Being a soccer player isn’t a joke especially if you’re serious about making it your career. Whether you play locally or internationally or even for fun, it may feel like your life is an endless cycle of playing, training, eating and sleeping. While this is an effective routine, it can get pretty mundane. Therefore, to avoid your passion for soccer draining away, you need to find other ways to spend your time effectively that’ll also help you with your soccer-player lifestyle.
What you need to pay attention to is to maximize every hour so it helps you reach your goal. From healthy habits to a change of routine, there are many effective ways to spend your free time as a soccer player. In fact, I’ll go so far as to suggest that you follow your favourite players, book cheapest flights and go watch a live match to get inspired. The lively cheering and the competitive game where teamwork is key, all of it will help you become a better soccer player.
A little calm in life always does you good. And as a person living an active sporty lifestyle, you’ll need to take some time to calm down so you have full control over your mind. In fact, science has proven multiple benefits of mindfulness meditation. One of the biggest benefits is that it reduces stress. The pressure of trying to be the best and the overall competitive world of soccer can make you quite stressful. A few minutes of meditation can really do wonders for your mind and body. It’s also proven that meditating can improve your focus and control over your body.
How does it improve your game? Well, the calmer and more in control of your body you are, the more goals, more tackles and more W’s you’ll score. Just make sure you dedicate a few minutes to meditating every day and judge the results for yourself.
Similar to meditating, it also improves your knowledge. You can do research and find out that most of the very successful people around the world are avid readers. And they’re known to read about various subjects like health & fitness, self-development, personal finance, biographies, philosophy and so on. You can even stick to fiction if that’s your cup of tea. Reading is a wonderful way to take your mind off of soccer for a while in a positive manner as it’s a very beneficial hobby.
Take advice from famous coaches and players and try reading their recommended book. Perhaps you’ll get inspired by the same thing that motivated them. It’s also said that reading for a few minutes on game-day can improve your focus as the few minutes of zoning out with a book allows you to have a sense of tranquillity.
Everybody needs to sleep but as an active person, you really need proper peaceful sleep. In fact, recently it has been stated by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sport that a disturbed sleep can have a negative impact on you as an athlete and your physical health. Your reaction time will be slower as well as you’ll end up feeling sluggish. While too much sleep is also bad, proper 8-hour sleep is a must. Don’t feel bad if you’ve been neglecting your sleep schedule, you can still change things up. After all, if you want improved results, then you’ll have to optimize your schedule properly. Even the best soccer player on the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo, required guidance to make an effective schedule to get proper sleep. It may sound weird but he has a sleep coach that makes sure his lifestyle is as healthy as possible to ensure proper sleep. Some of the tips include:
- No alcohol before sleeping
- Break 8 hours into blocks throughout the day
- Try to sleep without a pillow
- Limit screen time to 30 minutes before you sleep
Most of the time this one training is neglected in favour of other training sessions but this can be the one thing holding you back from reaching that certain level of sportsmanship. By definition, mobility is the degree to which an individual can control their movement through a complete range of motion. While this may sound trivial as compared to other training and exercises, the lack of it can cause you terrible injuries as it will disrupt the flow of your kinetic chain. According to the theory of kinetic chain, certain body parts have an impact on others. The most common injury caused by lack of mobility training is an ankle injury.
To overcome this issue, you can make an effective routine that isn’t too hard so you can commit to it daily. As a soccer player, I highly suggest that you focus on ankle and hip mobility training to lessen the chance of any nasty injury.
Be critical of your performance
One of the best ways to improve yourself is to analyse your performance and be critical of it. It requires you to have a very down-to-earth personality so you’re able to pinpoint your own blunders. Record footage of yourself when you play or even train and then review it to see how you can improve yourself. Watching a video of yourself provides a unique outsiders’ point of view which helps greatly. If you commit to this habit then you’ll be surprised by all the improvements you’ll be able to make.
Most of the famous athletes already analyse their performances. Take the world-class athlete Kobe Bryant. He watches his team’s game films to make sure they’re picking up important aspects that’ll give them an edge and implementing them correctly. While you may not have access to high-end recording equipment, you can simply use your smartphone or a Go-Pro to help you out.
Lastly, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to take inspiration from the professionals. You can even take some time to go watch a live match. Not only will it cheer you up but it’ll give you a live look of how the game can be and what the audience expects. A little change of perspective to help you along your main goal. From biographies to memoirs, try reading up on your favourite players to find out things that inspire and motivates them. With time, you’ll have the same focus as them that’ll definitely make you a better player on the field.