The goal of each young player is to improve his game and reach his full playing potential. However, being a successful athlete and establishing yourself as a football professional one day, is a long and tough process. If you are guided by some basic principles and values, the road toward becoming a professional football player one day may be a much easier task.
Train regularly. Football is quite similar to school. If you are regular at your classes and pay attention, it will be much easier for you to learn, gain knowledge, and pass the test. For successful progress in football and development of your technical and motoric capabilities, the continuity is essential. A player should come to training at least 15 minutes earlier, in order to focus on the beginning of practice. When the training session starts, pay attention on the coach’s directions and try to perform the drills as accurately as possible. Focus on the quality of your performance and never do the training drill just to say you finished it. Always give 100% of yourself and train with maximum possible effort. Only with this kind of approach, you will be better after each training session and everyone will notice your development. With maximum dedication during training, you will deserve and hold your place in a team. Only regular hard work will ensure the proper form on the pitch. Treat your training sessions as an opportunity to grow and develop. This refers not only to your group training sessions, but also on the individual training sessions. Individual training sessions are a great chance to elevate yourself, improve further your abilities, and overcome your weaknesses in the game.
Improve your motor skills. Modern football is characterised with fast pace and a lot of running, with and without the ball. That is why improving your motoric abilities is of crucial importance. This is important for young players, especially for the ones just starting to train football. In this period, physical development is vital. Focusing on developing these abilities will help improve other skills. This kind of training drills are often part of the start and end part of training. Ladder jumps, running around cones, running with hurdles, are just some examples of motoric exercises. Jump rope is an extremely useful way to work on your conditioning and endurance. Young players, particularly after the age of 12, must dedicate a lot of their time and energy to develop and improve further their motor competence, as this is the necessity in modern, dynamic football. Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, are just some examples of players who work hard and commit much of their time on this aspect.
Work on your endurance. Football is an extremely demanding sport. The pace of the game is much faster than before. This requires players to be physically prepared enough to endure all the challenges of demanding football games, as well as a tight and intense training schedule. Young players must work on their endurance and stamina, especially as a part of individual training. This will not only allow them to deal with training sessions easier, but it will also uplift their game performance.
Pay attention to technical abilities. As a young player, you should not neglect the technical aspect of the game. This is particularly important in modern football, as the tempo of the game is much faster. Players today must possess exceptional ball control abilities, as the player that has the ball in possession is under constant pressure and pressing from opponents. Remarkable ball control abilities and dribbling skill will allow younger players to develop faster and navigate the playing field more efficiently. In addition, passing precision is something you should always try to improve. Today’s football is the game of possession, and teams that win the games are often the teams that have the ball longer at their feet. The more you control the ball, the more chance you have to endanger the opponent’s goal. High level of passing skill, in combination with ball control ability will be an enormous advantage.
Be a hard worker. It is well known that talent itself is not a guarantee of a successful career. Many footballers have wasted their talent, due to lack of training and work. Tim Notke, famous high-school basketball coach once said: “Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work.” And that is the sole truth. Talent is just about 5%, and the rest is hard and quality work. Dedicate your time to practice as much as you can. Come to training earlier, start with stretching, and warm up. Your muscles will be prepared for intense training later. Be ready to give your maximal effort and approach each drill with a high level of commitment. Do not waste time, stay focused and try to be better every day. Modern football demands technically well-prepared players, with high level of physical capabilities. Find some time for individual practice. Stay after training sessions and work on your weaknesses. Work hard on improving your ball control, endurance, passing and shooting. Whatever you feel that needs to be improved.
Have high quality rest. Modern sport, especially football, requires enormous effort and energy consumption. That is why the rest is indispensable to have. Best way to recover your muscles after tiring practice is high-quality rest. Try to have enough time for it, not only to recover your muscles, but also your nerve system. Muscle fatigue can cause injuries. Therefore, it is important to give them enough time to recover. Have good and quality sleep. Sleep time of eight hours during the night will help your body to recover adequately, especially after a long and intense training session. In addition, sleep during the day between multiple training sessions. If you feel muscle inflammation, go and get a leg muscles massage. This will relax muscles and help them recover. Another way to help your muscles recover is a proper stretch after a training session. Stay 10 to 15 minutes after the training is finished and stretch well every muscle. Do not allow yourself to start training with muscle fatigue. Dedicate some time just for you and relax. It will help you to continue with an intense training regime.
Be a team player. Football is a team sport, and you cannot be a great football player if you do not understand that. Only through effective communication with teammates, the entire team can benefit. Communication is a key to success and is the basis of developing leadership skills. Being a great leader is one of the most respective roles in a team, especially in modern football.
Stay dedicated. In order to achieve your dreams and become a successful footballer, dedicate yourself to this goal. This demands many sacrifices, and changes the way of life. Train regularly at least five times per week. Be ready to practice even two times a day sometimes. Only true mere devotion and dedication will allow you to improve your football skills. Show your commitment to training sessions. Ask your coach for feedback; ask him how you can upgrade your game. Focus completely on your game and how can you improve it.
Live the life of an athlete. Many talented players finished their careers unsuccessfully and without reaching their potential. One of the reasons behind this was an unsportsmanlike lifestyle. Drinking alcohol, smoking, staying up late, are just some examples of unhealthy life. These factors can disrupt a player’s sleeping cycle, which will not allow the body to have enough rest. In addition, it will hurt your body’s immune system and cause health problems long term. This will give you less energy and will influence your training performance. If you are tired, you will not be able to give your maximum effort and this will affect the development of your skills. Yes, after accomplishing some success with your team you will have a wish to celebrate that success. However, this should not become your habit. Healthy lifestyle will help you to become better, as you will have more energy and your body will be stronger and capable of enduring the challenges of intense training sessions.
