Every soccer athlete comes into summer camp expecting to compete for a starting position in the fall. Unfortunately, many will come up short because they failed to put themselves in a position to succeed. Earning a starting spot is a byproduct of hard work year-round. Luckily, there are many things you can do to help ensure you become a better high school soccer player before you report for camp.
1: Be On-Time
Coaches expect the best players to show up. If you want to compete at the highest level, you should make a conscious effort to show up to every practice on time. If practice starts at 6 AM, arriving at 5:59AM is not on time. Show up 10 minutes early, ready to work. Mandatory workouts aren’t actually mandatory. Coaches notice who’s attending and who isn’t. If you have work or family commitments, let your coach know and show up when you’re available.
2: Go The Extra Mile For Your Teammates
Maybe it’s a senior captain, maybe it’s an incoming freshman who’s never played before. Always do everything you can to help make them better. If you’re in the weight room and a teammate is struggling, offer assistance. If a freshman makes a mistake on the field, explain to them how to correct their errors and learn from it. You don’t need to bring snacks to every practice, but making an effort to offer support won’t go unnoticed. Coaches will recognize when you put yourself out there to help others. Pump up balls before practice, carry cones to drills and lead your team warm-up. These are all things that will earn the respect of your teammates and coaches. They will reward you when the time comes.
3: Don’t Wait Until Practice Starts To Improve
If you wait until the season starts to get in shape, you’re already too late. You’ll be fighting to get and stay in shape for the season. Take 2-3 days per week during the off-season to better your fitness. There are plenty of resources available via stack.com to help you achieve these goals. Taking a yoga class, working on sprinting, and completing a circuit workout are easy ways to make the commitment to being in your best shape when you report for camp.
4: Be A Student Of The Game
You don’t need to spend the entire off-season watching every soccer game possible, but it will help if you understand the game. Use your free time to learn different formations and tactics. Read a book that discusses the game from a global perspective so you understand how athletes around the world play the game. Watch youtube videos of the best players in the world to understand how they move and play your position. Go the extra mile and ask your coach what formation he plans to utilize, then study it and understand how you can fit into his system. Understanding the game at a high level will instill a level of trust with your coach. He will rely on you to be a coach on the field in difficult situations.
5: Support Your Hard Work With Proper Nutrition
Cut the sodas and energy drinks. Ditch the chips and pizza. It’s okay to indulge on occasion, but your nutrition should be dialed in so that you are able to perform at a high level. Make sure you are drinking water throughout the day. Aim for 90-120 ounces per day. Your diet should be a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Pre-training eat a banana and handful of nuts to fuel your workout. The players scrambling to eat before practice or hitting the nearest fast food restaurant post-workout will break down. They will have low energy on the field and be sluggish in pBetter High School Soccer Playerractice. Eating a balanced diet is one of the most important aspects of competing at a high level.
Becoming a better high school soccer player takes time. Write down your goals at the beginning of the off-season and take the necessary steps to achieve success. Waiting until a few weeks before practice starts won’t put you in a position to succeed. Put in the work during the off months and enjoy the fruits of your labor when summer camp rolls around!