How to Building Upon the Successes of Last Season
A breakout season provides a great sense of accomplishment for an athlete and validation of their abilities and hard work.
While one season can build your confidence, you will need to continue to work on your game in order to feed your confidence daily.
Unfortunately, some soccer players become complacent with their success. These players feel like they have arrived and fail to do the very things that made them successful in the first place.
Improving upon the successes from the previous season requires mental preparation and focused effort.
The sophomore jinx seems to have bitten Seattle Sounders left back Nouhou Tolo.
Tolo made significant contributions for the Sounders in his first season playing in 19 games last year.
This season, Tolo has only appeared in one game and he is out to prove last season was no fluke.
Tolo’s sophomore campaign has not been easy as he has ridden the bench the majority of the year.
Due to an injury of starter Brad Smith, Tolo is getting a second chance to prove to his teammates as well as himself of his talents and potential.
TOLO: “I still haven’t reached my potential yet. Last year, I had a good season, but then this year, right from the beginning, I had some difficulties… I’ve got to focus all the time now. Focus during games, during training and try to keep improving.”
Not only wasn’t Tolo prepared physically to build upon last season, he was not prepared mentally to further his game from the previous season.
TOLO: “There’s a lot of planning that goes into things at training camp and the preseason and there wasn’t really a lot of (off season) time. And that affected me a bit. I think it was a good learning moment for me because there’s a lot of mental preparation you need to have if you want to continue to get better and bring something more to your team.”
Tolo has quickly realized that the MLS is a “what have you done for me lately” league as the Sounders are depending on Tolo to help with their playoff run.
What are you doing to raise your game?
Do you prepare the best you can each week?
Have you found ways to strengthen your mental game?
If you are to continue to make a contribution and reach your potential as a soccer player, you need to find ways to improve your game and seize opportunities when you can.
Tip for Building upon the Successes of Last Season:
Building upon the successes of your last season requires a game plan. Success doesn’t happen by chance.
Prior to the start of the season, assess your skills and determine what you need to improve this season.
What can you improve physically?
Do you need to improve your ball skills, conditioning, or quickness?
What can you do mentally to build upon the successes of last year?
Do you need to be more confident, sharpen your focus or manage your emotions better?
A focused plan will help you avoid a lull in your game and keep your game advancing forward.
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