Football, football, football!!! Mere hearing those words sends a shivering spine and triggers loads of excitement from millions of youth all over the world. Even, for a male toddler especially in a country like Nigeria, Brazil and host of others, the best gift you can present is the round leather material known as football. Little wonder, the reason for conflict between teenagers and their parents is the indivisible passion these lads has for football, ranging from playing ball after school hours to neglecting school assignments to watch football matches. Though, most times this issues are always resolved as was the case with me. But when you see a boy that has wild passion for football, he could sacrifice something precious to him just to either watch or play football. Sadly though, this has led some promising young minds into neglecting their education to procure a spot in the professional football field, from cases heard this kids in most cases fail to achieve their professional aspirations, all because the route they planned to navigate to the top was a wrong one.
But there are several players who completed their education and still made it as a pro footballer, we have Socrates a Brazilian midfielder who is a medical doctor with additional Phd in philosophy, Lampard, Van Der Sar who is a master holder and many many others. So if you want to develop a career in football you don't need to quit your studies, you just need to be a little more organised. Here are few tips to achieving your goal as a professional footballer and take note how being educated can accelerate your playing at the top flight level.
DETERMINATION: I really do not want to write about this because I believe that to have read this article to this extent you are determined to be a professional footballer, but all the same a true determination will look beyond how the salary level will be, for example which will you choose to play with, a local not well-known club who will pay you three times more than what Arsenal will offer you if you play for them? To play for Arsenal would be a better option on your way to being a pro, this is just an example and the point this example is stressing out is that playing for passion will make you last longer in your quest than wanting pro football just for the money. From the example above, playing for Arsenal will make you more exposed to top flight football with top facilities, top coaches and top players and will later open way to greater success. So be determined and let your motivation be the passion you had
MAKING TIME TO TRAIN: There is a quote I so much admire it says "practice is the hardest part of learning and training is the essence of transformation". Yes you are on a journey to become transformed to a professional footballer, creating time to train everyday is very very important for your quest. Earlier I said you need to be very well organised in planning, so that time for training would not clash with essential time for academic activities.
CAREFULLY CHOOSE HOW AND WHERE TO TRAIN:this point is equally important because not all local grassroot clubs you join in your neighborhood will help you achieve your dreams. That is the mistakes most young ones make especially in developing countries, some of this clubs are after their own pocket, they don't really care about you as an individual for development, they care more about strengthening the team. When you analyse this very well, they will not allow you to work on your weakness because another player's strength is your weakness, its what they discover valuable about you that they will always develop for their own satisfaction. But their is hope, you can make a search for reputable football clubs in your locality, search for one that has a literate as the owner or coach and explain your aims to him. There are lot of such clubs, even they sometimes help to connect you with a football agent, I will search and update you with such clubs later. But while in the quest for a reputable local club, your own personal development must continue, stimulated by your passion.
Let me allow you time to meditate on this point while I gather a cogent aspect and almost the most important step to take but which most youth with a similar dream as yours sadly neglects. Stay tuned for the second part of this very important tips, and keep up with the search.