How hard do you train?
How focused are you in practice?
How prepared are you for soccer games?
If you are not giving full effort towards developing your game, mentally and physically and fully preparing for each game, then you are doing a disservice to yourself and your team.
Soccer is a team sport, so you owe it to your teammates to be at your best.
There is a saying, “The best ability is availability,” but availability means little without productivity.
How can you be productive?
The answer is by being physically prepared, technically prepared and mentally prepared. Only by being wholly prepared for each match, whether you play or not, are you contributing to your team’s maximum potential throughout the season.
A great example of consistent preparation is the career of US Women’s National Team forward Christen Press.
Press earned her 100th cap for the U.S. Women’s National Team in the June 12, 2018 match against the People’s Republic of China.
Press’ career with the US National Team has spanned five years.
Press has started about half of those 100 matches but has played minutes in nearly every game during her career.
Press has contributed 44 goals throughout her career which is 14th on the all-time WNT goals list.
Press commits to being fully prepared and ready to play, no matter what her role is for each game.
Press’ off-the-field preparation, doing the little things to improve her game and contribute to the overall success of the team is something she takes great pride in on a daily basis.
PRESS: “I have been available for every single National Team game. I haven’t played in every single one, but I’ve been available since my first cap and I do think that’s different. Most players on this team have gone through some sort of injury or something. I work very hard in my down time to do my recovery and strengthen and make sure I’m available in those games and I take a lot of pride in that.”
If you are committed to improving your game and level of preparation you need to ask yourself several questions:
- What do I need to do to improve my physical game preparation? Your physical game includes conditioning, agility, speed, flexibility, rehab and strength training.
- What do I need to do to improve my technical and tactical preparation?
These aspects include all the skills associated with top players and include your soccer IQ or tactical aspects of the game.
- What do I need to do to be prepared mentally?
The mental aspects of performance affect every single component of your game, including: pushing past comfort in training, learning new skills, rehabbing injury, anxiety management, confidence building, management of game-time emotions, mental toughness, goal setting and the list goes on.
Preparation is the key to confidence, consistence and peak performance.
What will you do to be better PREPARED for your NEXT game?
Coach Kat’s Power Points:
Commit to improving one aspect of your game each day.
Ask yourself, “If I improve this one aspect, how will it benefit my performance and contribution to the team?”
If you act on improving little aspects of your game, you will be better prepared to play at your peak.
Be your best… You owe it to yourself and your team.