The soccer landscape, in America, is changing at all levels. Soccer is being magnified and people are now paying attention to the opportunities soccer can present. Soccer participation is on the rise and more kids are competing and wanting to be pros. Kids in America now want to play for MLS Academies, with the end goal of making it to the first team.
This has been happening forever in other parts of the world, but when a country of 329,00,000 catches wind, the sport will take a turn.
I see the US model has its pros and cons, but America is committed to producing better soccer players. It’s amazing to see Christian Pulisic playing for Chelsea, or Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams playing in the Bundesliga. More Americans are playing in Europe and this is a beautiful thing. Now that these players have started to be seen more, more youth players and parents want their son or daughter to play at this level. Which means parents and kids are obsessing over the game.
It’s up to parents and the player to determine the appropriate amount of time that is going to be dedicated to the game. Not everyone's kid will be a pro, and thats okay because soccer teaches great lessons, regardless of level, for a lifetime
What I’m trying to get at is soccer should be fun, and with the pressure, kids are feeling now, they need to be reminded of that. Today’s in-depth is going to help you pose questions to yourself to figure out if you’re having fun playing the beautiful game.
1. Do you enjoy your teammates
Soccer is the ultimate team sport, and is much more enjoyable if you're playing with people you like. I'm not saying you have to be best friends with everyone, but theere should be some type respect for each teammatte. Some of my best friends to this day were my former teammattes, and i'm thankful for the game of soccer bringing us together. If you don't like the players on your team, you might want to think about changing teams. Soccer is a game and it should be fun!
2. Do you overthink the game?
It's good to think about the game and be a student of the game, but it is detrminetal to ones devlopment if they over think every play and dwelling on old plays. Soccer is a fast flowing game, so you must be able to have a short memeory. Yes there is a time to go back and think about mistakes and ways to improve, but that time isn't during the match. Worrying about old plays is the best way to not focus on current and upcoming plays, and you don't want that.
3. Are you too hard on yourself?
There is a time and place for everything, so you should be hard on yourself and and take resposnbilty, but not at the expense of your all around game. Talk yourself up, don't talk yourself down. Don't focus on the negative always and never bring to light the positive. Your mindset will be the biggest weapon you have as a player. Learn how to control it, and watch your game take off to new levels!
4 .Do you enjoy every part of the game
Soccer is all-encompassing. If you aren't loving the good and the bad and everything in between, you will struggle. You have to love the grind, and you have to embrace the tough times and the mental side of the game. If competeting, working hard, and the big moments scare you, you'll never enjoy the game because it won't be enjoyable. keep at it and embrace what the game has to offer.