There is no secret behind getting into great shape. We know what we have to do, but fail to do it. We choose to eat potato chips instead of vegetables. We play video games for hours on end instead putting in extra work on the field. We prefer the emotional pain that comes from not making our club soccer team, instead of the physical pain needed in order to succeed. Let me tell you this: pain is temporary. It may hurt for a second, minute, hour, or maybe even a year, but it will eventually fade away. You become stronger from it. Failure is a constant reminder that you weren’t good enough.
Some individuals have a difficult time accepting defeat. Personally, I love failing and falling short of my goals. Why? Because it makes me appreciate winning. Understanding your losses are crucial toward your success in the future as it teaches you how to successfully win. What I don’t understand is how individuals repeat the same mistake over and over again and expect a different result. If you have ever read anything from Albert Einstein, you would know that is the definition of insanity.
Many of us soccer players know that if our fitness was just a little bit better we could be 10x the player we are today. But the question is, why aren’t we doing anything about it? Yes, running sucks. Yes, full field sprints are terrible. However, the reality of the matter is you will have to do what you have to do, in order to do what you want to do. Meaning, if you want to make your high school varsity team, if you want to get scouted to play college soccer, if you want to play at the professional level, you’ll embrace the pain that comes along with achieving your goals.
Most of us want everything handed to us in life. We conjure up wild beliefs that fame and fortune will be handed to us on a silver platter. When we fail (YOU WILL 100% FAIL) we blame others for our mistakes, instead of looking in the mirror and finding the solutions to our problems ourselves. If you don’t achieve your goals, you have only yourself to blame. You’ll eventually realize down the road that nobody cares if you make it or not. Your family and friends may support you for a time, but eventually they won’t be concerned about your life anymore. The only person who will care if you become successful or not is you.
The biggest factor in my opinion that determines how prominent a player is going to become is his work ethic. If you’re not constantly working on a consistent basis you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Everyday you’re not learning and training is another day your competition inches closer to you. Develop the mindset to reject mediocrity and accept individuality. The stranger you are the better, as you have something that the average person doesn’t possess. Accept the fact that you are unique and you have what it takes to succeed.
Laid out below is my weekly routine that I have fined tuned over the past 4 years to dramatically improve my fitness. Due to the continual onslaught of games and practices during the season, I usually follow this schedule in the spring and summer months. Just like anything in life getting into world class shape takes a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work. Implementing this fitness schedule into your own life will not guarantee the results you're looking for solely by itself. It’s the combination of running, eating healthy, strength training, stretching, foam rolling, and ice baths which will maximize your potential as an athlete. This is just one step in many that you will need to master in order to become something extraordinary. Keep grinding.
*Optimal program 1 month before preseason*
Monday: 2 Mile Run (75% effort, increase 5% each week), (11:00-16:00)
Tuesday: 200m Intervals (Track), (8 x 0:35-1:30, 200m Walk Rest)
Wednesday: 3 Mile Run (75% effort, increase 5% each week), (18:00-21:00)
Thursday: 400m Intervals (Track), (4 x 1:20-2:00, 90sec rest)
Friday: Full Field Run (Cleats), 20 x 0:16-0:35, 45sec rest), (rest after 10)
Saturday: 4 Mile Run (50% effort, increase 10% each week), (24:00-28:00)