.e., school, work, other sports, friendships/relationships, etc.).
  • Reality sets in. Playing college soccer or even representing your high school is no longer guaranteed.
  • Injuries and burnout can take a physical and mental toll.
  • It’s expensive (next in “Part 3: Love Isn’t Cheap”).

If you are in high school and are still playing/loving soccer … Congratulations! Some of you may have already played 10+ years of organized soccer. You are obviously passionate about soccer. And for most of you, given the number of hours you have put into honing your craft, soccer is your most marketable skill.

If you have reached a point where you are thinking of ending your soccer love affair, don’t do it until you have been an Instepper Mentor to at least 1 younger player.

Instepper wants you to take your passion, experiences, and expertise and:

  • Continue to improve on the field.
  • Develop value skills off the field.
  • Give back to the sport you love.

The Instepper Mentoring Program benefits are profound.


  • Improve as a player. There is truth in the saying, “Teaching is the best teacher!”
  • Any player can be a Mentor! You don’t have to be the captain or one of the better players.
  • Build confidence on and off the field.
  • Develop important social/soft skills that will last you a lifetime.
  • Stand out and stand apart on your college applications, resumes, and interviews.
  • Earn money/credit for your services (help offset playing/registration costs).
  • Give back to your school, Club, and/or local community.
  • Learn the importance of and appreciation for the mentor/mentee relationship. It will come in handy for the rest of my life.

If you can stay in love with soccer through high school, that love affair will likely last a lifetime. Soccer hopes you continue to play and remain a fan. And if/when you have kids, you pass your love for soccer on to your kids.

Koach Karl’s Notes:

Thank you, Coach Kos, for sharing valuable insights on mentoring in soccer to help prevent the unacceptable dropout rate of players! Your articles highlights the importance of mentors in fostering a love for the game at different age levels.

Dear Reader, I’d love your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Please continue the conversation and support the SOCCERevolution in creating positive experiences for young players so they will stay in the game for a lifetime! ⚽️🤝 #SoccerMentoring #ShareYourThoughts

Alex Kos
Alex Kos

After decades of playing, coaching, refereeing, inventing, and being obsessed with the first-touch, Alex started Instepper, a multi-faceted program on a mission to improve soccer, reinvent fundraising, and most importantly, inspire young players to invest in their futures so that they can Change the World. Learn more about Instepper, the Instepper Mentoring Program, and the importance of the first-touch at Get in step with Instepper today!