Ever since I could walk, I had a soccer ball right beside me. I played the beautiful sport for the longest time, and these are just some of the life lessons that it taught me.
Play smart, not hard.
There are exactly 11 players on each team, and you're not going to have the ball every time. With that being said, what are you supposed to do for the rest of the time you don't have the ball? Well, I found it helpful to plan out the next play by getting open to receive the ball. Make yourself available because if you don't then you won't get the ball. Same concept goes for life. I think that opportunities don't just show up, but rather you make them happen.
Become familiar with your competitor.
It always pays to do some research on the team that you're going to be playing against. Watching their tapes on their plays will help you anticipate what they're going to do when they play against you. Preparation will pay many dividends, so make sure not to snooze on this one! This same idea applies to life. Prepare for what awaits you in the future, so that you can fully take advantage of all your opportunities.
Don't be afraid to develop your own style.
There's always that one player on the team that knows how to captivate the audience by the way they perform on the field. Yeah, be that player. That's the player that gets creative with the game and has a blast just showing off their moves. They tend to be energetic and full of confidence. Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Kylian Mbappé are great examples of these type of players. When it comes to you, don't be afraid to be yourself because honestly there's no one else in the world like you. Embrace your individuality and work your own style!
Communication is key.
As Paul J. Meyer once said, "communication is key." This is a team sport and being able to have that genuine chemistry is a must in order to win games, but most importantly for the growth of the team. When it comes to life, you can't really go through it alone. Find like-minded people that will help you and build you up, those people are keepers (no pun intended).
Have patience, young grasshopper.
There is an art to timing in this game because you don't want to shoot the ball too early or too late. You aim the ball at the goal and go for it when you're ready. I truly believe that this is applicable to life as well. Make sure to know your outcome and pursue your true passions!
Soccer has always been a big part of my life, and I'm so happy to be able to share some of my own lessons that I have learned throughout the way. Remember life is like a soccer game, embrace all the hardships and enjoy all the victories too!