Adversity Can Kill Your Football Dreams



Living an unsportsmanlike life

Football as a sport can help young players to learn not only principles of sporting discipline, but also principles of life itself. Main aspect here is respecting rules and obligations. Having training several times a week in the morning, playing games during the weekend, carries numerous sacrifices. Although young players are eager to feel all the charms of nightlife, giving up on this is something that is necessary if you wish to become a professional athlete. Living an unsportsmanlike life, staying all night out, drinking, are just some of the things that can kill your dream of becoming a football professional one day. This kind of life will prevent you from having enough rest time and will hurt your energy level. That will incapacitate you to deal with all the challenges of a tight training schedule and tough competitive games. However, football as a sport does not put up with improvisation, but requires strict discipline. Unfortunately, it is often the case that many football talents have wasted their careers because of this kind of life. Continuous sleeplessness nights, consuming of alcohol, fast food and unhealthy life will reduce physical capabilities of an individual. This leads to poor training performance, arguing with coaches, showing disrespect to them and teammates. Living and training this way will influence your progress, and can put an end to your playing career.

Insufficient commitment and dedication

Young athletes are expected to provide hard working, effort and dedication. Only true and complete devotion can lead to achieving wanted results. Young player must have a winning character and personality, and according to that, he must give 100% of himself in every training drill at training sessions. However, many young athletes tend to slack off at training time, not giving their maximum. The most common drills that are being avoided are the drills that do not include working with the ball. This includes running and working on their conditioning. Some players even report false, light injuries, just to avoid doing practices they do not like. This is a bad example to others. If other players notice that this kind of behaviour passes unnoticed, that will influence their level of motivation and commitment. The lack of dedication can provoke the coach to take some disciplinary action. This will be a bad signal to other clubs, which will cause them to avoid signing players like that. Such behaviour is often noticed with highly talented players. They do not understand the importance of training, but they believe that their talent is all they need. This is the wrong approach and many talented players ended their careers that way. Hard work and dedication is the only road to success.

Lack of confidence

One of the most common problems among young football players. Players, especially youngsters, are unsure about the level of their skills and abilities. This can have great influence on their playing level. Players are unsure what to do with the ball, which often reflects through passing the ball as fast as possible to a teammate, just to relieve from the pressure. This kind of uncontrolled passing not only decreases the quality of their playing game, but also lowers the game quality of the entire team and ruins predicted tactics. Player with lack of confidence not only avoids having the ball in his possession, but also does not believe in himself when in a duel game, or during dribbling. His biggest fear is to be criticised by the coach, teammate or team captain. If that happens, he will not be able to break this loop and his performance will continue to decline. That is why an open communication with the coach is the necessity. Talking with a coach or more experienced teammate can help the player relieve pressure and encourage him to regain his lost confidence. This is especially the case after making a mistake in a competitive match that resulted in losing the game. After an event like that, the coach must convince the player that such things happen, and are not the cause for criticism, but a chance to learn and grow.

Pressure from parents

This has been one of the main problems in young player’s development in recent years. Parents want to fulfil their own wishes and dreams through the achievements of their child, which causes a lot of pressure. Often reflected as a comment during the game, or afterwards, this is something that causes many children to abandon football, and it must be stopped immediately. Football is an amazing sport, beautiful game, and young players should enjoy it with a smile on their faces. Unfortunately, it is often noticed that parents with their comments ruin the enthusiasm of their child. Especially bad is the case of focusing solely on the result of the game and winning at any cost. That kind of pressure from the parents is extremely counterproductive. Parents often see themselves as competent to comment on the game, and even give suggestions to the coach. This is a wrong signal for players. It is up to football schools and academies to point out the Code of Conduct, which must be respected by every parent and player. Parents must respect the appropriate distance from the playing field during games and training sessions, and should not interfere in the coach’s work. Youngsters have a lot on their mind, and sometimes too many responsibilities. Additional pressure from the parents may destroy their will for playing.


Enormous desire for success and growth sometimes pushes players to train over their physical capabilities. Training like this increases the risk of injuries and can disturb some functions in your body. This problem is especially the case if there is no designed and clear plan of player’s development. Young players must train in accordance with their capabilities, and any training of exaggerated intensity can cause negative reactions of the body. This kind of overload can lead to muscle fatigue. That can cause tension and make players nervous. Having a state of excessive fatigue leads to the drop of performance and can slow down a player’s development process. Series of negative consequences include disorder or lack of sleep, faster tiredness, and common injuries. Players at that state slowly lose motivation and will for training. Physical manifestations can reflect in palpitation, lack of appetite, and irritability. Success in the football world comes with enormous effort and work, but that also requires moderation. Appropriate training plan is better for players than working on their own, which can jeopardise their development.

