How to make it as a professional soccer player/footballer


Ask Dads what career they would most like for their sons and the popular answer would be, if they are honest, a professional footballer, or to our American cousins a professional soccer player. Funnily enough, it’s not always the most talented that eventually get to fit that description. There are two absolute essentials; the right attitude and productive practice.

What do you have to do to give your son the best possible chance of becoming a professional footballer or professional soccer player? He has to, obviously, have a talent for the game, an enjoyment of it and a desire to improve and do well but there are many other abilities he must develop, including technique, skill and the right attitude – which might not be what you think!

It has been attributed to different champion sportsmen but the dictum: “They say I’m lucky but you know what … the more I practise, the luckier I get,” highlights a simple truth. All ambitious sportspersons must practise but not any practice; they must be able to engage in what we have labelled with an acronym: PAPP = Proper Aimed Productive Practice. Take tennis for example; merely getting the ball back over the net at a decent pace won’t produce much improvement. Hitting through, and then dropping alternative shots with backspin, continually observing results and making appropriate adjustments, and doing that for hours every day – that’s PAPP: Proper Aimed Productive  Practice. It’s the same for soccer; it’s no real use a player gently knocking a ball against a surface and controlling the return. The practice has to be under some sort of pressure e.g a short turn after the pass and then going to meet the ball. More difficult but more productive: …