If you love soccer and want to make a career out of it, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some tips to follow if your goal is to be a professional soccer player. And if you love the sport but are not able to play professionally, or prefer to pursue another goal, there are many other careers in which you can use your love and knowledge of the sport off the field. And these other careers can be worthy goals no matter what level you reach in your playing career.
How to go pro on the field:
- Every day counts. The players who become professionals all continue to improve and refine their skills over long periods of time. It’s a cumulative effort. Every minute, hour, and day of training adds up. If you want to play professionally, think about what you’re doing to get better every single day.
- Stoke your competitive fire. To be successful in a high-level environment, you must have a strong will to win and succeed. Competing is not just about outdoing your opponent, but also competing with your teammates in training and competing with yourself to always improve.
- Cultivate self-belief. No player becomes a professional without facing adversity. There will always be ups and downs in your journey, so it’s vital that you don’t rely on outside sources to maintain your self-belief. That deep confidence has to come from within. You have to know that you can achieve your goals, through hard work, discipline and confidence. Goals for soccer players are critical, so be sure you're setting measurable goals that you can track and work towards.
- Take ownership. One characteristic of players who have made it to the top is that they take responsibility for both the good and the disappointing. Regardless of where you are in your career, there are resources you can find and actions you can take to get better. If you don’t realize that this is in your control, it will be very difficult to succeed.
- Develop a true love of the sport. Playing professional sports is not easy! In fact, once you become a pro, it even gets harder. It’s important that you love and appreciate the sport and that you enjoy playing. At the end of the day, that love and joy is what makes all the hard parts worth it and allows you to have the longevity to see it through to achieve your goals.
How to go pro off the field:
Here are some professions connected to the game that allow you to stay closely involved, even if it isn’t on the field. Soccer organizations are always seeking people with great knowledge of the game who played at competitive levels, so your playing career - regardless of how long or short it lasts - can set you up for your next career.
- Soccer media - commentary, analysis, journalism
- Social media coverage
- Medical support
- Administrative/Operational support
- Team/club ownership
- Team/club management
- The business side of soccer - sales, sponsorships
Finally, whether you remain a soccer player or pursue another aspect of the sport, your investment in the game can provide you with a stepping stone to future involvement and a potentially satisfying career.