4 things you need to do to become a pro player
Becoming a professional player isn't easy and requires years and years of hard work and dedication -- even then you still aren't guaranteed to get a pro contract. To put it into perspective, about .8% of high-level college players become pro's, and to take it a step further, only .08% of high school players make it to the professional level. Those are some slim odds, and that's exactly what makes these 4 things that much more important.
This article goes over 4 things that you need to be doing as a young player to set yourself up to become a pro.
1. network as much as you can to build connections
It's no secret that the more people you know, the more opportunities you can get. This holds true for every profession--especially professional athletes. As a pro player myself, using platforms such as LinkedIn, and other social media apps to build a network of people is a great way to meet new people and expand the possibility for new opportunities. I personally built a big network on LinkedIn and actually made connections with a ton of pro coaches and agents -- I even got a couple of trials from my connections on LinkedIn. I got invited to an invitational combine from a connection with a pro coach on LinkedIn too -- it just goes to show that you can really find success if you just consistently reach out and make friends with people.
You can also use your club, combines, camps, and other events to make connections and network. As an example, you can go to a couple high-level ID camps and training camps to meet players and coaches - these players and coaches may be able to help you later on with connecting to clubs and getting opportunities.
The mindset here is to develop a wide network of people in the area you want to succeed in -- the more people you know, the higher chances of you getting a half chance or a door opened for you (sometimes that's all you need). I signed my first pro contract from connecting with someone at a pro combine who then connected me with his brother, and then his brother put in a recommendation to one of his connection allow me to go to an invite-only combine--a that combine I signed my first pro contract.
2. take rejection positively
You have to expect "no". You have to carry a mindset that simply does not care about rejection -- it can not bother you. Otherwise, the fear of rejection will literally destroy your ability to perform and be confident as a player but also just in general as a person.
Rejection is simply a positive indicator that you are taking enough action -- you are getting output for your input. Rejection = learning & growing. There is always going to be someone who is better than you. You don't learn anything if you win all the time, and if there's always someone out there that is better than you, you end up wasting your time comparing yourself to competition that doesn't even deserve to be on the same scale as you. Find someone who is better and compare yourself to them -- that's when you make real progress.
3. it's a game of opinions, so ask for a lot of opinions
Every scout, agent, and coach has an opinion on what they are looking for and what they like to see in players. As for feedback from everyone -- it's so valuable because it tells you what the common opinion is on your game. If everyone is saying you struggling athletically, then after awhile, they may be right is 100+ people are saying the same thing. The more feedback you get, the more information you will have to make changes with. Also, when you ask for other peoples opinions and then improve on those things, people will start to value you a lot more because you actually follow through on what that agent, coach, or scout told you -- it makes people want to connect with you more and see how you are improving (this opens up the possibility for you to network even more).
When you get rejected, ask for feedback to learn and improve. When you succeed, ask for feedback to see what areas you did well and why those things are working. Always ask high-level people for their opinion.
4. training consistently to improve everyday
There's no substitute for putting in the reps, the work, and the training that is required to build the ability on and off the ball to be at the professional level. The idea is to train consistently, and put in quality work that enhances your performance. The way to do this is to train 5+ times a week while making sure you are managing your rest and being smart with the load you put on your body.
Ideally your training schedule would include roughly 4-5 days of training per week with a game on the weekend, and an off day or two depending on how you feel. Here is an example weekly training schedule (most pro players do something similar to this each week):
Monday: light training
Tuesday: heavy training + gym session
Wednesday: heavy training
Thursday: moderate training + light gym session
Friday: light training
I realize that many player's do not know what kind of individual training sessions they should be doing. If you want to train consistently, but don't really know where to start or just want a process to follow, then definitely join our training app because it gives you full pro-level training & gym programs, recovery sessions, and a ton of other valuable training resources. It's a great resource to use when it comes to training individually, and to make sure you are training the right way to improve as efficiently as possible.
To learn more and join our app, click here: https://nonstoptraining.app/