All too often soccer players do not have a plan that clearly explains how they will achieve their soccer ambitions. Think of your plan like a resume. You must be constantly reviewing your plan to make sure there are no wholes, red flags or issues that may arise. Once you have covered all grounds you will be much closer to realizing your dreams. Having a plan and constantly re-visiting it will bring you comfort in knowing you are on your way. You’ll also be able to measure how close or far off you are from achieving certain goals of yours. Also be sure to share your plan with other people who can help you achieve them.
Don’t go sailing blind hoping for the best. Don’t say “I have a plan in my mind.” Actually write it down on paper. Create it so that if you were to share it with someone who does not know you, they will know exactly what you are trying to achieve and how you plan on doing that.
Give yourself a specific time you want to achieve your goals. Some goals may take longer than others and you may not have realized the difficulty or length of time required for each of them. Once you have your plan written out it will be your guide to help you on your way.
Take summer school: I should have done sooner. Take summer as soon as you can in order to get ahead with your studies. This will help you in the short and long term. In terms of your academics, it will help keep you sharp during the long summers away from school. When you return to school in the fall there will not be as big of a transition back to into studies.
Taking summer school at a young age will help you in terms of your soccer career when you are older because it will free up time for yourself. When you are in high school you will have more time to train, concentrate on being recruited and will have overall less stress when dealing with your studies. You may even be able to fast track high school which can only work in your favour.
Think of your plan as a long term project. There are many steps that need to be taken along the way. Do not think you can neglect the planning and then cram it all in your final year of high school. You can try this approach, however, it will be very stressful and your plan may not work out the way you would like it to.
The sooner you have a plan, the better. It may take some of us longer than others to visualize our dreams and develop a plan but really ask yourself the hard questions as to where you want to be with your life in 1 year, 2-3 years and 5 + years.
Prioritize/time management: with summer school, soccer and the possibly a summer job you will have to organize your time very efficiently. This could mean going to bed earlier and waking up earlier. You may have to reduce time in front of the television or in other areas of your life in order to maximize your time on the pitch and in the classroom. I am a big user of technology but am still an avid user of the daily planner. It helps planning out the weeks and months ahead and being the most organized possible. I write out my goals for the entire week and then list them each day. To further that, each goal has a priority or ranking in terms of importance and then I decide how I am going to tackle each one. There are many other means of organization and methods of tracking your work but this is what I have always done and has worked very well.
Give-up something in order to get something: the best soccer players in the world have all had to make sacrifices in other areas of their lives in order to be where they are today. Each of us has different areas of our lives that take up a large part of our time. I decided to stop playing competitive hockey as it was several days a week and I was enjoying soccer more. I made this decision at the age of thirteen. I am not suggesting you should quit sports or not have fun with your friends but if you truly want your soccer dreams to come true you might have to give up quite a bit or do everything possible in order for them to happen.
Attaining your soccer goals can be done. However, just don’t think that they will happen on their own. Develop a written plan. Review it every couple months to make sure you are on track and make any changes that you feel necessary. Share your plan with others that can help you. Most importantly, once you’ve created your plan now you must implement it. Don’t just sit there and do nothing. Take action.