How to become a football player after 20

Table of Contents

How many years of college does it take to be a football player?

Player Eligibility To be eligible for the draft, players must have been out of high school for at least three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season.

Do you have to have a college degree to play in the NFL?

Anyone is allowed to enter the NFL draft, as long as they have graduated high school. If you don’t play in college, continue training hard and consider becoming a walk-on.

What do you have to do to become a football player?

Goal brings you some tips that may help on your path to becoming a pro.

  1. Start young.
  2. Join a team.
  3. Work hard & be willing to sacrifice.
  4. Healthy diet & smart exercise.
  5. Create a football CV.
  6. Find an agent.
  7. Trials.
  8. Look for college scholarships.

Can I tryout for the NFL?

It is not possible to walk on to an NFL team. If a player is not drafted they must be invited to a team’s training camp. They can’t just show up and try to show what they can do.

Can you go from highschool to NFL?

As for the NFL, the league has a rule prohibiting players from being drafted until they have been out of high school for three years. As a result, there are no players currently in the NFL who came straight from high school. The last player to do so was Andy Livingston, in 1964.

What NFL players never went to college?

One of the more famous players, Ray Seals never played football in college but somehow snuck his way into the NFL. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1989 to 1993 as a defensive end and a nose tackle. He later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1994 to 1995.

Who is the youngest player in the NFL?

So far, the youngest player to ever get drafted into the NFL was Amobi Okoye. He was drafted 10th overall by the Houston Texans at age 19, last 2007.

Are there any walk on NFL players?

Every college team has at least a handful of guys that began their careers as walk-ons, and every year, some of them are selected in the NFL draft. And some end up stars in the NFL. One such star decided to call it a career Tuesday. Taylor joined Louisiana-Lafayette as a junior walk-on in 2002.

Who is the greatest walk on ever?

Greatest Walk-Ons in Sports History

  • Daniel Nava.
  • Ziggy Ansah.
  • Jason Dufner.
  • Seth Lugo.
  • Hunter Renfrow.
  • Matt Gilroy.
  • Brandon Burlsworth. Brandon Burlsworth became an All-American at Arkansas.
  • Colt Brennan. Colt Brennan played three seasons at the University of Hawaii.

Who is the greatest walk on in college football?

14 of the best walk-ons in college football history

  • Jared Abbrederis — Wisconsin.
  • Sean Bedford — Georgia Tech.
  • J.J. Watt — Wisconsin.
  • Clay Matthews — USC.
  • Jim Leonhard — Wisconsin.
  • Rodrigo Blankenship — Georgia.
  • Stephen Gostkowski — Memphis.
  • Kenny Willekes — Michigan State.

Who is the best undrafted NFL player?

Best Undrafted NFL Players of All Time

  • Wes Welker.
  • Jason Peters.
  • Larry Little.
  • Tony Romo.
  • Nate Newton.
  • London Fletcher.
  • Jeff Saturday. Jeff Saturday played in 211 career NFL games.
  • Michael Bennett. Michael Bennett celebrates a sack against the New York Giants in 2018.

Has an undrafted QB ever won a Superbowl?

Considered the NFL’s greatest undrafted player, Warner is the only undrafted player to be named NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, as well as the only undrafted quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. He is also the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl during his first season as the primary starter.

How much does an entry level NFL player make?

The NFL’s minimum player salary for 2020 It would take an #NFL player on the first year minimum salary ($610,000) 5 weeks active to earn more than the $150,000 stipend you receive to opt-out from the 2020 season.

How many players go undrafted NFL?

There are nearly 500 undrafted players currently in the NFL (486 undrafted players made Week 1 53-man rosters), and there are 15 current members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who also went undrafted.

How much is the lowest paid NFL player?

One of the stipulations in the CBA is that all NFL active roster players must receive a one-year contract with a minimum salary of $610,000. This is a $100,000 jump from the last CBA, which stated that $510,000 was the threshold for some of the lowest-paid NFL players.

Do practice squad players get a Super Bowl ring?

Per the CBA, players that were on the winning team’s practice squad at the time of the Super Bowl victory are also entitled to a ring, but it can be one of lesser value.

