How Much Should You TRAIN to become a Pro Soccer Player?
10,000 hours…. massive number. Some people say massive number, I say magic number. I say, number required for guaranteed success. I say number which people think is impossible to reach, key word THINK. My journey with 10k didn’t start by reading Outliers, it started with me reading a blog post about Nick reading Outliers. To be honest…at first I did not trust or believe this idea at all. I really did think that it would take less than 10k to get where I wanted to get. How could this number even be reached?
Over the past few weeks…the 10k hours rule has been much more apparent to me. I’ve seen the slow but steady progress over the years. I compare myself to where I was a year ago, and see the differences. Improving in football is not an overnight thing, I never have seen overnight results in my own game. That’s just me. This might be because I’m always striving for more, striving to improve. A lot of times, I have questioned if there’s been any progress in my game…then I just look at myself a few months ago, and am re-affirmed that I am making solid progress. Yes, I used to track my hours for a period, although what about all those hours before that? From 9-12th grade, how many hours did I log? In the past two years, how many have I logged?? Am I at 1, 2, 3 thousand? Am I at 5k and half way there? Which would mean professional football is bound at age 24/25?? This could be the case, but it’s not the point.
Making a Commitment Of Your Very Being
The real point of 10k hours is to COMMIT. Commit your very being to getting 10k, but making sure each of those hours are as precise and intense as the next one. This is where players mess up. If you go nonchalantly take free kicks for an hour every day, for 10 years, would your awareness improve? Probably not. Free kicks? Yes…to an extent, but it is the quality of the hours you train which count.
In my training sessions, I make sure every single rep is game-like. For example, directional control, I will play a perfectly weighted pass, and my touch around the cones needs to be inch perfect. Instead of doing 10 ok reps in one set…I’ll end up doing 5 ok reps and 15 really good reps. It’s the really good reps which count. Pile those on every single day, and you’re on your way to mastery. I use directional control as an example because it was always a weakness of mine when I first used Effective. Although now, I take those directional touches with the bare tip of my outsole, and the feeling is incredible. To see progress like I have seen, in the areas I have needed, is amazing.
This training translates to your mental being as well. Once you analyze and see the progress made over the years, the confidence will come. Like Dr. Ivan Joseph had said “repetition, repetition, repetition.” That is what will bring you your confidence. In matches and training sessions now, instinctively, I can perform these precise directional touches. They really do create “wow” moments. Something fans would applaud during the match. Now just spread this across to other areas of your game, and you can see the player you will become.
10,000 Hours and Football
Football Has to Be YOUR LIFE, bro.
Now, we’ve seen how to apply this mentality of 10k to your football, and you might be shocked to hear this, but it gets deeper than that. Much deeper. If you want to play in the top tiers of world football, if you want to walk out in the world-wide televised matches, football has to be your LIFE. There truly is no shortcut or cheating here, it is not possible to take a shortcut or cheat. Yes, you can train 3 hours a day for 10 years, but really, as stated in the video at 2:00, Nick’s ex-teammate was zoned in 24 hours a day.
First 8 hours you prepare your mind, you’re visualizing training. Then you actually go to training or do your tactical/technical/physical training. Lastly, you MUST reflect on your training. What did you do well? What went wrong? This, doing this every day, and doing the 3 hours a day every single day, will get you to where you want to be. But I cannot put enough emphasis on basing your life on your passion. If you want to live your passion, you have to commit your very being to that passion.
On a personal note, I am getting to this point (sometimes I rant about it on Snapchat, add me: @hashirpastore). Over the past year or so, everything, and everyone has just slowly been removed from my life, except for football. Football is all I had, and all I still focus on. I put 100% focus and energy into football, and I’ve seen great things start to happen. This is called the Law of Attraction, which in a short and vague statement, is being able to manifest whatever you want by putting enough positive mental energy towards it.
I encourage you to implement the idea of reaching 10,000 hours into your life. Just think to yourself, 10,000 hours, and I can live the life of a professional footballer. Of course, everyone will have different perspectives of 10,000 hours, what’s yours? Are you going to work? Well, there is the amount of work you need to put in: