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.