How much money does a rookie NFL player make?

The first year cap number or rookie pool number consists of the player’s prorated amount of signing bonus and the rookie minimum base salary, which is $660,000 in 2021.

Do NFL players get paid weekly?

They earn a weekly salary but only during the season with conditions set on whether they play and how they perform. Like other workers they get bonuses that are paid outside the regular schedule of payments. In order to understand how NFL players get paid a look at different parts of their contracts is needed.

What is the biggest fine in NFL history?

Punishment: Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, the largest penalty ever levied against a coach in the league’s 87 years. The Patriots were fined $250,000 and had to give up a first-round draft pick.

When a NFL player is released does he still get paid?

When a player is released after June 1, the team is again relieved of paying that player’s base salary for the year in which he is released (and all future years) and the only amount that counts against the team’s Cap in that year is the player’s bonus proration for that year.

How much is an NFL injury settlement?

An Injury Settlement is usually based on the amount of time that the team and player agree the player will be unable to play. So, for example, if the player is only expected to miss the first month of the season, the team and player will usually agree to a settlement of 4/17ths of the player’s scheduled base salary.

Do NFL players get paid if they don’t play?

Originally Answered: Do NFL injured players get paid? They do if they have a “guaranteed money” clause in their contract. They will receive the guarnateed amount for the life of their contract, even if they never play.

How much is an NFL signing bonus?

Thus, a $20 million signing bonus on a five-year contract would create $4 million cap hits in each season….Prorated Bonus (Signing Bonus & Option Bonus)

How to become a football player after 20

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Although you may have dreamed of becoming a professional quarterback since you were a kid, you cannot play in the NFL until you’re an adult. While there is no minimum age for professional football players, the NFL mandates that you must be out of high school for at least three years before you are eligible to play.

If you graduate at 17 years old, that means you must wait until you are 20 to enter the NFL draft. If you graduate when you are 18, you will need to wait until you turn 21. This rule helps ensure that players are physically and mentally prepared to be part of the NFL.

Average NFL Player Age

With no NFL minimum age or NFL age limit in place, players can play as long as they are physically capable of playing. Despite the range of ages allowed to play professional football, the average NFL player age skews younger. The average age of NFL players is 26.6 years, as of 2015. That’s younger than it was a decade ago.

This younger average NFL player age is a result of teams not wanting aging players, as well as having shorter average career lengths, and younger rookies entering the sport. A younger team may indicate that a player has more stamina and endurance, but it doesn’t always mean experience.

Age Is Just a Number

If the average NFL player age is 26, that means there are a number of players who are older and some who are younger. A number of NFL players have played well into their 40s. The oldest NFL player on record is George Blanda, who last played in 1975 for the Oakland Raiders, when he was nearly 49 years old.

The youngest player ever drafted in the NFL is Amobi Okoye, who was drafted by the Houston Texans in 2007, when he was just 19 years old. This Nigerian-born football player was able to be drafted so young, because he entered college when he was only 16 years old. He played for less than a decade before health issues sidelined him.

Other Requirements to Enter the NFL

In addition to time out of high school, there is another requirement that makes a player eligible to play for the NFL A player needs to use his college eligibility before the next football season begins. Every football player who plays in college has four years of college eligibility, provided the player maintains academic and other standards established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). He can use up to four years of college eligibility to play college football and improve his skills. However, the moment a player signs with an agent, that player is no longer college eligible, even if he didn’t use his entire four years of eligibility.

Underclassmen and those who graduate before using all of their college eligibility can petition the NFL to enter the draft early. Players can enter the draft only in the year after their college eligibility ends. If a player enters the draft and no contract is signed, he can enter the draft the next year.

Table of Contents

How many years of college does it take to be a football player?

Player Eligibility To be eligible for the draft, players must have been out of high school for at least three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season.

Do you have to have a college degree to play in the NFL?

Anyone is allowed to enter the NFL draft, as long as they have graduated high school. If you don’t play in college, continue training hard and consider becoming a walk-on.

What do you have to do to become a football player?

Goal brings you some tips that may help on your path to becoming a pro.

