It is the start of the season. Preseason is over and the focus is now on the league. As players, we have gone through the difficulties of getting our fitness back and getting rid of that heavy touch. It is great to see friends and teammates that we haven't seen in awhile. That feeling returns of being back in one of our favorite environments. Coaches focus on building fitness, technical ability, and tactical understanding. The real question is, what have you built during this time?
With some sessions, it can be a grueling experience. The runs, the intensity in the rondos, hearing your coach's voice over, and over, and over, and over again. Till this day, I can tell the tone in which any of my coaches are talking in. It never leaves you. Hearing it on the other side still brings back memories of club, high school, and college soccer. As a high school coach, I give my players 6 weeks to really get to the levels that they should be. Yes, they have summer workouts, but it doesn't replicate what we are building. The one thing that players have to understand is that while a coach is helping you build your match fitness back, they are also attempting to strengthen your mind.
There must be an understanding that we aren't practicing just to practice the sport. We are building for late moments in the season that matter. Building towards those last 90 seconds when we need a goal or need to defend. Building towards taking on bigger and better opponents that have already won something. Your focus during training needs to be around how you will be dominant in this moment, this session, this season, this year. How strong will your mind become to allow your body to succeed? Let's build this together and put yourself on the road to growth and success. Trust yourself to do more than what you have done in the past. What are you going to be remembered for?
"Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly."