Many people want to know what existing pathways there are to become a professional footballer. As we well know, the typical way is to play for your school team, local Club, state team, academy team, national team, go on a soccer tour or go on your own and trial with a team overseas and work your way up from there. Nowadays, there are many different pathways, which you can pursue but is which is the best one? Is it a combination of many, or is it plain old lady luck?
In today’s football world we have seen an enormous increase in football academies around the World. They have become a massive business and none more so than soccer tours. They have become enormous revenue streams and created Brand awareness. Some of the famous ones are Barcelona’s La Masia, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Porto and Ajax Amsterdam, who have probably made more money and produced more players than any other club in the World.
I have visited most of them, and from what I have seen, there is no real potion out there that is 100% bulletproof, and like in any other fields, it comes down to hard, consistent work over many years. One statistic that made an impression on me was that the most successful people in any business, including soccer, all did more specific, repeated work on their own, outside of their Club’s training schedule. These sports stars like Tiger Woods, Ronaldo, Messi, Michael Jordan just did so much more on their own to become the best. An interesting example was Son Hue Min, who plays for Tottenham. Coached by his father also an ex-professional, he didn’t let him play a competitive game until he was 14 years old. I know, it sounds crazy, but that doesn’t seem like an excellent pathway. Like it or not, he has become one of the best players in England and the World. Son developed his skills every day, and it was hard. His father was an ex-pro, which helped because he knew what he had to do to make it.
Inevitably, most players want to play at a professional level and pave a way to get there. As a personal coach, I experienced a lot of frustration from players and parents who were unable to see any real progress after many years of playing, and as a result, it has become very disheartening and distressing.
Here are some areas that you can improve immediately with a personal football coach.
- Biomechanics (ball mastery and running)
- Shooting techniques
- Crossing techniques
- First touch
- Speed endurance
- Ambidextrous (kicking the ball with both feet equally)
Training with a personal football coach close to your home helps because you don’t waste time travelling, getting tired to go and train. The situation allows you to do more work, get more rest and do it again the next day.
Unfortunately, Clubs and academies can’t perfect these areas because they have no time to work on the individual’s skills, so they must focus on team tactics and systems. Indeed, if you want to succeed as a professional footballer, you must work on developing your individual skills daily. Therefore, the game’s tactics and strategies will always be easier to learn.
“Learning the alphabet comes before spelling words.”
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