  1. Start young.
  2. Join a team.
  3. Work hard & be willing to sacrifice.
  4. Healthy diet & smart exercise.
  5. Create a football CV.
  6. Find an agent.
  7. Trials.
  8. Look for college scholarships.

Can I tryout for the NFL?

It is not possible to walk on to an NFL team. If a player is not drafted they must be invited to a team’s training camp. They can’t just show up and try to show what they can do.

Can you go from highschool to NFL?

As for the NFL, the league has a rule prohibiting players from being drafted until they have been out of high school for three years. As a result, there are no players currently in the NFL who came straight from high school. The last player to do so was Andy Livingston, in 1964.

What NFL players never went to college?

One of the more famous players, Ray Seals never played football in college but somehow snuck his way into the NFL. He played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1989 to 1993 as a defensive end and a nose tackle. He later played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1994 to 1995.

Who is the youngest player in the NFL?

So far, the youngest player to ever get drafted into the NFL was Amobi Okoye. He was drafted 10th overall by the Houston Texans at age 19, last 2007.

Are there any walk on NFL players?

Every college team has at least a handful of guys that began their careers as walk-ons, and every year, some of them are selected in the NFL draft. And some end up stars in the NFL. One such star decided to call it a career Tuesday. Taylor joined Louisiana-Lafayette as a junior walk-on in 2002.

Who is the greatest walk on ever?

Greatest Walk-Ons in Sports History

  • Daniel Nava.
  • Ziggy Ansah.
  • Jason Dufner.
  • Seth Lugo.
  • Hunter Renfrow.
  • Matt Gilroy.
  • Brandon Burlsworth. Brandon Burlsworth became an All-American at Arkansas.
  • Colt Brennan. Colt Brennan played three seasons at the University of Hawaii.

Who is the greatest walk on in college football?

14 of the best walk-ons in college football history

  • Jared Abbrederis — Wisconsin.
  • Sean Bedford — Georgia Tech.
  • J.J. Watt — Wisconsin.
  • Clay Matthews — USC.
  • Jim Leonhard — Wisconsin.
  • Rodrigo Blankenship — Georgia.
  • Stephen Gostkowski — Memphis.
  • Kenny Willekes — Michigan State.

Who is the best undrafted NFL player?

Best Undrafted NFL Players of All Time

  • Wes Welker.
  • Jason Peters.
  • Larry Little.
  • Tony Romo.
  • Nate Newton.
  • London Fletcher.
  • Jeff Saturday. Jeff Saturday played in 211 career NFL games.
  • Michael Bennett. Michael Bennett celebrates a sack against the New York Giants in 2018.

Has an undrafted QB ever won a Superbowl?

Considered the NFL’s greatest undrafted player, Warner is the only undrafted player to be named NFL MVP and Super Bowl MVP, as well as the only undrafted quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. He is also the first quarterback to win the Super Bowl during his first season as the primary starter.

How much does an entry level NFL player make?

The NFL’s minimum player salary for 2020 It would take an #NFL player on the first year minimum salary ($610,000) 5 weeks active to earn more than the $150,000 stipend you receive to opt-out from the 2020 season.

How many players go undrafted NFL?

There are nearly 500 undrafted players currently in the NFL (486 undrafted players made Week 1 53-man rosters), and there are 15 current members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who also went undrafted.

How much is the lowest paid NFL player?

One of the stipulations in the CBA is that all NFL active roster players must receive a one-year contract with a minimum salary of $610,000. This is a $100,000 jump from the last CBA, which stated that $510,000 was the threshold for some of the lowest-paid NFL players.

Do practice squad players get a Super Bowl ring?

Per the CBA, players that were on the winning team’s practice squad at the time of the Super Bowl victory are also entitled to a ring, but it can be one of lesser value.

How much money does a rookie NFL player make?

The first year cap number or rookie pool number consists of the player’s prorated amount of signing bonus and the rookie minimum base salary, which is $660,000 in 2021.

Do NFL players get paid weekly?

They earn a weekly salary but only during the season with conditions set on whether they play and how they perform. Like other workers they get bonuses that are paid outside the regular schedule of payments. In order to understand how NFL players get paid a look at different parts of their contracts is needed.

