Start your Soccer Season Already Winning
Here’s how you can start your soccer season already winning, as told by US woman’s soccer player Lindsay Tarpley. Read below!
The start of the soccer season is right around the corner. Yay! I debated writing in all CAPS, because I am not yelling, I am just excited! Fall has always remained one of my favorite times of the year: back to school, crisp weather, and trees changing color, new goals to achieve, and a blank slate to create my own story.
One thing I learned over the years is I am a more productive person when I set goals and work hard to try to accomplish them. It helps me hold myself accountable every day while pushing to make myself better.
Every fall, I would write down three short-term goals and three long-term goals for school and my sports. I enjoyed pushing myself with my studies and holding myself accountable with these goals. In my family, I was expected to do my best in school, and sports was secondary. As for my sports, soccer remained constant in where I naturally spent a lot of time and energy. When younger, most of my goals were technically and tactically related to soccer: how many touches per day, how many juggles, etc. As I got older, I realized the importance of nutrition, fitness, watching film and trying to make myself a better all-around player.
At the highest level, there is a very thin margin separating players. I have always worked hard to focus on things within my control to try and reach my potential. I realized setting goals for the short-term as well as the long term guided and shaped me into the person and player I wanted to become. I realized the small decisions would ultimately affect my long-term goals. As time passed, I learned to manage my nutrition because I am a big believer in the saying, ‘you are what you eat.’ Fueling my body with the right foods was important to me and an element within my control.
I am a creature of habit and I like to keep things consistent. No doubt, that transferred over into my nutrition and meal prep. The night before a big game, I would focus on carb loading with a protein. Before my game, I would reach for a peanut butter/banana sandwich, fruit, and a bar. After my game, I would refuel with chocolate milk and a banana. I loved knowing I was putting good food into my tank on the front end, and then having a chocolate milk to recover. Chocolate milk is a great source for quick recovery, and I still look forward to drinking it after a workout!
Related: Chocolate Milk and Athletes
Looking back on my career, I realize I accomplished my goals because of the hard work I put into making sure I was the best me in all areas of my life. Goal setting still helps me realize what I want to try and accomplish while making sure I am doing the necessary short-term actions to help lead me to my long-term goals. Don’t get me wrong, it is hard to stay on track and strive for greatness, but I know I was able to have an Olympic Gold Medal put around my neck twice because of the decisions I made along the way!
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from my college coach, mentor and amazing human being, Anson Dorrance:
“The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when no one else is watching.”
Keep striving for greatness! Till next time.
Training is only a portion of what it takes to make a good athlete. Learn how to maximize your performance by incorporating good nutrition into your training plan by clicking here.