Being a select player now requires that you take on another level of responsibility for yourself as a student-athlete. It is no longer enough to admit to your coaches that you are not fully ready for training, and that you have not made any investment in your own development besides the formal training time set aside by the team. What follows are some practical suggestions that you can adhere to in order to make the most our of your individual or team training times. It is most fun to be playing the game, so we need to do everything in our power to make sure we are ready.
READY TO PLAY
Players should bring with them to every training session the following:
– Inflated ball
– A jump rope (optional)
– Their own Water bottle
– Shin guards
– Cleats and indoor / running shoes
– Tape (optional)
– Extra shoe laces (optional)
– Emergency phone numbers
– Training suit (optional)
– A mini-ball pump in your bag (Coach should have one)
– Keepers, bring your gloves, shirt and long pants
– No jewelry, including watches.
In short, you should be ready for anything! Put these items in your bag the night before your session so that you do not have to hunt them down and thus be late for training the next morning! Try to be at practice 10- 15 minutes early, in time to get your gear on so that you are ready to start on time. Remember, if you have a flat ball, no jump rope or no shin guards … fitness!
PRACTICING ON YOUR OWN
The best thing that you can do is get your friends together, set up a field, choose sides and play. Sometimes, invite players that are older than you, and better. The most important thing is that you play, whether it is I v 1, 2v2, 4v4, or even 2v3, it doesn’t matter, just play. You can play games or work on the skills you do at training. If you can’t get others to join you, spend as much time with the ball as you can. Find a wall to kick against, invent juggling games for yourself, try to chip a ball into a garbage can from various distances, be creative, have fun. Above all, realize that is not up to your coach or your parents in order for you to get better. Every soccer player should have a wall friend somewhere. You have to claim responsibility for your own development. Once you realize how fun it is to play the game with skill, you may never want to stop!