I wanted to write this post because I feel that this isn't prioritized when players are learning the game. Because simplicity doesn't take precedent, this is where kids can lose growth in their game. Simplicity in soccer is something that needs to be developed if you want to get to a place where you've achieved your goals.
I know we all have been through tough times where your game isn't coming together. Your touch might be off; you can't score goals, your passing is shaky, etc.. When this happens, it is human nature to either get down on yourself or push too hard, which isn't going to get you through this challenging time. I want to tell you that simplicity is what will get you back in form. Simplicity is what gives players confidence in their game to take a risk and be the best version of themselves.
For me, I can remember the uncertain times Quincy, and I faced when we were playing together in Colorado. It was Quincy's second year in the league, and it was my rookie season. Quincy's frustrations and my frustrations were similar in that we weren't getting a lot of playing time. We both went from being great college players to hoping we would make the 18 man game day roster.
You are always hearing people saying, "Believe in yourself," and I understand why they say this, but this isn't as black and white as it seems. Believing in yourself has to have a catalyst. You have to have action! The action is key to anyone wanting to achieve greatness. Our action was to keep it simple. Don't complicate the game and go back to what got you that far.
We would get out to practice early, stay late, and focus on our technical ability. We would do different dribbling, passing, and shooting drills to get to a place of where we felt sharp. Because we did this consistently, we were always prepared for any situation that happens in a game of soccer because we had confidence in our ability.
Once we did feel confident in our performances, it didn't stop there. We kept putting in the work and never became complacent.
What we see a lot in the game is people think they don't need to continue the extra work (complacency). If this happens, all the hard work up to this point is a waste. Don't waste opportunities because you never know if you'll get them again.
Make sure that you identify when you're going through a rut, and put a plan in place that can help you. Like we did, get out to practice early and get those reps in. All the greats in life or sports understand the importance of intentionally practice to improve their craft.
Continue to work hard, study the game, and have fun!