Really discouraged, need some advice

Tell us about the league you playing in, tryouts, etc
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Markly23
Sophomore Member
Posts: 25
Joined: 06 Jun 2010, 00:42

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I'm not too sure exactly what to say in particular so I'll just give a brief overview of my football career so far.

I am from the USA, 16 years old now. I play attacking center mid and outside mid. My mom did get me into the very bottom level of organized soccer when I was young, but I only played a year or two until I played again in like 3rd grade at my grade school. My real passion for the game came around 5th grade. I started to follow it professionally, and it was then when I first decided that I wanted to become a professional more than anything. I wish I could have the attitude I did then, thinking "Oh well that's just what I'll do then."

I played for the highest level of club soccer we have here which is an alright club that is pretty well known. I joined late though, either 6th or 7th grade and only did it for a year. I didn't like it because I felt I wasn't good enough to play with them, they'd been playing together since like age 8 or something. Looking back on it now, I should have listened to my mom who said I was just as good as anyone there. Granted, I was a bit right in thinking that she's just trying to make me feel better, but it still wasn't too far from the truth and I would have been right on their level had I stuck with it.

I practiced a good bit on my own throughout grade school, and was a fairly good player. As it is now, confidence was always my problem, and I can't seem to overcome it still. I can only remember a few select games where I feel I played to my potential, where I felt as good as I did training. Other times I let my bad mentality get to me and I still do. I have no idea how to overcome this.

I made the JV team my freshman year, and started nearly every game. I can't remember any games where I really felt good about my performance. This season as a sophomore, my 2nd on JV, I felt the same way. I never felt like I really stood out despite how hard I worked.

The worst part about this, that just kills me is that this summer before my sophomore year, I rode my bike to the field nearly every day and took shots, did some dribbling drills and stuff, but I still didn't make Varsity. Meanwhile, my friend John who made Varsity as a freshman and started as a sophomore, spent nearly every day on his couch watching TV. He told me this himself, and NEVER wanted to come shoot around with me at the field. There's plenty of players who are miles better than me who never even think about practicing on their own. Hell, two varsity starters who are very solid players are complete potheads and STILL better than me.

I read about all these professional players, and every one of them were doing something big at my age, performing well at big youth tournaments or playing for the Jr. National Team or something. With the Dallas cup going on, I just think about all these players who are going to make it because they grew up in families that encouraged their playing and got them into academies and stuff. If I could go back and tell my mom one thing it would be to have her put me in the local club team as early as possible. I don't have a soul to play with. No brothers, and none of my friends want to practice -- and yet, they're still better than me.

I hate to be dramatic, but I just feel so depressed. I can't think of anything I'd like to do more than to play professionally. I feel like I am a destined professional footballer born into the wrong circumstances, if that makes any sense.

What can I do with my training to make me improve and stand out as the player I want to be? I go and train and I don't feel like it benefits me, I feel like I should be seeing improvements all the time with the amount of time I train, but I still get outshone by kids like my friend, who spend their free time on the couch watching TV. The best possible scenario: I stand out on Varsity the next two years and go to a D1 college and then maybe get drafted into the MLS, but how do I do this? I hear it all the time: the formula is train, train, train, but it isn't seeming like its working.

Help me EF. I know this probably comes off as a bit whiny, but you have no idea how much this upsets me. I feel like my slim opportunity is passing me by like a train and I'm bound to miss it.

collin
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Joined: 11 May 2010, 03:45

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wow you are very similar to me and alot of people on this forum. I am also 16 and from the USA. I didn't start playing actual club soccer until i was 12 years old in 8th grade. I made freshman soccer as a freshman. But i busted my ass off in 9th grade and made varsity in 10th grade. I know how you feel, i felt the same way so did everybody on this forum. There will always be those kids who are "naturally good" and just sit on the couch all day. It's most likely because they started at a very young age compared to us. But, talent can only go so far. These kinds of kids won't go anywhere but the kids who go out and practice everyday in the long run will be better. Just work as hard as you can man, train with energy and go 110%. It took me a long time for me to start seeing major improvements and im sure it will be like that for you. Everyone hits different peeks at different ages. That kid that made varsity as a freshman is at his peek now, and hes only going down from here, and your going up. Don't let these things get to you just train and give it time.

Markly23
Sophomore Member
Posts: 25
Joined: 06 Jun 2010, 00:42

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Thanks collin. I'm going to keep working obviously, but some days I just feel what I talked about in my post really strongly and it really discourages me.

I'll probably make Varsity next year, but the thing I need to work for is playing time and obviously good performances. My HS team is VERY good, my freshman year they lost in the AAA state semifinal in penalties, and the team that won tied in the final, for some reason they made them joint winners...

Anyways, I need to figure out how I should train to improve, maybe my training isn't how it should be. I never have much of a routine as I find that kind of repetitive, I just sorta do whatever. Should I have a routine?

nick117
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Joined: 27 Aug 2009, 23:14

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Routines are absolutely essential for improving the weaker areas and they allow for more focus when practicing. It's hard to put 100% into something when theres no rules for just playing around.

desire10
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Joined: 23 Feb 2011, 05:47

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Markly a lot of people on this forum, especially me feel your pain, your definitely not alone!

