The 2017-18 season is almost here but how do elite player get ready for the new campagne. Our Secret Academy Player tells us in Here Comes the New Season.
While most kids think about the beach, pigging out all day and staying up all night, most elite academy players are getting ready for the new season when the old season just ended and spend summer eating like they’re training, training like they’re playing and sleeping like they’re growing.
Yes I took a week or two off to relax but it was all a part of my summer training because for academy players, summer is an extension of the season, an opportunity to review the tapes from last season, sit down and watch your mistakes and fix them before the new season.
And the two weeks off, I spent obsessing about next seasons opponents, watching their games from the previous season to see the tendency of the defenders and midfielders and goal keeper so that I can spot their weaknesses and take advantage of them.
I have done that since I was eight, I love to watch my opponents, see their strengths, study their weaknesses so that when I step on the field with them, I already know what to expect.
No coach or club or organization at academy level will prepare you like that and it’s part of the commitment you have to make to be the best if your goal is to be the best.
At the first training – most academies in Europe started training last week or two weeks ago, while some start this week and the week after but for me, it is excitement….. no butterflies just pure energy – can’t wait to get going again, live for this.
I can’t wait to get started, can’t wait to dominate, can’t wait to apply what I’ve been doing all summer. I also know that most of my teammates spent their summers tanning – they said as much when I pestered most of them to come train with me….. its vacation time they say….
So I know that it’ll take time for most of them to get going at the beginning of the season. I also know that will be the same for most of my opponents next season.
When the new season comes, I handwrite the fixtures and set the goals for each game and know that I will exceed whatever goals I set, I look at those goals everyday through the season to make sure that I’m on task.
At the beginning of the season and throughout the season between Under-13 and Under-15’s injuries are always high, luckily I have never had an injury playing football, broken my hand running track but never suffered an injury so I do stretches and make sure that I warm up sufficiently before any training to prevent injury, eat right, sleep early and make sure that I stay focused.
First day is always players regretting to know each other, some sizing each other up and everyone trying to impress the coach and exerts themselves early to win the battle against their teammates but I’ve done this every year since I can walk, I’m not worried about sizing anyone up because I know that on my worst day no ones as good as me.
With the upcoming season, I would like to wish all the young players and senior players the best this upcoming season and may your opponents never see you coming.