#AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 035: How to Improve Your Vision and Awareness

Our latest episode of the Ask A Soccer Pro Show featured none other than… you! Thank you to everyone who asked questions, called in, and collaborated during the live. You really showed me how much you’ve been embodying our core values, especially, Teamwork!

If you weren’t able to make the live, here’s what we talked about:

  • Improving awareness and vision in the game.
  • My thoughts on recovery after games and practices.
  • What wins: talent, or hard work?
  • What’s fueling our confidence and lack of confidence?

How can I improve both my awareness and vision?

Having good awareness and vision are key to becoming a successful soccer player. Often, players get the two confused though. Before we go further, let's break down what awareness and vision are:

  • Awareness is an alignment and acknowledgment of the things is around you.
  • Vision is seeing what’s coming before it gets there.

As soccer players, we need to exercise both our awareness and vision constantly! So how do we develop these skills?

To develop our vision, we first need to develop our awareness. Cultivating our awareness, whether it’s in the game or in life, stems from the same process. I’m sure you’ve heard me at least mention the Amarikwa process before. The first three steps (the 3 S’s) of the process will get you to the level of Self-Awareness you need to visualize both your game and your life.

First, we have to practice some Self-Honesty, and start asking ourselves some hard questions.

  • Am I happy with where I am at this moment in time?
    • Yes? Move on to the next step.
    • No? Am I willing to do what is necessary or change what I must?
      • Yes? No?

Self-honesty is critical for us to get an accurate picture of our situation. Now, practicing self-honesty is always a win/win because we emerge from our questioning with an answer. Even if we aren’t happy with our current situation, if we are willing to put in the work, we can make a change. 

If we answered ‘yes’ to putting in the work for change, we can move on to Self-Initiative.

  • What is the initiative I need to take to become self-aware? (For example: Do you need to work on a new drill? Do you need to change your nutrition plan?)
  • If you don’t know how to do something, take the steps to find out! Conduct research, join this live session, ask others who have done the same thing. (The internet is a great resource, and there is so much information available to you for free!)
  • Take steps to move forward.

So, you’ve figured out what you aren’t happy about in your current situation and have figured out what you need to do to change. You’ve researched and talked to others to figure out how to do that new drill or make a new nutrition plan and you’ve started! Now, comes the hard part, making sure you stick with your plan and achieve your goal.

Practicing Self-Accountability will allow you to adhere to the plans you’ve put in place and work toward your goals. Remember, we are focused on the long-term here, not instant success. If we’re looking long-term, that’s going to require some serious commitment and doing the right things over and over. The little things, when done consistently, add up over time, giving us either immense positive gains or negative results.

You MUST hold yourself accountable to the things that you have put in place to get yourself to where you need to go. Do you need to set alerts on your phone? Do you need to keep a written log? Whatever plan or mechanism you need to put in place to stay accountable, do it!

What Wins, Talent or Hard Work?

Talent, that innate natural skill to do something well is great. But talent in the absence of hard work, or at least some sort of consistent work rate isn’t enough; hard work will win every time in this scenario.

Hard work and self-awareness go a long way toward helping us achieve our goals, even if we aren’t the most talented person on the field. If you know what you are good at, and what you aren’t, you’re able to develop a plan to be your best. 

What is Confidence?

Confidence is the result of a belief in yourself and then seeing that your belief is paying off. When you believe in yourself, the more you do and practice. Your efforts build up over time, netting positive results.

On the opposite end, lack of confidence is seeing things you aren’t good at and 'knowing' you’re not good at them. When you lack confidence, you don’t even try to do the things you’re not skilled at, you hide, you avoid doing more and you avoid making mistakes. As a result, you are left with diminishing returns.

How do we develop our confidence then? We first need to be self-aware. We need to know what we are good at. If you know your vision and passing is way better than everyone else’s, that’s what you’re good at! That’s your game.

You want to get SO good at your game, that when a coach sees you, s/he won’t look at anyone else to fill your role. Maybe there are ten teams, and eight don’t need a player like you. But of the two teams that are left, neither one can function without what you bring to the table.

Now developing and mastering your game is going to take a lot of hard work, even if you are naturally talented. You must be better than everyone else at what you do. This is where Self-Initiative and Self-Accountability come into play. You need to identify the steps you must take and the processes you must implement to become your best. Then, you’ve got to make sure you stick with your plan long enough to see results.

Final Thoughts

Everything starts with Self-Awareness. Developing your vision and awareness of the game? Self-Awareness. Increasing your confidence? Self-Awareness. Knowing ourselves is the most important and powerful tool we have to reach our goals

I’m looking forward to seeing you here next week!