Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

The following is an excerpt from an article provided by Perfect Soccer Recruit for the August Issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete.

By Ross LaBauex (Perfect Soccer Recruit)

It was a bright, sunny day in Colorado with not a cloud in the sky. The perfect weather to train, and what I thought would be the start to a great week. I arrived at Dicks Sporting Goods Park, greeted my teammates, got treatment, put on my training gear, laced up my boots, and walked across the parking lot to the training pitch like I always did. 

We began with a game of 5v2 while the coaches set up the day’s session. The whistle blew, and it was time to start practice. Jogging to begin the warm up was routine, something that didn't require an abundance of energy, usually. 

For some reason this day was different. I struggled to find my legs in the warm-up, and that continued on for the rest of practice.  I remember feeling very sluggish and slow reacting to everything that day. My touch was off, my defending was poor, and I couldn't score to save my life. To say this was one of my worse practices was a vast understatement. Physically and mentally, I was spent. I had no idea what was happening to me… Fortunately, some of my veteran teammates understood exactly what was going on

Practiced had ended, and my teammates and I were doing our cool down stretching. I remember being reserved that day, not being the animated character I usually am. I was upset that I trained so poorly and could not get a grip as to why this happened. Quincy, who was in his second year of playing in the MLS told me,  "It looks like you hit your wall." 

I didn't understand what he initially meant, but taking a few minutes to think about it, it did feel like I had hit a proverbial wall. He continued to tell me to not worry and that I am just going through the old rookie wall. It happens to the majority of rookies, and it is part of the transition from college soccer to the pros. 

Quincy shed some light on this paradigm, which was massively helpful to me over the next few weeks. He told me that the transition is difficult, and everything you did in College will not be sufficient enough to get you through the professional season. That I needed to do even more, especially off the soccer field, if I wanted to get through the consecutive ten months (or more) of playing. After we talked he said he would help me through this dreadful time, seeing as how he was in the same boat just the year before.

What I learned from this experience was that being a Pro Soccer player requires you to take care of your body and mind 24/7. It’s not only what you do while on the soccer field, but more importantly the habits you create off of it. How dedicated you are to maintaining your body is what will determine your soccer success. Here are five things you need to do to get through the Rookie wall, and develop the habits of a soccer pro.

  1. Eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast
  2. Arrive earlier than the scheduled time for training
  3. Set intentions for practice
  4. Make sure to get food into Your system after practice
  5. Ice bath, foam roll, recovery tights and rest!!!

To get the rest of the article with details on each of the items above and more plus workouts and more resources from pros and trainers to help you have the best season yet, download the August issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete today.