A Determined Soccer Player Can Never Take It Easy

Always play hard! - (Photo: Metrowestdailynews.com)

The moment a soccer player gets too comfortable is the time when their career is in major jeopardy of peaking.  Part of the thrill of a soccer player’s life is the new experiences, challenges, and triumphant accomplishments along the way.  However, until you win the World Cup and earn Man of the Match honors, there is always a higher mountain to climb.  And even if you do complete the ultimate victory in the game, there is still the pressure to repeat and cement your legacy.  For young players growing up, they need to learn this fact from an early age.

The worst thing for a developing soccer player is to be the best kid in his or her league.  Sure, these days are great, full of dominance and victories and goals.  But the problem comes in the mindset for the child.  They may become over-confident and already feel like they are on the sure path to greatness.  A dose of reality can be crucial for such a child.  If you kid is far and away the most talented person on the pitch, put them in a challenge or premier league next year.  Not only will they benefit from playing against tougher opposition, but also they will understand how much more work is needed if they really want to become a professional soccer player.  Another thing you may want to consider is putting your kid in a higher age group for the same reasons listed above.

The same thing actually occurs at the professional level.  Last year, American striker Jozy Altidore was the best player in the Dutch league’s AZ Alkmaar.  He broke records for an American soccer player abroad, netting 31 goals in 41 appearances.  He made the switch to Sunderland of the English Premier League and so far has scored just 1 goal in 10 appearances, and even that goal was in the lowly Carling Cup!  While I’m sure that Jozy enjoyed the thrill of dominating the Dutch soccer league, he understood that he needed to join a harder league in order to improve.  Let’s just hope he can find his scoring boots in time for the World Cup next summer!

But what this example points to is that players must always be trying to better themselves.  Had he stayed in Holland sure he would still dominate, but he would eventually grow complacent, lazy, and his overall skill would decline.  The new challenge will be crucial in helping take his game to the next level.

The remarkable thing about the world’s best players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is that they never seem to be satisfied with where they’re at, and they continue to make strides forward to improve.  Surely, the pair is now pushing each other further since there is a definite rivalry between them, but such top soccer players must strive to always improve.  Remember, there will always be another game and a new challenge, and new players are always trying to break their way in.  Never get comfortable about where you are in your soccer team because the moment you do is when your level of play will drop and opponents will catch up to you.  Constant vigilance is necessary for the ultimate successes!


Comments