Monday, July 23, 2012

Work Hard

This may sound extremely simple and very much like stating the obvious, but it's a quality that I think is very much amiss today. The words are thrown around often, but I don't know if young players really know what it means to "work hard"? The game itself, played at the highest level is not easy. You have to work hard. As soon as a lot of young promising players are confronted with challenges which demands them to move from comfort to working really hard for their position, a whole host of what seems to be "excuses" start to surface in a number of different ways. What's the excuse today? Well, the coach played me here and I didn't get the ball," or "I didn't feel too good today" or "I need to move to a different club where the coach knows what he's doing and they play the game that suits me"....they go on and on and can be heard in the back seat of so many cars pulling away from games at the weekend. All of them nothing but excuses! Players have to understand and become willing to meet the demands if they want to progress. And those demands mean - in the good old fashioned way - "getting your heads down and working hard."

There's no escaping it - with so many distractions and so many players looking for an easier way to move up. There is no easy way. You get every single bit out of it - that you put in. When the game starts to become challenging, you have to become willing to meet those challenges. Working hard is a lost quality in so many young players today, but if the passion for the game and willingness to do the work that is required is there, then players will get what they deserve.

Growing up in an athletic-driven family and around so many "could-have-been" players, I have come to the conclusion that every single person is exactly where they are supposed to be. Everyone! If you're in a bar, entertaining a group "none-the-wiser", and impressing upon them about how good a player you were and how much better you are than the person you're all watching live on T.V., then you're exactly where you're supposed to be - or headed there! In a bar, drink in hand, talking about it, while watching others do it! You are in exactly the right place. No mistakes about it. And the same for the opposite - there's no mistake. If you're at a top youth club, doing well, playing well, enjoying your game, doing what you need to do, you're there for a reason, because you've worked for it. There's no magic.

So as a young player, which one do I want to be? How would I feel if I ended up like so many do, wishing and wanting to do have done it differently? Am I willing to do everything within my power to fulfill my dream to become a collegiate/professional soccer play?

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

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