What is the biggest fine in NFL history?

Punishment: Coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, the largest penalty ever levied against a coach in the league’s 87 years. The Patriots were fined $250,000 and had to give up a first-round draft pick.

When a NFL player is released does he still get paid?

When a player is released after June 1, the team is again relieved of paying that player’s base salary for the year in which he is released (and all future years) and the only amount that counts against the team’s Cap in that year is the player’s bonus proration for that year.

How much is an NFL injury settlement?

An Injury Settlement is usually based on the amount of time that the team and player agree the player will be unable to play. So, for example, if the player is only expected to miss the first month of the season, the team and player will usually agree to a settlement of 4/17ths of the player’s scheduled base salary.

Do NFL players get paid if they don’t play?

Originally Answered: Do NFL injured players get paid? They do if they have a “guaranteed money” clause in their contract. They will receive the guarnateed amount for the life of their contract, even if they never play.

How much is an NFL signing bonus?

Thus, a $20 million signing bonus on a five-year contract would create $4 million cap hits in each season….Prorated Bonus (Signing Bonus & Option Bonus)

By: Jonathan Croswell

Published: 05 December, 2018

How to become a football player after 20

Football players, depending on their position, may be both muscular and also lean, fast and agile. The sport is very physical and features intense contact on every play. Building muscle, strength and agility helps you increase your physical presence on the field, making you more effective at blocking players, breaking tackles and struggling your way past the opponent. The process of building physical endurance is one that begins early in a football player’s career, but the need to maintain this physical prowess continues.

Lift weights several times a week. Most football players place a strong focus on off-season lifting — this is a period of time where they can try to add multiple pounds of muscle mass to help them in the next season. These lifts can include full-body lifts like the squat to muscle-specific lifts like the bench press, which works the arms, shoulders, back and pectorals. Do deadlifts, snatches, jump squats and power cleans to work out every muscle. Do all of your lifting on one day to allow for a day of rest on the next.

Use plyometric exercises to develop core strength and explosive power. Your core muscles, like the abdominals, are important to muscular power when delivering tackles or breaking them. Perform box jumps, long jumps, skipping and bounding. Exaggerate your movements. When you skip, drive your knee high. When you’re bounding from foot to foot, hang above the ground as long as you can, bunching your muscles.

Practice agility and sprinting drills to develop speed and precision. Set cones at pre-determined distances and sprint from the starting line to the cones and back again. Use an agility ladder to practice coordination. Start off with a simple in-and-out ladder drill and work your way up to a complex maneuver that uses the spaces between the rungs and the outside of the ladder to help improve your reaction times.

Allow for rest periods, specifically on off days and at night. Exercise helps break your muscles down, but if you want to develop that muscle and become stronger and more muscular you need to provide the body with periods of recovery. It is during inactivity that the muscles heal from exercise and synthesize new muscle fibers. In addition to never lifting two days in a row, you should get plenty of sleep at night.

Increase the amount of protein consumed through your diet. Protein is the fuel your muscles need to generate new muscle mass. Try to increase protein consumption without limiting yourself from other food groups, which are also important to physical fitness and overall health.

How to become a football player after 20

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Becoming a professional football player requires stamina, strength and ambition. What it does not require is a formal education. While NFL athletes do not specifically go to school to become professional football players, NFL and NCAA requirements include those related to education.

NFL Requirements

To be drafted into the NFL, a player must be three years out of high school. That means a player must at least have a high school diploma before entering the NFL. The NFL also wants players who have a little maturity and experience under their belts, and requires players to spend time playing college football.

Players wanting to enter the NFL draft must use all of their college eligibility before the next college football season starts. Typically, that means they complete four years of college and graduate with a degree of their choosing. Those who have not yet graduated can petition the NFL to enter the draft early. These players may never complete their degrees or they may later return to graduate.

NCAA Requirements

To play college football, a player must comply with the academic requirements established by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). So while the NFL does not have any set education requirements, the NCAA essentially establishes what education is needed to become a football player.

