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Resources Feb 01, 2016

Chapter 46: CHARITY TIME – ROOKIE: Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer

ROOKIE Cover JPEGDespite what I’ve led you to believe, there are actually moments when playing time doesn’t go to the very best player. Sometimes, when the score is out of reach and the result has been decided, the coach will have the luxury of giving other players their chance. Let’s refer to these moments as charity time. And believe me, you want a piece of them! But before you have a chance to take advantage of charity time, the coach still has to pick you.

When the coach is deciding who gets the charity time, he’s either going to choose the players he wants to see… or the players he wants to reward. If there’s a tie between two players in terms of talent, he’s going to pick the player he likes best. He’s going to pick the player who has earned the reward by doing the right things, presenting a positive attitude and being a good, responsible teammate. This might be the time where picking up all those cones comes back to bless you.

Everything we’ve been discussing for the past several chapters has been about positioning yourself. Charity time is where all that positioning can pay off.

Understand that charity time will typically come in small portions, usually ten or fewer minutes. Doesn’t matter. Don’t feel as if you’re above playing the final five minutes of a 4-0 game. Do not underestimate the value of charity time. Any amount of time is more than nothing and it gives you a chance to make a statement, no matter how brief. If you can string together enough of those small statements, you begin to make a real case for yourself.

Very rarely does a player go from not playing at all to starting in one swift motion. A starting position is usually won in chunks – one small chunk at a time. When charity time comes your way, make the most of it. For starters, don’t take the field to maintain the status quo. Regardless of whether you are winning or losing, take the field with the goal of changing the game. If that game is a dying body, make it your mission to be the AED that shocks it back to life!

If you’ve been doing your work, you’re probably 80-90 minutes fit. That’s a lot of fuel to have in your tank for a ten minute performance, so don’t pace yourself! Run around that field like you’re riding a rocket! Your goal should be to empty your tank just as the final whistle blows.

When you’re handed charity time, you’ve got nothing to lose! What’s the worst that can happen? You’re already not playing! Use your handful of minutes to showcase the turbo-charged force I know you to be! Believe me, if you buzz around that field like a runaway band saw, your coach is going to notice and he’s going to like it and his trust in you will grow.

Charity time can be your chance to turn five minutes today into ten minutes next week into twenty minutes a week later and on to who knows what! Don’t scoff at the opportunity. Take advantage of it!

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