Go to Ajax?

25 November 2013
I left Italy recently and can share with you a very detailed experience of my time at the GISS academy but that alone is over 1500 words.


Training is very low key at the moment as I’m in Switzerland visiting my girlfriend. I want to see more results from my training, because the improvement that I am seeing now is not enough. I’m searching for a better, more efficient way to improve.


Those training plans I created in June have helped improve a few specific technical aspects of my game like my first touch, but I don’t feel it’s contributing greatly to my overall game.


As I said in the last review, one of my new goals is improvement by coaching and mental training. I’ve come up with a few ideas.


    • Go and watch the Ajax first team train – I have world class players training literally a 10 minute bike ride from my house. Analyze how the best move on the pitch, find out what they do that makes them so special.


    • Watch tactical and player analysis from football pundits on Sky Sports or Match of the Day. Issue is that these kinds of videos are limited.


      • Do mental training – visualization, gap training to reduce anxiety, etc. Although I did this before back in 2011 and I’m not sure on how effective the results were.


    • Uploading games online and getting a group of coaches to provide their feedback. I could do this for every game I play in, I just need a good camera man who can come to record my games and a good camera. My playing time is not consistent either. So that’s a challenge.

I’ve also reached out to Michel Bruyninckx on tips for personal coaching and training. Michael is leading a new method of training that focuses on the brain (article on his training method here).


Going to watch Ajax and recording my games feels like it would be the most effective thing to do. I’m gonna include that in my improvement plan from as soon as I’m back in Amsterdam.



Goal Journal Updates

Long term goals
Play professionally by February 2014.


Short term goals
1. 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


– Getting better at 1-on-1’s, and find that I have a key advantage as I can shoot with both feet well and so the defender doesn’t know which direction I’ll go. Also learning not to stop or slow down as I’m approaching the defender.
– Getting on the ball more by positioning oneself on edge of box for 1 touch, shot.
– Making inside runs, you can get on the ball so much more as I found in training this week.
– Coach pointed out to me whilst playing, don’t be static, move & move. I think he was right and just maybe the answer to getting on the ball more.
– Receive ball on touchline, rather than in the middle.
4/8/13 – Confidence definitely improving in one on ones as I practice them more and more with the out of contract guys.
12/8 – going inside more as a winger to make those cross field runs, I do get more touches on the ball that way.
25/8 – go inside, but don’t crowd other peoples space.
1/9/ – trying to make more actions. Really trying to turn on that confidence.
15/9 – does better improvement with confidence come from playing with other more and taking risks, or doing individual training?
15/9 – if I compare myself now to this time last year, I definitely go inside more and lose the ball less often with my back to goal.
22/9 – definitely taking more players on in training. More shooting and dribbling. Final ball is lacking at the moment.. which is strange because it is my strength.
1/10 – Hints from coach Jermaine

  • Go inside when making that move, that’s the fastest way to goal.
  • wait for the eye contact and then make the run.

9/10- When to make the run across the defence and when not to. Pic here
21/10 – When there’s low anxiety coming into a match, you play more confidently. Taking on players, etc.
21/10 – Felt completely natural to go 1 on 1 take on and beat my opponent on the left wing. Did very well in that aspect. What I’ve been practicing in training is paying off and becoming natural.
21/10 – Hint from coach Jermaine about Defending positioning: Go in and help your team win the ball back if the man you leave unmarked is not dangerous.

2. make a real habit of scanning
General comment: Improving, and I really want to shine more out of tight positions. Getting better, but so difficult to make this a habit. Still making sure I’m purposely scanning in personal trainings and club training drills.

3. Ongoing – Find out what makes great players, great. What separates the “great” from the “good”

This kind of stuff usually gets posted on the Facebook page

4. Create more WOW moments! (making actions which make people go WOW!)

not ready to develop this yet..


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 better, defend better(1/9/13), build linkedin network (14/10/13)



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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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