To be eligible to play sports in the first year of a Division I or II school, a student must graduate high school with established units of the following classes completed:

  • English
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy

Students must learn at least a 2.2 GPA in these courses and have an acceptable SAT or ACT score.

High school students wanting to enter a Division III college must meet the admissions standards set by the school.

Once in college, a student athlete must also abide by the NCAA’s requirements in order to play sports. The NCAA prioritizes education and helps student athletes take the steps needed to get a degree. NCAA establishes standards for a minimum GPA, credit hours and percentage-of-degree requirements. For example, athletes at a Division I school must have 60 percent of their degree requirements met and at least a 2.0 GPA before their fourth year of college.

More than eight in 10 student athletes at Division I schools earn their bachelor’s degrees. Since 2004, more than 15,000 former Division I athletes returned to finish their degrees.

Value of Education Post-NFL

Since the average NFL career only lasts about three years, there is much value to a football player earning a degree while they have a chance. This is especially valuable since nearly 80 percent of players are bankrupt within three years of retirement. With a degree and some work experience behind them, football players can enter another career and generate a salary, even after their time as a professional athlete ends.

The NCAA has a degree-completion program to help make this happen, and many schools provide scholarships to help former athletes graduate. A few colleges even work with NFL players during the offseason to help them earn MBAs. In 2016, more than 180 active NFL players took graduate or undergraduate classes during the offseason, and 31 completed their degrees. The NFL Players Association can help offset the cost of tuition to make it more affordable for athletes to return to school.

Many former athletes want to go into fields related to football, such as an agent or financial advisor. Both registered player financial advisors and agents are regulated by the NFL Players Association, and require at least a bachelor’s degree.

If they spend their time as student athletes prioritizing academics, professional football players are well-positioned for long-term careers.

A high school football diet plan is just as much a part of training as lifting, running and learning plays. Whether you’re a quarterback or a lineman, you need to fuel adequately to train well, recover quickly and increase endurance.

Specific nutrient requirements are based on your body size and position. What works for one player may not be the best strategy for someone else. But, all players can benefit from the following guidelines:

Organize the food on your plate into a peace sign. Break your plate into thirds, placing a protein in one third, a starch [rice, pasta, potato] in a second, and a fruit and/or vegetable in the last.

Consume at least three meals per day with snacks between. Try to eat every four hours. Your daily caloric total should range between 20 to 25 calories per pound of body weight.

Skipping breakfast is not an option, especially when you have early morning practice or lifting. If you’re not overly hungry, try a lighter alternative such as a milk shake, yogurt, cereal or fruit, or even a sports drink and sports bar.

Take breaks to rehydrate. Drink early and often to sustain performance. Consume fluids during training sessions, and follow these guidelines:

1. Gulp, don’t sip.
2. Swallow fluids; don’t spit.
3. Drink, don’t pour on your head.
4. Do not over drink. Don’t come to a training session with a gallon jug of water. Consume fluid as the guidelines suggest: 20 oz one hour before; and during, consume based on your sweat rate (see below).

Football is a game of strength, speed and stamina—so you need to eat enough carbohydrate to fuel your muscles and brain during activity. Every meal or snack should contain carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread, bagels, tortillas, rice, pasta, quinoa, barley, potatoes, corn, fruit, vegetables, juice, crackers and pretzels. Likewise, you should also consume protein for muscle growth and a healthy immune system. Try eggs, jerky, nuts, peanut butter, baked beans, bean dip, chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish/shellfish, tofu, low fat milk, yogurt and low fat cheeses. You can measure your daily protein intake using the following formulas:

Minimum grams: 0.6 x body weight [pounds] Maximum grams: 0.9 x body weight [pounds]

Pre-, during and post-training guidelines

1 hour before

Drink 20 oz of a sports drink or water with a small amount of carbohydrate, such as a handful of pretzels or cereal or a granola bar Include some protein such as ¼ C nuts, a few pieces of jerky, an 8 oz low fat yogurt, or 12 oz of low fat chocolate milk

During

Drink enough fluid per hour based on your sweat rate, which you can determine with the formula below:

