To get to a higher level you need connections. So I decided to email dozens of professional clubs in England. I got one reply from AFC Wimbledon based in London, which back then were in the 5th tier of English soccer. The coach said I could train with them, so I flew over to England. I trained with their U17's and I was told I wasn't good enough after two or three sessions.
I brushed that experience off my shoulders, went back home, kept training with the goal of improving.
By December of that year, I was invited to train with the U/17 Australian national team who were preparing for the World Cup. Might I add, I wasn't "invited" - I was just lucky that their training base was in my hometown, and my bullshit email to ask if I could "continue my professional training regime" was one of the few which were read and replied to.
That was an amazing opportunity for me. Training in an full-time environment where the pitch was perfect, kits were laid out nicely and the balls used were the best you could get. That was motivation, but sadly after two trainings, the coach thought I was nowhere near a standard to compete.
I always ask the coach what I could of done better and need to improve. Whether it's faster decision making, or strength, etc - after each trial I've always taken their "feedback" into consideration and acted upon it. This Kaizen method of constantly reviewing what I can improve each week, is what was/is slowly making me a very good player.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
A young man of average physical skills decides to commit himself to becoming a professional soccer player