Development Downloads

Development Downloads

On my journey as a young athlete, I often felt like there was an invisible ceiling holding me back. Despite following the prescribed regimen of watching soccer on TV, putting in extra touches, and pushing myself in physical workouts, the results didn't always come as swiftly as I'd hoped.

I craved immediate gratification. I wanted each extra session of ball work to translate into effortlessly dribbling past every player on the field. I expected my gym workouts to ensure I'd be the last one standing during games. But progress was never instant. There were frustrating stretches where improvement seemed elusive, and doubts crept in. "Is all this extra training worth it?" "Will I ever get better?" "Maybe I just don't have what it takes."

These thoughts haunted me, especially as a young player aspiring to reach college and professional levels. But along the way I began to notice a pattern. Instead of seeing steady progress over time, my development felt more like hitting plateaus where it seemed like I wasn't getting anywhere, then suddenly taking these quick elevator rides that shot me up to a whole new level almost in an instant.

One defining moment stands out: After starting my career as a member of the Youth National Team, I had been cut from that squad as well as the ODP Regional Team. ODP was the pathway to the National Team during this time that consisted of State, Regional, and National Teams. I was discouraged but still working hard to make it back on those teams.

That summer, I attended a mixed-age camp called ESP hosted by Adidas. This camp was unique in that there was no team to make at the end, and the environment was one that promoted enjoying the game. So I had none of the stress I normally did at these other camps where it felt like so much was on the line. This is where a shift occurred for me. As I prepared to receive the ball, facing two defenders with my teammate ahead, a remarkable clarity enveloped me. Time seemed to slow, allowing me to calmly assess the situation and envision my next move. It was a pivotal turning point – suddenly, the game felt different. I learned to navigate tight spaces with composure and anticipate plays with newfound insight, propelling me to unprecedented success in the following months.

Reflecting on this experience, I gleaned invaluable lessons:

  1. Development Doesn't Happen Gradually: It's a series of breakthrough moments where everything clicks. Persistence is key, as many abandon their efforts before reaping the rewards of their hard work.
  2. A Change of Environment Can Spark Growth: Stepping outside our familiar routines can lead to fresh perspectives. For me, it was mingling with new players in a non-competitive setting that triggered profound insights.
  3. The Importance of Rest: Often overlooked but essential for long-term progress. Just as we need to exhale to inhale, rest allows our minds and bodies to integrate what we've learned, unleashing the power of our subconscious.

Author: Dillon Powers

Back to blog