The game of soccer, without a doubt, spreads joy across the world. In different parts of the world, both young and old participate in the game in one way or another. However, many choose to take their love for the game further by becoming professional players.
In most cases, boys and girls of different ages start young when playing the game. In the process, many discover a passion or talent for the game, going beyond seeing it as an extracurricular activity. This talent or passion propels them to seek a career in soccer.
But, sometimes, talent (or passion) isn’t just enough as there are requirements to play professionally. What then are the requirements to be a soccer player? Is playing professionally limited to people that started at a young age?
This article hopes to satisfactorily answer these and many other questions that may be lingering in the hearts of soccer enthusiasts. Let’s get started!
What Requirements Do You Need To Play Soccer?
The needs and requirements to be a soccer player transcend physical attributes and material needs. Several other factors are also essential for anyone hoping to tour the career path of a soccer player.
An excellent example is Englishman Jamie Vardy, who worked in a factory until his early twenties before actively starting his professional career. In the end, he became a premier league champion before he clocked 30, scoring most of the goals for his team that season.
Nevertheless, the primary requirements for being a soccer player include:
Like every other profession with its peculiar set of tools, soccer also requires kits. These include Jersey, Shorts, Shin Guards, Socks, and Cleats. All these items work together to protect the athlete and allow for the highest quality performance.
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Uniquely, the kits amplify the soccer player’s natural abilities. For instance, allowing them to run faster, kick with more accuracy, jump higher, and participate without fear of injuries or bodily damage of any sort.
As a rule, these items are essential in soccer before participation is allowed at any level of the professional game. Most teams tend to provide these items, but, going down the ladder, especially when starting, you may have to get them yourself.
Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a personal pair of kit items you trust for training purposes. Moreover, with the many brands available in the current market, working with a particular pair helps you in acclimatizing, which will, in turn, improve your gaming experience.
2. Get in shape
Next on the agenda is getting physically fit for the rigors of the game. Soccer involves a lot of back and forth running, hence, ensure that you do a lot of cardio. This will help improve your endurance and longevity enough to last the entire game span.
Regardless of the weight of talent and potential you carry, having a body posture that allows you to maximize this talent is crucial to your overall development in the game. Different positions on the pitch may require you to bulk up some parts of your body.
However, it is advisable to develop a workout routine that targets all areas of your body to ensure you have a well-toned shape. Being out of shape affects even professional players with years of experience.
This is why it is essential to develop a proper workout routine from your formative years in the game. Eventually, this will help you stay disciplined as you climb the ladder of greatness in the world of soccer.
3. Stay fit
Getting in shape is not enough. You must also ensure that you stay in shape. This involves implementing the proper workout regimens and watching what and how you eat. The goal is to keep fresh and ready for every game.
Remember, you want to stay in your best possible shape for a good number of years playing the game you love. This may require certain sacrifices and diets that help keep you in top physical condition for the next game.
One of the distinguishing attributes of the best players in the game is their ability to stay consistent. Having a consistently high-performance level puts you ahead of your peers and ensures you climb the ladder of success far quicker than most.
How else would you achieve this other than by staying fit throughout the season? Plus, staying fit also reduces the chances of getting injured, and even when you do, it facilitates your quick recovery so you don’t stay too long on the sidelines.
4. Train well
Training well is a crucial requirement if you want to play soccer. Talent is not enough. It has to be harnessed and nurtured till it blossoms like a flower in the spring season.
This means that every day for a good number of hours (for as long as you can), you must be able to take time out to practice and develop your skills. Most of the best soccer players can attest to the importance of staying consistent in practicing game-winning skills.
A good example is Englishman David Beckham, famed for bending the ball in insane directions when making crosses and shooting for a goal. It was revealed that in his formative years, he spent hours daily practicing his craft till he attained mastery.
Training diligently daily, improving your proficiency with both legs. Most players have only one strong foot. laying with both feet further enhances your chances of making it in the game.
In addition, set plays like corner kicks and free kicks can also be practiced as it makes you the player to go to when the team is in a difficult place.
The training requirement for different ages differs. Hence, depending on when you start the game, you may need to give more attention to talent drills than you do to physical drills. When confused, ensure you strike a balance between the two ends.
