I'm going to post an interview I did with an anon pro player who happened to play for Canada's Men's World Cup Team. By posting this, I believe i will eliminate a lot of common questions such as "what does it take to go pro" and "what aspects of the game are the most important" Well here it goes:
When i started playing/training soccer, i really didn't spend a lot of time with the team, but i did go to all the games and practices. What i did spend a lot of time was individually. Working on the basic skills that a player cannot get when training with the team. I was also lucky, my father helped me through all the years i trained. He played semi-pro soccer, and we spend twice a day every day of the summer training on passing, controlling the ball, shooting, controlling the ball on the move, shooting on the move passing on the move, all of this you cannot have enought time to practice with the team so my father and i spent time on this on our own, not-stop, AND a lot of time on CONTROLLING the ball.............A LOT OF TIME. Once a player gets good at this basic and necessary skill the game becomes much more easier.
And any time my father was not able to go with me, i would go on my on for a run in the park or through the streets of Halifax, or just juggle for hours. I found that juggling really helped me improve my controll of the ball drastically.
Other things i did was watch a lot of Pro players who play my position. I would tape games, World cup games, Euros, and Champions league games and watch some of the best players, like Zidane, Maradona, Hagi from Romania, Nedved, and others to see whqt they did in certain situations. And then i would try to imitate them in Practice and Games. One thing you have to watch out for is not to end "watching" the game but "studying" the game/players.
If i could change one thing it would be to add some speed, agility, strentgh training programs in my shcedule. I do it now and it has helped me a lot. So if you can get a skipping rope, do some cone drills, smoe quick sprints (5 to 10 yards), and some plyos. Plyometrics is training program where it teaches your muscles to act explosively.
Anyways i hope this helps. Just remember that if you, not just you, but anyone who wants to be a good player can find time and do a little something to improve their game.
For example: I remember in the years i trained with my dad he would not come out and traing with me in the Winter time. SO what i would do is take the ball and go to cleared Parking lot and just juglle the ball for hours, when there is Snow all over the place. People would tell me the next day or week that they saw me juggling the ball in the parking lot last night in the cold, they would say that i was nuts. But now i see them time to time and they tell me they wish they had done the same thing.
Stick to it,and try to Find Time to play soccer, or at least to do something that will help you with your game.
Take it step by step and have fun while doing it.
P.S Dont take criticism the wrong way. Don't let it get to you. Especially from players. if they tell you "you suck" that is just a frustation comeing from them. Take each criticism and change it to a positive, and prove them wrong the next game or practice.