Let’s face it – 2021 was a strange year. Perhaps not quite as insane as 2020, but with lockdowns and restrictions still in force, it was difficult for some of us to get into a groove when it came to playing football.
Without jinxing it, 2022 looks like it *may* be a bit brighter.
So, it’s time to forget the excuses and make 2022 your best footballing year yet. Whether you want to take things to the next level, or just want to be a regular first-team player, there's never been a better time to up your game!
Train Like You Mean It
If you are first on the team bus every Saturday morning, but are often AWOL when it comes to midweek training, then 2022 is the year to change this.
You probably don’t need us to tell you that training is crucial for developing the physical, technical and tactical aspects of your game.
However, unlike the pros, you can’t rely on your club to develop you into the player you want to be. As an amateur, you usually have to take this into your own hands and approach training with foresight and discipline.
What this looks like to you will depend on what you need to work on. This may be as simple as performing extra dribbling sessions in your garden in your spare time or improving your strength by adding an extra session or two at the gym.
Our complete guide to football training provides everything you need to know about all aspects of training, allowing you to take it seriously and drastically improve your game.
Give Your Body What It Needs
While training is crucial, so too is what we put into our bodies. In 2022, improving your nutrition will go a long way to improving what you do on the pitch.
Start by giving your body what it needs. When trying to succeed as a footballer, your body demands a supply of quality carbohydrates like oats, wholegrains, rice and pasta. It requires vital vitamins and minerals, largely coming from fresh fruit and vegetables. It also needs some lean protein and essential fats to promote recovery and health.
In short, eat more wholefoods and less takeaways, and you will both feel the benefits and see an improvement in your energy levels and recovery.
Hydration is another important factor in nutrition. Suffering from even a small degree of dehydration can lead to fatigue and severe cramps, which can clearly impact your ability to perform.
Therefore, it is recommended that you drink at least 2 litres of water every day to maintain a good base level of hydration, with an extra 500ml to 1 litre of water for every hour of activity you do. Drinking an Isotonic Sports drink, or adding an electrolyte supplement to your water, can also help enhance your rehydration after exercise.
Try Something New
Whether you are a serial supplementer or only occasionally use sports drinks, 2022 is the perfect time to overhaul your supplement game.
Popular with Premier League clubs, you could start adding our Pro Grade Nitrate Shots to your daily routine. Taking nitrates regularly (not just on match days) can help you improve your bodies oxygen efficiency and therefore boost performance.
Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most widely used supplements in professional football. This highly-tested supplement can not only add explosiveness to your game, but also help you make better decisions on the pitch.
If you really want to invest in your game this year, you should try our new Pro Box – a subscription service that delivers regular supplements tailormade for you. Combine your favourite supplements for before, during and after your game, along with products for your general health. No fuss – they just turn up at your door when you want!
Listen to Others
We all have egos, and to hear something negative about how we play football can instantly put us on the defensive. But stop – before you argue, consider taking this feedback on board, especially if it is from your coach.
You may not realise that you do something every game. Perhaps you fail to see certain opportunities because your head is down, or you always trip over the ball, or you are odds-on favourite to receive the first yellow card. While you may be oblivious, chances are that others will have noticed.
Instead of ignoring it, ask your coach,or a team mate, for some constructive feedback. Ask them how you can improve and what you should practice to ensure this improvement happens, then watch your game develop because of it.
Stay Injury Free
There is nothing worse than preparing for a strong second half of the season then pulling a muscle on the first weekend in January, rendering you side-lined for the next few months.
It is therefore crucial to do everything you can to prevent injury if you want 2022 to be a great footballing year.
Firstly, pay attention to what you do before you step onto the pitch. If your current warmup consists of jogging half a lap of the field, then you need to change things. A good warmup and cool down routine are essential to avoiding injury, and you can read more on developing one in our guide to warming up for footballers.
Keep your joints and ligaments strong with Omega 3 and Collagen supplements, and don’t forget to recover properly too. Rest is when your muscles are repaired, so get good sleep, stay hydrated, and add our Recover90 to your post-match routine to kickstart the recovery process.
Whether you follow a little of this advice or all of it, any improvements you can make to your life off the pitch will help make 2022 a better footballing year for you.
Happy new year from everyone at Soccer Supplement!