How to Go Back to your Team Feeling Refreshed after the Holidays

Why do you play soccer? Hopefully, it’s because the game is fun, challenging, and exciting. Perhaps it also has to do with how much you enjoy your coaches and teammates. Though you love soccer, and it may be the only thing you can think about, it’s important to take your holiday break seriously to ensure you don’t overwork or burn yourself out. Here are some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way that help me feel refreshed after the holidays.

Spend some days with zero soccer

First and foremost, I recommend to anyone who asks (and I know technically you didn’t ask but here are my two cents anyway), take a few days out of your holiday to “miss” soccer. You know the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder?” Well, I believe in this situation, it’s true. Focusing your time and energy on your other hobbies and interests will leave you feeling rejuvenated. When you get back to your team after the break is over, you’ll find a new sense of energy that comes from “missing” soccer. You play non-stop, all year round. Give yourself some time to realize how much better your life is with soccer by comparing it to days spent without it.

Practice on your terms

If you’ve taken days off but can’t stand the distance anymore, then don’t torture yourself any longer! Get back to your good friend, the soccer ball, but on your own terms. Go out and do what you enjoy most. That could be shooting or juggling, or if you’re like me, finding a wall and playing ball wall for hours on end. The point is to treat yourself to your favorite part of the game. You spend most of the year doing what your coaches say, so now is the perfect time to be your own coach and do what you want to do. Have fun with it and remind yourself how exciting it is to play. This will ensure that, even though you didn’t stay away from soccer completely during the break, you can still get back to your team feeling refreshed and ready to pick up where you left off.

Reflect on the previous year

Whether taking to the field to train or not during the holidays, it’s important to process what you’ve experienced in the last year. Set some time aside each day to sit quietly and think or journal about all that has happened in your soccer life. The good, the bad, and everything in between. Make sure you acknowledge your accomplishments and how you’ve improved. Also, take the time to think about the ways you can take your game to the next level, and in the most gentle way, set short-term goals in order to improve those skills. Most importantly, allow the thought of your short-term goals to excite and motivate you. Plan for the year and season ahead.

Keep in touch with your teammates

Just because it’s the break, doesn’t mean you have to completely disconnect from your team. Take the time to reconnect with teammates, whether over zoom or on the phone. Many of our teammates are also our closest friends, and make our soccer experience better and more fun. Connecting with your friends can help remind you why you decided to play a team sport to begin with. It also helps you look forward to getting back to training after the break in order to see them again. 

Your time off, if used correctly, can be a time to recenter yourself. The most important reason for a break is to get back to your team feeling refreshed and ready for what’s to come. By being purposeful about your break, you can ensure that you not only have a relaxing and fun break, but that you also feel refreshed after the holidays (and return to your team with a BANG).

Featured image via Adobe Stock @georgerudy



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