Working Through Obstacles to Achieve Success
When you think about your athletic dreams, what do you think about?
Do you think about making your high school varsity soccer team as a freshman? Or maybe you hope to earn a Division-I athletic scholarship and be a four-year starter? Or possibly, you dream of competing on the national team or playing professionally?
Dreams can be inspiring for a time but rarely come to fruition. Why do so many dreams go unfulfilled?
Most dreams lack umph. In other words, most dreams do not provide longstanding motivation, nor do they inspire long-term effort. If you lack steadfast commitment, your dreams will never become your reality.
Its easy to talk the talk, but many athletes are not willing to walk the walk when the road gets rough.
In our Mental Game of Soccer Survey, a high school goalkeeper sent us the following:
“How can I play at a consistent level all season long? The best goalkeepers in the world play so great because they only have a couple of off games in a season. This is the level of goalkeeping I want to reach.”
First, you should give yourself credit for having a vision for the athlete you want to become. However, an athletic vision is not enough. You need to be committed to working through the tough times.
You will experience hardships in your athletic career. Injuries, mistakes, slow progress, slumps, lack of playing time, conflict with coaches can delay your affect your performance.
Some soccer players are not willing to put in the work when the work gets hard. For instance, you are playing against a rival club. You get caught out of position and give up an easy goal.
You become flustered and start yelling at your teammates. You are so uptight that you let in another goal a few minutes later. As a result, you are pulled from the game by your coach in the second half.
When you go to your next practice, will you be focused on improving cutting off angles, or will you be angry at your coach for getting benched? Will you focus on blocking every shot during drills or only the ones that are easy to save?
When you are committed to achieving a goal, obstacles will not deter you. Growth requires work.
You need to get dirty to achieve your athletic objectives. When you want to accomplish something great, you need to adopt a walk the walk mentality.
For instance, each player on the USMNT had a dream of competing internationally. The USMNT has an average starting lineup under 24 years old, one of the youngest in the world attempting to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Despite their early rise in the sport, the players continue to push and further develop their skills and achieve their ultimate goal of winning the World Cup.
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter commented on the need for a workhorse type of mentality. “Everyone wants to win games, right? But the other side of it is, its just talk. And then you have to go out and do it, and it’s very difficult to do.”
The difference between athletic success and failure is not what you are willing to do to achieve success but what you are willing to do when the road becomes rougher.
Success Starts with Commitment
Success starts with commitment. Commitment to work through obstacles is a characteristic of all elite soccer players.
One way to stay committed is to start each practice with a commitment goal, Today, I will commit to outworking everyone on the field or Today, I will commit to improving my dribbling skills.
It’s great to have long-term goals for your sport. However, you want to go after those goals every day in practice. You must walk the walk to achieve your dreams.
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Does your confidence seem to disappear when you go from practice to games?
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Do you get so frustrated after making a bad pass that your confidence sinks?
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