To get you started, I think you should have a read of this - http://www.expertfootball.com/forum/vie ... php?t=8588, and also have a look around the Training Routines/Featured Articles section for examples and info on routines. Nick is right, a training routine is an absolute must-have. Grab a pen and paper, and have a good sit-down. Jot down your strengths, followed by your weaknesses and what needs improving. This is just my opinion. but you'll want to be doing as many sessions as you can isolating your weaknesses, and just one/two freshening up your strengths. This is what I do and speeds up the process of skill development.

Ask around for some drills and critiquing on your routines/schedule and we'll all be very glad to help.
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arsenalfc08
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Joined: 03 Jul 2007, 20:34

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As Desire10 said sit down and jot down your strengths and weakness be honest about it. Then look for ways to improve your weakness but also keep your strengths sharp.

As for high school don't let that be your main focus to try and play in college. High school games are rarely scouted a lot of scouting is done at tournaments and club games. Coaches are able to see a lot more players at tournaments and its less expensive than traveling from high school to high school.

Try going to some college camps this summer and contact colleges yourself. Honestly a lot of times a player is going to have to make the inital contact with schools. Unless you are a top player you'll have to do a lot of it yourself. It doesn't mean you still can't get a scholarship or a spot on a team.

Are you playing club soccer now? If not there should be tryouts starting soon. You should be playing club especially to give you something to do once the high school season is over.

Markly23
Sophomore Member
Posts: 25
Joined: 06 Jun 2010, 00:42

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I guess I'll do a routine then. I have tried routines before, but I remember feeling like it was a bit useless but now I'm going to try to spend the sessions on specific skills for the whole time and not just a bunch of stuff I had written down.

@arsenalfc08 I am playing club now. It's a decent club, there are a handful of good players and then there's a good deal of REALLY terrible ones, but I suppose I spend most of the time training with the better ones. If I can improve for next season, I might move back to that one club I talked about in the first post.

Also, I am actually going to the Louisville University camp this summer, 5 days and I'll sleep over there, so that should be interesting. Seeing as I'm only a sophomore and they probably will be looking more at juniors/seniors, I'm not so sure what will happen with that. I really want to take advantage of this by asking the coaches there what they can tell me about my play and how they think I can improve, etc.) Is this a good idea?

Thanks for all the help everyone.

panchester07
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Joined: 27 Aug 2007, 04:25

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Well.. training makes one better thats a fact. but maybe your expecting too much, or not training intensly enough..

try to make yourr drills specific, and really intense...

for example, right now, you migt say " i train ", but in reality you mess around with the ball, and do a general drill that might or might not help...

if you want to train receiving..go to a wall, and boot it 50 times, and receive it, perfectly.. 100% focus, 100% intensity, and you will get better..

but maybe if you say, i'm going to train my receiving, by juggling, and then you juggle, it drops, then you do a little stepover and play with the ball, and then you do it agian, and it drops, and you mess around , and you play, then you think about a random thought, etc, then your training isn't structured, smart, specific or intense....

thats just a thought, but i used to struggle with this, till i made my training drills specific and went realy hard on each and everone of them
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thatguyoverthere
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Joined: 16 Jan 2011, 15:57

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Like clearly many other people on here i would say i am like you in the fact that i struggle so much with.confidence that it gets to the point when its no longer funny lol but i have struggled with believing how good i am for a while and have only a few games these season where i believe i played near to my potential and in those matches i scored atleast 2 Haha for me in a game i will do something bad and instead of like a normal person who would want the ball back to try again i end up thinking i will mess up again so in my head i dont want the ball and of course cus my head is like this when i get the ball i do flipping mess up Haha and through years of helpful advice i still struggle on it. So i see your problem in confidence and the only hope i have of getting over it is some genius advice from this forum Haha or maybe just maybe i will wise up and sudden start playing with belief, who knows lol

terminator
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Posts: 161
Joined: 30 May 2008, 14:01

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Markly23 wrote: I feel like I am a destined professional footballer born into the wrong circumstances, if that makes any sense.
Thats exactly how I feel for the past 3 years. All I can say is: just enjoy. Don't stress.

I have been having a very sh*t week. A lot of personal stuff and not sure about what I am studying is actually worth it...maybe I am spending too much time on football...whether that is worth it. Maybe I should be more focused on my career and uni in general. SO I had made up my mind I was going to quit football next year...

Then at today's game...after a 5 losing streak...I scored a volley and we won! Everyone started cheering and saying how awesome my goal was.
And I forgot about all my regrets, all the sh*t in my head...I just really enjoyed myself.

Maybe end of the day...have a goal to be pro and work towards it BUT don't stress if you don't and just enjoy yourself.

arsenalfc08
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Joined: 03 Jul 2007, 20:34

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Balance is absolutely key guys!!! Don't spend all your time focusing on football, making it pro, getting a college scholarship, live life.

The last thing you want to do is look back on your life and regret not that you didn't pursue football but that you didn't pursue other things.

Its very possible to balance your life so you're happy all around.

TheBrilliance
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Posts: 186
Joined: 12 Apr 2011, 07:40

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arsenalfc08 wrote:Balance is absolutely key guys!!! Don't spend all your time focusing on football, making it pro, getting a college scholarship, live life.

The last thing you want to do is look back on your life and regret not that you didn't pursue football but that you didn't pursue other things.

Its very possible to balance your life so you're happy all around.
This is correct. I changed my lifestyle and it benefits my football in so many ways.

Work hard on your football, but dont assume all this mentality is going to help you through it. If you wanna be a pro..you know it. But leave it in the back of your mind...itll help.

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