A Champion’s Mentality

A Champion’s Mentality

Champions tend to be a different breed. They are the uncommon living a life less ordinary. They suffer pain in the moment, every day, for the pleasure of a far off result. It’s not easy being a champion. Here’s a few ideas to exercise your podium winning mentality…

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3 Habits to Exceptional Leadership...In and Beyond the Game

3 Habits to Exceptional Leadership...In and Beyond the Game

Great leaders in the game and beyond are the ones committed to three simple habits. Though simple, these habits are difficult for most aspiring leaders.  They require us to set aside our egos, subjugate what we want for the sake of the team, and need our constant vigilance.  These habits also reinforce the nine ideals necessary to build an Unrivaled team culture and develop Unbreakable athletes.

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Makings of a Champion

Makings of a Champion

It was not an easy path, but thorough years of training, honing my soccer skills and total preparation in the soccer recruiting process the first step in achieving my dreams started with my acceptance to the Division I soccer program at University of Virginia.  

During my first few days on campus, I knew that I had to make the most of this unbelievable opportunity. It was going to be a privilege to play for one of the best college soccer programs in the country, and I wasn’t going to waste these next four years. 

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What Makes Up a Championship Team?

What Makes Up a Championship Team?

Let’s face it: winning never gets old. I am a proud member of F.C. Kansas City and we won the 2015 N.W.S.L. Championship.

Two days after the championship game, as I began my drive from Kansas City to Washington, DC, where I will spend the offseason, I reflected on the seven months since I did the same drive in reverse. 

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What Does it Take to Be a Champion?

What Does it Take to Be a Champion?

What does it take to be a champion? This is the question that we explore in this issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete. We have pulled together insights from World Cup, MLS, NWSL and NCAA champion players and coaches.  In preparing for our November issue, we also asked three successful college coaches, Becky Burleigh (Florida), John Daly (William & Mary) and Jason O'Keefe (North Carolina) about being a champion.

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Keeping Up with the Team

Keeping Up with the Team

As the fall moves on, most teams are in the middle of the season and have played a few matches. Preseason is past, and teams have settled into a somewhat regular cycle of matches, training, and days off. As a player, you probably fall into one of three broad categories. You are either 1) playing all or most minutes of your team’s matches; 2) playing some minutes or playing in some matches but not others; or 3) getting little to no match playing time. This article focuses on providing some thoughts and tips for players who find themselves in the categories of getting partial to no playing time.

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Nick Shackelford, The life of a semi-professional soccer player in the United States

Nick Shackelford, The life of a semi-professional soccer player in the United States

Nick Shackelford grew up in Orange, California, where he played for the Irvine Strikers Academy. His youth career included playing three years with the Strikers team that competed in the US Soccer Development Academy, the highest level of youth soccer for boys in the United States. His final year of youth soccer was with the Pateadores Soccer Club out of Mission Viejo. As a Junior, he committed to UC Berkeley. His freshman year at Berkeley, he tore his quad which led to him transferring to St. Louis University. He would end up starting his final three years at St. Louis.

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How to Play Soccer as Long as You Can

How to Play Soccer as Long as You Can

“I always told myself I was going to play soccer as long as I could,” says Megan Tabler, recent Chico State women’s soccer graduate.

Megan, like a lot of collegiate athletes, wants to continue to play following the end of her intercollegiate career. Also like most college athletes, that playing opportunity does not come at the highest level of her sport. A quick look at the statistics shows that only a little more than 1% of NCAA men’s college soccer players will go on to play at the MLS level in the United States. While NCAA does not have similar calculations for women’s soccer the numbers would be smaller with more women’s collegiate soccer players than men’s and fewer NWSL teams.

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In-Season Strength Program

In-Season Strength Program

The number one goal of any in-season strength program is to keep players healthy and on the field. This is a unique challenge for many college soccer players and coaches. This year, the defending champions from Florida State will play 16 regular season games in the course of just over 2 months. Just like any other team, they will play in multiple games on any given weekend, with matches on Thursday and Sunday. With a packed practice and game schedule, it’s difficult to find time for strength training and rightfully so. Coaches and players are evaluated by their performances on the field and not the weight room. It’s very easy to focus on tactical practices and technical sessions instead of investing time on movements without the ball. However, finding just 90 minutes during the week, broken down into 2, 45 minute sessions can go a long way in maintaining strength thru the season and keeping players healthy for a November push. After all, the best “ability”, is avail“ABILITY”.

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August Issue Preview - Have Your Best Season Ever

August Issue Preview - Have Your Best Season Ever

As you will read throughout the upcoming August issue, you must be able to balance getting in extra fitness sessions, which is very important, (as covered in John De Witt’s article, “Maintaining Fitness Levels for the Entire Season”) and resting, also very important, (“Taking Care of Your Body and Mind” by Ross LaBauex and the “How Does Sleep Loss Influence Your Performance”). Ultimately, you must know your body and your fitness levels and be able to make the right decisions with your time and body. The only person that you have to blame for not taking the necessary steps to be at peak fitness levels is yourself.

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Exclusive Interview with Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

Exclusive Interview with Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year

For the July issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine, we had the opportunity to work with Brianna Pugh to get an exclusive interview with her sister, 2014-15 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year and 2016 UCLA top recruit, Mallory Pugh. We got an inside look at her career to date, decision to go to college instead of play in Europe, the overall recruiting process and more. Below is a sample of that interview.

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Champions are Never Satisfied

Champions are Never Satisfied

Champions in any sport never ease up. They are never satisfied. They are hungry for more, in fact they are ravenous. Their appetite isn’t just for success – that plays a part, that’s the end goal in mind. Actually, champions are fully focused on constantly improving their skills. They are always trying to learn and become better. 

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FSU’s Grubka Grew Into Body and Into a National Champion

Kristin Grubka is a winner.  Kristin Grubka is a leader.  Kristin Grubka will sacrifice everything -- even her head -- to help her team win.   And, Kristin Grubka is proud of who she is and what she represents.

“I know I stand out on the field,” Grubka said just weeks after helping Florida State win its first-ever national championship leading a backline that became the second team ever in NCAA history to not allow a goal in six tournament matches.  “At nearly six feet, playing in the back line and pushing forward I am hard to miss.”

Get the full article and Grubka's answers to what it takes to make it to the top levels.