Making sacrifices to be a professional soccer player

If you want to become a professional football player, you’re not alone. Many young soccer players all around the world dream about playing professionally. However, not everyone can make it to the top. Competition is intense, and only the most dedicated players get to play professionally. So, what does it mean to be dedicated? Dedicated players recognize that to achieve their goals, they’ll have to make sacrifices.

That being said, it’s a good idea to get to know the kinds of sacrifices you’ll have to make. That way, when it comes time to make them, you remember that these sacrifices are all part of your mission to be successful. Once you know what kind of sacrifices you have to make to play professionally, you can commit to your decision and start progessing.

1. You'll have very little free time

Along with money, time is one of the most valuable resources on the planet. If you want to be successful, you’ll have to spend a great deal of your time training. This means you’ll have to make sacrifices to be successful. More time practicing means less time for other luxuries such as spending time with your friends or family.

FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said, “When I was a kid, my friends would call me to go out with them but I would stay at home because I had practice the next day.”

On average, professional soccer teams practice for 4 – 6 hours a day for 5 days a week. If you want to become a professional football player, you should aim to practice for about the same amount of hours per week. Don’t forget you’ll have to pair training sessions with academic studies which means you’ll have even less free time than players who are already professionals.

2. You'll have to spend your money on high-quality training

Money makes the world go round, and money is certainly helpful when training to become a professional soccer player.

First and foremost, aspiring professional athletes must have a high degree of natural talent and an exceptional amount of passion and work ethic. No amount of money can buy natural talent or work ethic. However, you can’t become a professional athlete with passion and work ethic alone.

To make it to the top, you’ll have to invest in high-quality training programs with qualified coaches. Such high-quality training is expensive, so you’ll have to be willing to make sacrifices with your money.

3. You'll have to wake up early

Many children and teenagers snooze their alarm clocks until 10 minutes before they must leave their house to go to school. If you want to play professionally, you don’t have that luxury. You’ll often have to make sacrifices in terms of your sleep.

Often times, you’ll have to wake up long before sunrise to attend practices and training sessions. And, if you’re not training with your team, you should sneak in some extra hours on your own in the gym or on the soccer field.

You’ll also have to attend class, complete homework assignments, study for exams, etc. When you add more than 20 hours of training to that to-do list, sleep becomes less of a priority.

4. You'll have to follow a strict meal plan and workout routine

Many young athletes can eat whatever they want without their dietary choices affecting their weight or performance.

However, if you’re training to play professionally and therefore train at an intense level for more than 20 hours a week, you’ll have to follow a much stricter diet plan to make sure you eat the proper amount of protein, carbohydrates, and fats to optimize your performance. This means you’ll have to make sacrifices in terms of your diet – no more pizza and ice cream for you.

At high performance football academies, meals are designed to optimize your performance on the soccer field. That means, if you attend a high-performance academy, you’ll make sacrifices together with your peers.

5. You'll be sore often, and you might even suffer serious injury

On one hand, if you train intensely for more than 20 hours a week, you’ll get to experience your body at peak performance. On the other hand, Constant training leads to soreness, overuse of muscles and joints, strains and sprains, bruises and broken bones. The luckiest of high performance athletes experience one or two strains per season. The unluckiest athletes experience career crushing breaks and tears.

The most serious injuries could end an athlete’s dream to become a professional football player, but even worse, they could lead to life-long pain and suffering. You have to be willing to make sacrfices in terms of your safety. Although serious injury is unlikely, it’s definitely a possible outcome when you train at a high-level.

What you'll achieve when you make sacrifices

As you make sacrifices and train to become a professional soccer player, you’ll experience many benefits:

  1. You’ll learn the value of sacrifice and hard work
  2. You’ll make life-long friendships over a common bond
  3. You’ll learn to deal with both failure and success
  4. You’ll learn leadership skills and effective communication
  5. You’ll learn teamwork
  6. You’ll learn to push through pain
  7. You’ll meet the best athletes from all over the world
  8. and much, much more

As always,  to help you on your path to becoming a professional footballer, our team at is available to answer all of your questions and offer expert advice.

Call us at (+44) 203 769 94 43 or (+34) 902 750 359.

For a complete list of all the football programs and camps we offer, click here