INTRODUCTION – ROOKIE: Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Soccer
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Honest Abe knew that there’s no substitute for preparation.
You are about to embark on one of the most incredible and memorable adventures your life will ever offer. You’re about to become a college soccer player. Congratulations! It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and believe me, it will go by much faster than you could ever imagine. Four or five years from now, a referee will blow a whistle and – just like that! – your soccer career will be finished. The game you love most will have vanished while the sound of the referee’s whistle is still hanging in the air. You’ll shout up to the heavens for just one more game, but it’ll all be gone. And as you bargain with the gods for one more chance to wear that uniform and represent your college or university, you’ll look back upon your four years and reflect upon all the things you wish you had done differently. You’ll end up wishing that you could’ve known then what you do know now. You’ll retreat to be alone with your sadness, and there in your despair, you will remember that quote from Abe Lincoln. And you’ll wish that you had armed yourself with a sharper axe.
At least that’s how it used to be. You on the other hand… well, you’re different. You’ve chosen to prepare yourself. You’ve chosen to arm yourself with knowledge – with some inside info – and I commend you for it.
By reading this book, you’ve chosen to give yourself a head start and a competitive edge. Considering the world you are about to enter is predicated upon competition, any type of head start is a very valuable asset.
I’ve been coaching college soccer for more than 20 years. Among the many things I’ve learned is this: Freshmen struggle. Why? Because they’re freshmen. Because they are inexperienced. Because they are dropped into a brand new world without the benefit of hindsight and the only way for them to learn is through trial and error, with plenty of error. I’ve spent two decades observing rookies making the same mistakes over and over again.
Yes, you’re a rookie, but you don’t have to be a bewildered one. You can give yourself a fighting chance to sidestep the landmines that have exploded beneath so many of your predecessors. Let this book be your GPS as you navigate your freshman year of college soccer, and you’ll be thankful you did.
Here’s the deal… It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl; it doesn’t matter if you’re going to a small school or a big one; it doesn’t matter what division of college soccer you’ll be playing; I’m going to give you a lot of excellent advice. You can choose to take it or leave it; that’s entirely your call. But if you put your trust in me, I guarantee that your rookie season will go a whole lot smoother and that your chances of success will dramatically improve.
You’re about to embark on the best four years of your life. Let’s try to make them even better! C’mon Rookie, it’s time to sharpen your axe.
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