Life Comes Before Soccer
Life during the coronavirus has many soccer players asking the question, “What am I going to do without soccer?”
Many soccer players see their lives primarily through a soccer lens…
“I wake up, get school over with and go to soccer practice. I feel I am at my best on the field, no matter if it is in practice or a game. I get so excited, especially for weekends when we play tournaments. I watch international soccer matches on TV whenever I can. Most of my clothes are soccer jerseys and soccer shorts or sweats. My room is decorated in a soccer theme with all my soccer trophies on display. Soccer is my life.”
Do you have similar thoughts? Is soccer such a predominant component of your life that you feel lost without soccer?
Practices, games and seasons have been canceled for the foreseeable future because of the shutdown.
It is not easy to be denied something that builds your confidence, provides you a sense of mastery, generates positive emotions and affords you the opportunity to have fun and succeed.
When you ruminate about the loss of soccer and see the situation as unfair, you only make matters worse.
Gregg Berhalter, United States Men’s National Team head coach puts the coronavirus in perspective.
BERHALTER: “Life comes way before soccer.”
When you are not able to play soccer, it may be challenging but it is not the end of the world.
You can feel empowered by viewing this break from soccer as if it were halftime in a soccer match.
The purpose of halftime is to rest, recover, reassess and make the necessary adjustments to improve your play in the second half.
You can apply this halftime mindset to your current break from playing:
- Rest – Rest is both physical and mental. When you step away from the game for a short time, you can clear your mind and re-energize your passion for soccer.
- Recover – Physically, soccer can be a grind. When you play with injuries or you push your body to the limits, taking a break from soccer can heal your body and help you to return to peak health and conditioning.
- Re-assess – A break from soccer is a great time to reassess your level of play. What has worked for you and what do you need to improve? What technical skills and mental skills will help you get to the next level?
What are the differences between your best games and your bad games? What insights and lessons can help you elevate your game? Take advantage of this break from playing to objectively evaluate your game.
- Re-adjust & Re-commit – How can you apply new skills and insights to improve your mental and physical game? What will you do differently when you return to competitive soccer?
You should not only evaluate your soccer game but similarly apply the same process to your life. You should utilize this time to figure out what you want to accomplish in life? What types of activities do you want to try? What do you want to do to enhance your life outside of soccer.
You have been afforded an opportunity to develop fully as a person. Use your time to your advantage.
Evaluating your Life On and Off the Soccer Field
Ask yourself, “How do you improve your life inside and outside of soccer?” Think about having greater balance in your life beyond the playing field.
Write 5 ways to improve your soccer game and 5 things you can do to adopt great balance in your life. Be specific.
Next, write out how your soccer game and life would be different if you made those changes.
Writing about what changes you will make about soccer and life provides opportunity for insight as well as identifies ways to get prepared to return to sport.
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