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What You Need to Become the Next Big Thing

As a young footballer you dream of running out on the hallowed turf, beating three opposition defenders and slotting the ball home, running to the crowd and celebrating in style, hearing your name called out over the PA system as the goal scorer for your club. For some, this dream becomes reality while for others it remains just that, a dream, even into your later years stood on the terraces watching and cheering on those lucky enough to have made it.

The question so many of us ask ourselves, (usually while berating a player on the opposition side – or occasionally our own), is quite how they made it to be a professional player because they can’t pick out a pass with a sat nav or hit a barn door with a banjo!

If you’re going to make it as a professional footballer you obviously need a lot of talent and a hell of a lot of luck too! You need to put in the work as a youngster developing your skills and then you need to show that you can perform for your school or club side so that you’re picked up by a professional club at age group level. Some of the finest footballers ever to play the game have made it through scouting and academy systems before going on to become global superstars wanted by the biggest and best, so how do you do the same?

The first step is to start young. Just play the game for the love of it, get outside whenever you can with a football and just play. Don’t feel the pressure to work on your skills or bending a ball around the wall into the specific square in the top corner of the net, that can all come later, but first you just need to get out and play. The more you play the game, the more you’ll enjoy it and before long you’ll be working on your skills naturally. Just buy yourself a goal or some cones for the garden from a sports shop like the Soccer Store and just play – even Beckham and co developed from the old “jumpers for goalposts” era in the park!

As you get older and start playing in a team, you can start to work on your skills and technique with proper coaches helping you to develop. The more you play and the more you develop physically, the better player you will become. Working with trained coaches and putting the effort in at training sessions will help you to push for more game time, giving you the opportunity to play regularly in your favoured position and to help put yourself “in the shop window” so to speak for the big clubs to keep an eye on you with a view to signing you up for the academy sides.

Finding your true position is also going to be key if you want to make it as a footballer. When you’re young you want to copy your heroes and play in their position. However, you might find that you don’t have the fitness or physique to play in their position and you end up playing left back rather than as a striker for example. By playing in this position you may find that you have a particular quality there such as your positional sense or your ability to sprint up and down the wings all day, and this will give you another chance to impress.

The key to the dream is never to give up. You need to stick with the passion that’s there in your youth, wanting to play every minute of every day and then turn that passion into commitment when you join a club side. If you can show your dedication, your willingness to learn and your subsequent development, then there is every possibility that the dream can become reality. Put the hard work in and with a bit of luck, you’ll get your rewards – they’re not just handed out to you like multi-million pound wage packets, the stars had to work hard as youngsters and through their teenage years to get where they are today, (even if you don’t think they’re fit to lace the boots of the other players on the pitch!)

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