Have a healthy diet. Having healthy and adequate meals is extremely important for young football players. This will allow you to have enough energy and stay fit, while keeping your immunity strong. Have plenty of vitamins and minerals and keep your diet as diverse as possible. Healthy diet contributes to proper growth and development of young athletes. Protein rich nutrition will influence positively on your muscle structure and muscle mass. This is the essential for the satisfaction of energy needs during intense training sessions. Best sources of protein are eggs, milk, fish, chicken, nuts and mushrooms. Besides protein, you must have enough carb intake, especially fruit and vegetables. Diverse diet must include fats of vegetable and animal origin. When we talk about the right time for having a meal, it is around two hours before practice. This will give enough time to your body to consume food and produce energy. After the training session, you should also wait for two hours before having another meal. The best way is to have around 5 or 6 meals during the day.
Be patient. Arm yourself with this trait, as this is essential on your road toward success. You will experience many difficulties, but stay patient and focused. Be persistent, work hard and the accomplishments will come. Sometimes, you may be left out of your team, play less minutes than your teammates, or the coach will not have confidence in your abilities. Have the patience and continue to work on improving yourself. Focus on the things that directly depend on you and your effort. Train hard and establish healthy habits and routine, and the results will come. Patience is the virtue of many successful athletes. Being patient will help you to be mentally stronger and it will come handy when dealing with difficult situations.
Think positive. Young football players must above all have a positive attitude toward training and his goals. Youngsters should set upon themselves high and realistic goals. The road to success is a long-term process, which demands a lot of sacrifice and effort. In order to succeed, you must be persistent. It will not be easy, but never give up. Always stay on your track and encourage yourself. Motivate yourself to be better with every training session and focus on that. The accomplishments will come. It will not be easy. There will be time when things will not go your way. Do not let anger and disappointment overpower you. In those times, when things are not ideal, stay calm and focus on improving yourself. Being mentally strong is an ability, which distinguishes professional players from the rest. Sometimes they win the game, sometimes they lose. Sometimes they are the ones that bring trophies to their team, sometimes they are the ones who are guilty for losing it. Nevertheless, they move on. Professionals do not let themselves be restrained by those circumstances. You also must be like them, stay motivated and enthusiastic.
Connect with the football world. For many people around the world, football represents the “most important of all unimportant things”. If you want to become a great footballer, try to spend your free time getting information about football and you will love this beautiful game. Watch football matches, analyze the playing style of famous footballers, read books and football magazines, and follow sport topics on social networks. Try to reach your idols and to talk with them. Follow their advice. Pay attention to the lessons learned by them and find out what it takes to be a great football player. Pay special attention to how they act in certain situations, what their actions are when they have the ball in their possession, but also when they are without the ball. Listen carefully and read about the success in football and what it takes to accomplish that. Compare your own playing style with others and look for the things you can adapt. Getting familiar with these topics can and will improve your tactical knowledge and help you improve your football abilities. One great way to be in the world of football is to follow the games of your favorite club. Especially if you can watch the game at the stadium. Make it your dream to play for that club. This can be an amazing motivation, especially for younger players.
Establish a growth mindset
Growth mindset is a popular tool that can help young players fulfill their dreams. This represents the process of focusing on the final goal and the process needed to achieve it. If you acquire a growth mindset, you will continuously look for new ways for improvement. This will keep you interested in a chance for progress and how you can improve your playing abilities. That way, you will always tend to look for techniques and methods, which will boost your development of your skills. Growth mindset will also change the way you look at some other things, like making mistakes. You will not look at them as obstacles and something stressful. Mistakes will be an opportunity to learn, and through overcoming these mistakes, young players will gradually improve their game.
Spend some time networking and meeting agents
Football club of your dreams may be just one conversation away. Through networking at tournaments and other sports manifestations, young players have a chance to meet other players, and football agents. Being connected helps your chances of being scouted and signed for football clubs. It is important to keep in mind some tips for being better at it:
Be specific and straightforward
Be realistic in your wishes
Keep professional attitude
Focus on quality connections, not on quantity
Build better relations with other players
This is one of the most loved characteristics among young athletes. Young players tend to be cheeky and full of themselves sometimes. Especially after achieving notable results. However, this is not something that is encouraged in the world of sport. This kind of attitude can hurt the locker room atmosphere and disrupt relationships among players, which is something every coach wishes to avoid. Being humble is the key here. Humble players let their playing abilities talk for themselves. They do not point out their own achievements, but the achievements of the entire team. They are aware that achieved results would not be possible without teamwork, and the success is the mutual venture of all members. If you are humble, you will earn respect from your coach, your teammates, and the entire community. The connection with all of them will be greater, and you will even establish yourself as a role model to youngsters. Being humble also removes competitiveness in the squad, which will enhance togetherness in the team.
Always believe in yourself
Never lose the faith in yourself. Confidence is one factor that is often pointed out as a key to success of many professional footballers. If you feel like you do not have confidence, do not worry. This is something you can work on and improve it. And that will maybe be the greatest asset for you as a young football player. Get to know with yourself and your skills. Know your limitations and advantages. You will be more aware of your possibilities and you can feel more confident playing. Having confidence in your abilities will give you more faith in yourself when playing competitive games. Great way to be more confident with the ball is to have individual training sessions. More practicing this way will do wonders for your confidence and will make you believe more in yourself and your playing abilities.