Another key requirement for playing soccer professionally is commitment. Generally, many players, worldwide, dream of playing soccer at the highest levels. However, what distinguishes many is not only talent but also commitment.
The doggedness to keep pushing when faced with difficult odds won’t bulge. Most players wilt when faced with circumstances such as not being picked by a scout, making the team for a major tournament, or even the inevitable mountain of injuries.
Yet, these circumstances should be seen as tools to forge character in one way or another. Commitment to achieving your goals will get you through the many hurdles you may need to jump over on your quest to become a soccer player.
In addition, it will anchor you through difficult moments when you may not be playing at your best, ensuring that you come out of the end of the tunnel.
6. Mental strength
Mental strength is often overlooked as a requirement for being a soccer player. The truth, however, is that it is one of the most important attributes to succeed in the game. When choosing to take the professional route, you will come across many obstacles.
Common obstacles include fellow players putting you down, coaches not believing in you, or your body failing you at crucial moments.
All these create doubts in your heart on whether you are truly meant for this. In certain instances, giving up would seem like the logical thing to do.
At this point, you must believe in yourself. More than anything, develop a mental strength that blocks the noise of people’s opinions about you and constantly gives your best. At no point should your head drop. Doing that will rob you of the chance to prove them all wrong.
Simultaneously, be humble about your abilities and learn when corrected. But be sensitive to identify negativity and do all you can to prevent it from penetrating your mental armor to destroy your confidence.
7. Learn about the game
The game of soccer has many laws. Learn them and let them become a part of you. Knowing these ensures you know all that is happening around you during games. It also helps you identify pockets and loopholes you can maximize to your advantage.
There are also unwritten laws on team play, fair play, and general conduct on the field of play. So, study the best players in the game and identify the core attributes that set them apart from the rest.
Then, imbibe these attributes and exercises in your daily life and watch how your game rapidly transforms. Also, learn interpersonal skills such as being a team player and a leader in your team.
Take these extra steps and learn about formations and playing patterns that have changed about the game over the years. Finally, read about diet plans and workout routines that could help give you an edge in your all-around performance.
There is no limitation to the information that could help you in your journey to becoming a professional player. The key is understanding who you are and tailoring the information you acquire to become the type of player you intend to be.
8. Know your strengths
Identifying your strengths early enough helps you determine the areas of your game you naturally thrive at. These may be part of your physical or skill attributes. Plus, it also allows you to know the position you are best suited for.
Moving forward, being aware of this will help you in your overall development as you practice to improve the identified strengths till you attain a level of mastery. Knowing your strengths goes hand-in-hand with identifying your weaknesses and areas of your game that need improvement.
Moreover, they may also be physical attributes that put you in a disadvantaged position. For example, if you are of average height, you may need to learn to jump higher than most players to make up for the height difference, especially when playing in crucial positions like attack or defense.
9. Be able to record your games
Take advantage of all the many advancements in technology. Record your games and highlight points that show off your strengths. These videos can be uploaded on the internet or sent to scouts and teams shopping for talents.
This will help you open doors that will allow you to show your full potential in real-time. Lionel Messi is an excellent example of a player who got his opportunity by employing this simple tactic.
Arguably one of the greatest, Messi, was discovered by a scout who watched a video of him playing.
On the flip side, recorded videos also help you isolate the weak aspects of your game that require improvement. Plus, it will enable you to spot players’ movements around you and better enhance your game.
10. Find and maximize opportunities
All of the requirements above would go to waste without maximizing opportunities fully. You do this by joining a local team. This may be a Sunday league with friends or a soccer academy in your locality.
Of course, school teams also count. Ensure you are putting yourself out there and enjoying the game. Other opportunities that may come your way include soccer camps and trial opportunities from professional teams.
At whichever level you find these opportunities, do your best to take full advantage. You could also create a CV that emphasizes your strengths and other attributes that set you apart from other players. Include essential details that could catch the coach’s eye or the scout through your profile.
Details such as the number of goals/assists you scored in the previous season, how fast you run, how high you jump, your physical structure, and every other feature that helps the reader form a picture of you in their heads.
Achieving your dream of becoming a soccer player depends on many factors, some of which are beyond your control.
However, as pointed out, these guides are the cogent points that are within your grasp. Employ them religiously in your daily life and watch your dream become a reality.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!