What to be a pro footballer? There are two things I distinctly remember from my Grandfather’s many speeches: you only get once to make a good impression and actions speak louder than words. I especially found these truths to be applicable to soccer and I learned to recognize and appreciate them in my opponents. Here is a list of what 5 habits of a pro footballer look like on the pitch:
#1 Be on time for everything
How many times have you heard, “If you’re early then you’re on time; if you’re on time then you’re late”?
True – if you come racing into a parking lot at 8:55 a.m. when your supposed to be there at 9:00 a.m. then you’re late. On property grounds does not count. You still have to grab your bag, keys, phone, etc. and then race to the locker room.
Plus if you do get there just a few minutes before, it’s a bit disrespectful to the coach/manager. It shows you don’t want to be there as much as others might.
Professionals are the ones who are on time for meeting, practice, of course games, but then small things like meeting in the hotel lobby for walks after away meals. In high school and college you will often have someone late for different things. In the pros that doesn’t fly.
Even the best players who have so much freedom. Being late is a no no and if you are not on time, you won’t be in the league very long.
Being a pro footballer is more than just being a good player or having the connections. You have to act like a professional. Same goes in the work force right.
#2 Never settle for where you are
Never be content to have ‘made’ the squad, the national team, the travel team. There is always someone better who’s making their way up.
In youth soccer you can be the best without working super hard… In the pros it’s not like this.
Humility goes a long way toward staying hungry.
Try your hardest every time and you’ll be amazed at the respect you earn in return.
Even the best pro footballer will admit they need to improve.
I forget who said it, but it goes like this “If you are the best player on the team, then you need to change teams. Always try to challenge yourself and don’t become too comfortable.”
If you are the best, try to find a way by moving teams or leagues. Unless you are happy where you are of course. But sometimes a change is what people need to keep that spark going.
What ever you do try to do your best each day, because they add up.
Be patient with your journey and believe in the abilities you’ve been given.
#3 A pro footballer deals with pain
I am not a big fan of the ‘let’s-see-who-is-the-toughest’ games but I cannot stand complainers, whiners, or those who are dramatic over small things.
Expect to get injured, be it a small nick or a cleats up moment or shedding blood, and decide before time to deal with the problem and move on without the fuss.
If you have a week where you feel 100% then enjoy that week, because there aren’t many.
There is always a leg that got kicked or a muscle that is sore.
When you are hurt, deal with it and know that it will go away. But there are things that can definitely help you feel better faster!
#4 Take care of your body
Rest when you should and push beyond your expected limits when its time.
Remember that your body is made to be strong and resilient but no one can expect any person or machine to run without proper fuel, treatment, and rest.
If you have plans to move forward with soccer at a higher level of play then you have to think and treat yourself as a professional with a vested interest in your body’s well-being.
#5 Body language matters in everything
YES – the coach [& your teammates, their parents, other kids, fans, your parents] know when you’re unhappy you were benched. If the kicking the Gatorade or making ugly faces didn’t give you away, then I am sure the crossed arms over your chest might be a clue.
Don’t misunderstand – I LOVE passion for the game – but it must be tempered with respect for the game, your future, and others. If you DO show poor taste in emotion, make up for it by being excited to cheer on your teammates on the field.
Body language can be more powerful than words.
Think about it. You can without saying anything, even to a person of another language and let them know with body language your feelings. That’s why it is or can be more powerful.
Same goes if you barely get minutes in the game.
The player that is good enough to be on the team, but not good enough to get lots of minutes on game day. This is a situation in my opinion that you also need to change teams or leagues. What is the point playing on a really good team, but you don’t get to play?
Try to put yourself in a situation where you are playing minutes.
A pro footballer is always working on their craft
Nowadays there are either the quitters or the ones who kept going. 70% are the ones who quit. And I don’t mean it’s a bad thing or they are “quitters”. I am just saying that if you keep practicing and working hard you will get what you want.
Only about 30% of people keep on with what they started. So if you are continuing to improve your game, you are coming up the charts as others fall off.
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