Oxlade Chamberlain is smart

A typical 2013 week

21 April 2013
Weekly Reflection 15th – 21st of April 2013
On Tuesday I was invited to play in a friendly match with JOS. It was a combination of reserve and u/18 players vs trialists who were being looked at for the team next season. I played for 80-90 minutes a right back and there’s not much to talk about really, the others were just not that great to play against (I mean come on they were trialing..) and we dominated.
On Saturday I was in the reserves again for a game against the Saturday 1’s of JOS who I think are the best pub team in the club.. they were okay to play against, but many of them were pretty old, so their pace was lacking and so was their fitness. I started as a right wing because one of our guys was injured. I played a nice 10-15 metre through ball with the outside of my right foot to set up our first goal and I banged in a rocket with my right foot from 10 metres out to score our 4th or 5th of the match in the second half. We won 5-3 or 6-3.. not sure. So that full 90 minutes gave me a chance to analyze where I was at with my game. No problems defending. Going forward was good, 1 on 1’s still a little shaky and receiving with my back to ball is still a bit shaky too. Other than that, all was good, but I really want to get on the ball more too. Actually, these are all things I mentioned last year and although I’ve improved on them alot..I still don’t feel fully confident.
So the three things I can take from this point and improve my confidence in is:

  • 1-on-1’s
  • Receiving with back to ball
  • Looking for ways to get on the ball more
All the other days were a combination of gym workouts, personal sessions and training at Damsko and today I spent my day chilling in the city centre and at the park.

Goal Journal

Long term goals
Play professionally by end of summer 2013
Short term goals
1. NEW: 
improve my confidence on:

  • 1-on-1’s
  • Receiving with back to ball
    & become a more valuable player by..
  • Looking for more ways I can get on the ball


1. be more explosive
I think this is done. Each gym workout that I do, I try and make it so I’m doing as many explosive exercises as possible. It’s part of my attitude towards gym workouts now so therefore I think this goal has been achieved!

General comment: Really focusing my workout exercises on more dynamic, explosive ones. Focus less on the arms now.
2. make a real habit of scanning alot
Have to focus on this.
General comment: Not scanning enough and not making a real habit when I could really shine out of tight positions.
3. Ongoing – Find out what makes great players, great. What separates the “great” from the “good”.
The small, little intricate things you do make the difference.
Exhibit a. Chamberlain has back to goal, he shows a bit of the ball to Baines and then quickly puts his body in front of the ball to win the foul. The ox knew what he was doing to win that foul!
Oxlade Chamberlain is smart
Exhibit b. Real Madrid vs Galatasary 1st leg. Ronaldo uses his strength to muscle out defender as he anticipates the cross coming in. Once the cross comes in, all Ronaldo has to do is just put his whip his foot on the ball with no pressure. Smart!
Ronaldo is a smart player

Ronaldo is smart

These little things can make all the difference to do those little extra things to become great, and not just good.

4. Defend better

a. communication
b. knowing who should be marking who.
5. Build LinkedIn network
Added a few contacts..
6. Plan better.
I need to be more efficent about exactly what I’m going to do in my workouts, rather than just make it up as I go.
accomplished: be stronger off the ball,  quicker plays, don’t let attackers run inside, play long ball forward instead of risky passback,  be more explosive
Plan & Checklist – Did 15 hours. Next Week 15 hours.  
Monday: personal session + gym
Tuesday: training + champs league analysis
Wednesday: personal session + gym + champs league analysis
Thursday: damsko session + club training + stay behind
Friday: damsko session + gym and personal session at usc
Sat: rest
Sunday: game
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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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