Monday, August 11, 2008
The following four-step formula evolved from interviews and discussions with top performing soccer players conducted over a period of ten years. Presented here as a first look, it will take on greater meaning for you as your participation in the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program progresses.
Step 1: Self-discipline. Everything worthwhile begins at this level. It simply means doing whatever you have to do and making whatever sacrifices are necessary to get the job done the best you know how. It's hard work; it's giving up things you like in order to achieve a higher goal.
Step 2: Self-control. Self-discipline leads directly to self-control. As you discipline yourself, you experience steady increases in self-control---control of what you do, what you think, and how you react. Without self-control, being the best you can be as a player is nothing more than a fantasy.
Step 3: Self-confidence. Self-control leads directly to self-confidence. What tracks are to a train, self-confidence is to the player---without it, he or she can go nowhere. Self-confidence, that unshatterable belief in yourself, comes from knowing that you are in control.
Step 4: Self-realization. Self-realization is simply becoming the best you can be, the manifestation of your talent and skill as a player. It is the fulfillment and the ecstasy of sport. Self-realization follows directly from self-confidence. Once you believe in yourself and feel good about yourself, you are opening doors to your fullest potential.
Spend some time thinking about this simple formula. Think about how it relates to you within the realm of soccer as well as outside it.