How can I dramatically improve my soccer playing in two years?
A lot of improvement can be done in a year or two. Players either underestimate or overestimate how much they can accomplish in a year. For the most part, people underestimate. They either think I have a year and that’s plenty of time or I have a year, yikes I don’t have that much time. I tend to go with the latter one which is I don’t have that much time and that gives me the mindset which allows me to organize and discipline myself and schedule myself to get things done. It’s not about how much you train it is but it’s also about how you train. The expression work hard and smart means the person who works hard is going to probably get more out of something than someone who doesn’t work at all but the person who works hard and smart is going to get more done than the person who just works hard.
Let’s say you’re climbing a mountain and at the top of the mountain is a goal and you get all the way to the top of the mountain. You’ve worked hard day by day to get to the top of the mountain only to realize you climbed the wrong mountain! How does that happen? It’s because you weren’t doing the right things right so you didn’t have a clear goal. You didn’t know what you wanted so you just climbed any old mountain. You work really hard, you still exerted a lot of energy and worked hard but in the end, you didn’t get your result, or you didn’t move the needle forward in the way you wanted simply because you climbed the wrong mountain
Working hard and smart in where you strategize, where you gain clarity, and where you schedule. It’s important to remain consistent, for example, you do two things that have the most impact towards moving you further up the right mountain.
Bill Gates once famously said he would hire a smart lazy person over someone who just works hard. Because the smart lazy person will find a way to get the job done with the least amount of work. He will find a way to get the job done quicker. Essentially he was just making a point about how you need to be smart about your goals for progress. You can have two players performing a specific drill with one player getting much more out of the drill than the other player. Usually, it’s because the other player is working hard and smart and the other player is just working hard. For example, if you go outside and kick a ball around aimlessly but you’re doing it to the best of your ability you’re working hard but you’re not gonna get as much out of the training as someone who goes out there and specifically works on a certain area and does what’s called deliberate practice. Where they are targeting a certain skill to work on and they’re doing it to the best of their ability Most high-level performers utilize what’s called deliberate training where they work on specific things that are strategized.
Really good professional footballers are not going out there and just kicking a ball around and just passing it around, instead, they’re doing very specific things that they know is going to aid them in games. So the more deliberate your practice can be you will benefit from great results. If you are a striker focus on your finishing and shooting, your movement. Don’t just focus on it a little bit but do it almost on a daily basis. I’m not saying don’t work on your passing and all the other elements of training. You can do that as well by having a day or two where you work on those things but hyper-focus on the things that are going to get the most results because you can’t be a master of everything. Some of the best players weren’t good at absolutely everything. Maradona wasn’t good at defending. He couldn’t slide tackle to save his life but he didn’t need to as he wasn’t a defender. It’s the same with Cristiano Ronaldo, he doesn’t even defend. Messi will work hard for his team but if you put him at center-back he’s not going to do a good job but he doesn’t need to because he works and focuses on the things that are going to help him and his team in the position he plays.
One thing that’s going to help you work smart is getting into a proven system, I’ve seen it in myself and I’ve seen it in other players I played with the improvements that they’ve gone through and they got there through consistency working with a proven system or working smart and momentum is huge
For example, work out for one hour every single day. Remember it’s not about intensity it’s about consistency. If you were to go to the gym for 20 minutes every single day you will absolutely get into shape. But if you go to the gym for four hours in one day but only do that once a week, you won’t get into shape. It’s not about intensity, it’s about consistency. As you progress and remain consistent you will naturally increase the intensity slightly. It’s about building the habits that trigger neural pathways in your brain. When you start doing certain things over and over again you start building a habit. You’re basically reconstructing parts of your brain. Soon there’s a new pathway in your brain so instead of having to force yourself to go to the gym you go without even thinking. It’s like a part of you and it really is an actual change internally that goes on. It’s proven when there’s a change in your brain, when you do something long enough, to the point where it becomes easier it becomes something you just do. It’s not something you have to think about or force yourself into.