How to Become a Professional Soccer Player (A Realistic Guide)
The wind in your face, the cheers of the crowd and the satisfying feeling of the leather ball flying through the air after you’ve kicked it: it’s no wonder that so many of us dream of being a professional soccer player.
And that’s without considering the numerous benefits. You’ll work with a close-knit team, be in peak fitness and travel the country — if not the world! While more traditional careers might see you bent over a laptop and developing neck aches, professional soccer players get to prioritize their health and wellbeing while earning an attractive salary and saving for retirement.
Of course, not everybody can be the next Lionel Messi or Megan Rapinoe. But being a professional soccer player doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. According to FIFA, there are at least 128,000 professional players. So if you want to become one of them, keep reading. We’ll break down how to become a professional soccer player, along with the skills you should develop.
Dedication, perseverance and a positive attitude are the keys to attracting the attention of an agent and getting signed as a professional soccer player. You’ll need to spend a lot of time working on your skills and fitness, and at times it may feel like you’ll never get signed. Don’t give up: success is possible.
You should be actively training a wide range of soccer skills. Don’t just focus on the things you find fun. Make sure you’re improving your weak points as well as your strong ones.
Professional Soccer Player Skills to Work On:
- Ball control
- First touch
- Passing (long and short)
- Positioning and spatial awareness
- Tactical intelligence and decision-making
- Running: power sprints
- Running: agility and changes of direction
- Running: endurance
- Balance and coordination
- A positive mindset even when the game’s going badly
- Calmness under pressure
- Both your feet, rather than just your preferred foot
Fitness is key to a strong performance. As well as working on specific soccer skills, you should be training your muscles, lungs and heart. Don’t forget to eat healthily and get enough sleep. It also goes without saying that professional soccer players can’t afford to smoke or have other unhealthy habits.
Look after your mental fitness, too. Watch out for burnout and see a doctor if stress or anxiety becomes too much. You can’t separate your physical and mental health.
The more you train, the better your skills and fitness levels will get. Turn up to every training session you can, and make the most of these valuable opportunities. Seek out feedback and one-to-one sessions with your coach.
Remember, it’s one thing to jog in the gym or practice keep-ups on your own. It’s another to train with a team and a talented coach, developing your ability to run at speed on the field in different weather conditions and intercept passes mid-game.
The right team will launch your soccer career to success through exposure and training. It’s better to join a poor team than no team at all, but you should also be trying to get on the best possible team. By training with players who challenge you, you’ll develop better skills. Plus, there’s a higher chance that scouts will attend your games.
Soccer matches are intense, both physically and mentally. Clubs will be looking for a player who doesn’t let a challenging game affect their mindset. By demonstrating teamwork, emotional intelligence and a positive attitude, you’ll reassure them that you’ll always perform at your best.
Some soccer players will get lucky. A scout or agent will come to a game, spot them and sign them up straight away. Most players, however, need to actively reach out to agents when they believe they’re ready to go professional.
Make a list of agents that interest you and contact them via email. You’ll need to attach a resume and video footage of you playing soccer. Then, stay patient and professional. Be receptive to feedback. If an agent signs you on, start training harder than ever so they can find a club for you.
Emotional intelligence is as important as physical intelligence for soccer players. The early starts and tough training sessions in the rain can get to you, especially if you’re watching your team players make it to the professional league while you keep playing at an amateur level.
But the difference between many professional soccer players and those who used to play as a hobby is simply that the professionals didn’t give up.
You might feel disappointed when you don’t catch a scout’s attention or a contract falls through at the last moment, but don’t allow it to pull you off track. Keep training, keep playing and keep demonstrating that great attitude that clubs are looking for.
As a professional soccer player, you might assume that you won’t need a resume. Think again. A soccer resume is essential.
While it’s what happens on the field that will attract a scout’s eye, your resume is a vital piece of evidence backing up your skills and experience. It will help clubs decide whether or not to sign you on and what contract (and salary!) to offer you.
Agents will typically want to see a resume and keep it on file so that they can remember all the important details of your career. After all, they represent a huge number of players. Even if they see you play, there are 22 players on that field and they watch countless games every year. They’re not always going to remember how well you dribble or how many goals you supported.
Your resume needs to detail your soccer career, highlighting your skills and accomplishments, as well as including important information such as your preferred position and foot. Don’t forget your stats and current team! Your resume should also be easy to skim and professionally laid out so that you make a strong first impression.
Here at Rocket Resume, we have dozens of professional soccer player resume templates that will help you get started. Plus, our resume builder will walk you through choosing the ideal structure based on your experience level. You’ll be able to create a professional, machine-readable resume in minutes.
Build your resume now so you can reach out to soccer agents.