This message is for soccer players who work their tails off. Slackers will use as an excuse to miss workouts.

One of the biggest mental mistakes I see is players practicing, lifting and training without a purpose. It’s sad because there are many athletes who are hardworking and passionate but they fail to improve much. Usually it is because they are doing things without a good purpose.

You can go through a whole season of practices without improving much at all. I hate to say it but many practices are simply a waste of time for many soccer players. Now this doesn’t mean to practice lessl. It simply means: Have a purpose each time you train.

When you practice, have something specific EACH day you are trying to accomplish (i.e. control the ball better, be more vocal with teammates, complete better passes, break yourself mentally in conditioning, etc.). Spend at least a few minutes before, during or after practice improving that area. This is called deliberate practice and is one of the key factors in developing into an elite performer.

When you lift weights, what are trying to accomplish? For starters, the goal is to improve fitness, get stronger and more powerful for soccer and to help prevent injuries. It shouldn’t be to get abs or even to get bigger. Focus on the things that will help you play better and avoid injuries.

When you run, what’s your purpose? Are you trying to work on explosive speed, improve general fitness, or improve conditioning? The answer will help determine what kind of runs you should be doing.

Too many athletes just workout to workout and go through full practices without thinking much about areas they want to improve on.

Mindset Tip: Before each practice or workout write down at least one thing you are going to focus on or accomplish – your “micro-goal” for that workout. A good starting point is to examine your strengths and areas that need most improvement. Turn your areas of improvement into strengths and make your strengths freaky good! It will make a world of a difference!