Forcing the player by the coach or the parent

Besides overtraining, a massive problem in a young player’s development is forcing him. Football is the most important of all unimportant things in the world, and young players must be allowed to enjoy playing this sport. Unfortunately, often the case is that the coach or one of the parents is forcing the child to train. Talented kids are being forced to train more and often play competitive matches not only for their age group, but also for a year or two years older generation. Playing at that pace can extremely influence young footballers. At younger ages, muscles are just starting to form and grow. Having too many training sessions and games can stop the development of the musculature and jeopardise the muscles growth. In addition, tempo like this will have a negative impact on a player’s health. Besides, from a health aspect, having too many games can destroy a player’s will. Each game should be a new challenge for a player, not a habit. When it starts to be a habit, player has already lost the desire to continue playing football. Players should not be rushed into anything and true progress takes time and should be done slowly.

Bad relation with the coach

This is maybe the most important segment. The relation between the player and the coach is a relation that has the most influence on a player’s career. Many youngsters often lose the patience and express dissatisfaction with playing minutes, their role in a team, position they play, etc. That can cause problems and conflict with the coach. This kind of unprofessional behaviour is something that is tolerated. Inappropriate behaviour can disrupt team chemistry and the coach cannot allow to discipline the player, or even to remove him from a team. This is done for a greater good of the entire team. However, sometimes we have examples where the treatment of the player by the coach is not justified. Coach sometimes do not give enough playing minutes to a player, although he showed great dedication and commitment at training sessions. Many coaches are blinded by their own philosophy, and some players just do not fit in their tactics. These players are put in the background for no reason. It is truly hard to explain to a young player that he has to be persistent in these situations, so some of them give up on their goal. They just stop coming to training sessions and abandon football completely. In this scenario, just do your thing. Practice even harder and show your true character. All the progress you make will benefit you in the long term.

Bad relations with teammates

Every player is just a piece of the puzzle that is the entire team. A part of the mechanism. Young players often think they are above some of their teammates, which can cause potential conflict and disruption in the team atmosphere. Especially can be problematic if players form their own cliques and rivalries. This makes forming a quality team spirit an impossible mission. Intolerance among them will reflect during the game. Rival players do not pass the ball to each other and do not fight for each other. They tend to act selfish looking only for their own interest. That puts the result and benefit of a team in a subordinate position in relation to the needs of an individual. However, if an entire team does not function, then the individuals are not able to express themselves and show all their qualities. Bad locker room atmosphere and bad relations among teammates can actually influence each one of them individually and endanger their careers.

Showing off.

Young players, after a few great games and results, after scoring several goals, can feel overconfident, which will be counterproductive for him. Showing off after great results can seem irritating to others and maybe disastrous for the player himself. Goals and success come because of hard work of the entire team, so placing yourself in the front of the team can be interpreted as disrespect. That disturbs team chemistry, especially if the player acts like a star. Road to success of a young player is a long and complicated process, and he must be humble on that road. Without a humble attitude, the player thinks he is above training and working hard. Due to a false image of himself, the lack of effort results in the lack of form in the long term. Young players must be aware of that. Even if he achieves greatness, he must stay modest, humble, and full of respect toward his teammates and entire team. In addition, be a role model to others. Have the growth mindset keep learning 


Unfortunately, this is the most common and obvious reason for ending a player’s career and killing his dreams. Football is a sport that characterises many duels during the game, and each one can lead toward a short or long absence from the playing ground. Injuries occur for many reasons. High level of muscle fatigue, lack of physical readiness, or a contact with another player during the game or training session. The problem is extremely complicated if the player is forced to have several months or even a year of absence. Strained ligaments, leg fractures, arm fractures, etc., are just some examples. Rehabilitation is a long process and requires dedication and a serious approach. This greatly influences a player’s motivation and has a negative impact on their willingness to recover and continue. You must keep in mind that if something like this happens, patience is the key. Yes, it can take some time, but never give up. Consult with physio about right treatment and stay focused on your goal. 



Ages 3 to 12 year olds all genders