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Going the Distance: Mustering the Self-Discipline Needed for Success

October 10, 2019

A good routine both on and off the field is vital to the success of any athlete. Kids who play soccer or any other sport know that getting to the top of their game involves working on strength, endurance and agility. Plus, athletes need to focus on nutrition and sleep at home, as well as staying away from drugs, tobacco and alcohol.

So, how do you stick to all these daily routines and good habits? How can kids (and potentially future professional athletes!) find the self-discipline needed for success?

Orlando City Soccer Club athlete Chris Mueller encourages kids to go the distance by taking care of their bodies and ensuring they’re always competition-ready. And he emphasizes that changes to daily routines gradually improve an athlete’s abilities and skills — not instantly. Here is more of Mueller’s advice on routines, discipline and success: 

Do you notice a difference in your performance when you haven’t been following a healthy routine?

I definitely notice a difference when I'm not following my routine. Because of how important a daily routine is to long-term success, you need to be committed to your daily healthy habits. Over time, there will be a lot of ups and downs in the games that you play. To stay consistent in what you do every day and prevent injuries, stick to your everyday healthy routines. It’s really important to your long-term success.

Do you believe your discipline in soccer translates to other parts of your life?

Yes, being a professional footballer requires a lot of discipline, even when you're outside of the pitch. There are a lot of distractions in the outside world away from soccer, such as the things you eat, the substances you put in your body and the amount of sleep you're getting. 

To be disciplined in the pitch as a player, it's just as important to be an equally disciplined person off the soccer field — or whatever field you're playing on. There are many things that go into making yourself a good athlete! Sleep, nutrition, extra work: All these little aspects of discipline play a big role.

What’s a piece of advice you can give to a kid who's having a hard time sticking to a routine?

When you're in a routine and doing little incremental things that seem like they're not going to make a difference in the long run, it’s easy to ask yourself, "Am I doing this for nothing? What's the whole point?"

To a kid who's struggling to build a routine or doubts what they’re doing will actually work, you have to maintain the belief that what you're doing will provide you with the necessary steps to reach your goal. This is the number one thing that's going to propel you to maintain new habits and be successful. 

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