1. Weigh yourself before and after exercise. Try to weigh in wearing as little clothing as possible
2. Keep track of the number of ounces of fluid you consume during exercise
3. Subtract your post-exercise weight from your preexercise weight, then convert it to ounces [16 ounces to a pound, so if you lose 2 pounds during exercise, you have lost 32 ounces.] 4. To get your hourly sweat rate, add the number of ounces of fluid lost to the number of ounces of fluid consumed. Divide the sum by the number of hours you exercised

Example
Pre exercise weight = 190 pounds/ Post exercise weight = 187 pounds
Difference = 3 pounds [48 ounces] Amount of fluid consumed during exercise = 20 ounces
Number of hours of practice = 2

48 + 20 = 68 ÷ 2 = 34 ounces of fluid required per hour

• Alternate between sports drink and water

15 minutes after

Replace sweat losses by drinking 24 ounces for every pound lost during practice. If you’re a salty sweater, consume a sports drinks and salty foods instead of sweet items. Try:

• A high carbohydrate sports bar with 300 to 400 calories
• A few pieces of jerky and a handful of pretzels
• A peanut butter sandwich
• 2 large handfuls of trail mix

Sample daily menu

Breakfast

2 eggs
2 slices whole-grain toast with butter or margarine
1 slice ham
12 oz low fat milk or 8 oz yogurt
8 oz juice
12 oz water

Lunch

Sandwich on a hoagie roll
5 slices lean meat [e.g., turkey, ham, lean roast beef or a packet of tuna] 1 slice cheese
1 piece fruit
Crackers, pretzels or baked chips [2 handfuls] A granola bar or a low-fat muffin
12 oz water and 12 oz milk, juice or water

Dinner

8 to 10 oz lean meat, poultry or fish
2C pasta, rice or potatoes, with some fat added
2C vegetables (cooked or in a salad) with some fat added
1C light ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet or pudding
12 oz milk or juice

Evening Snack

Sandwich made with whole-grain roll or bread, 4 slices turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles
20 oz water

By: Bobby R. Goldsmith

Published: 08 July, 2011

How to become a football player after 20

The NFL is the pinnacle of organized football. It employs the best players in the world, and the game itself unfolds under the biggest of media spotlights. Yet every one of those professional players had a moment where they stepped onto a football field for the first time, with dreams of the NFL so far away. Several attributes are shared by those that have made the ascent successfully through youth and college football to the professional ranks. Keep in mind, however, the process exists to separate the rare few who are qualified from all the players who aren’t.

How to become a football player after 20

The path to the NFL begins at the youth level. While many players begin playing football in high school, the competitive nature of college recruiting has created a cottage industry of personal coaching and instruction for children playing in Pop Warner as young as 5 years old. The players who can make the biggest impact at the high school level, and who can garner conference and state recognition for their play, have the best chance to get recruited by college teams. The more experience and development players get before high school usually helps those players stand out.

Scout It Out

How to become a football player after 20

Players who rise to the top of their high school conferences get noticed by college recruiters. Obviously, this takes a strong work ethic, athletic skills, talent for the sport itself and the ability to execute consistently while minimizing mistakes. College programs often cull local, state and sometimes national prep football headlines, looking for the playmakers who appear consistently. Players who make all-league, all-state or all-American honors receive heavy attention from college teams. The college recruiting process can be difficult for players; the best will have multiple options for college play. This choice is often the most important one to make. Factors such as playing time, the coaching staff’s NFL experience, the prominence of the college program and the amount of media attention potentially available are all factors requiring careful consideration. Mid-level players may receive scouting and offers from smaller colleges, but those players will have to make an effort to sell their talents more than top players usually do.

The Old College Try

How to become a football player after 20

The scouting and recruiting process leads the best and most talented players to the college ranks. But players who didn’t make it successfully through this process to gain a scholarship with a college team have options. Many teams try out groups of walk-on players throughout the preseason to add depth, fill out the practice squad and find additional impact players without using valuable scholarships that are set by the NCAA. To make it onto the starting roster of a college team as a walk-on takes talent and considerable drive, and a number of walk-on players have used that dedication and drive to make it to the NFL.

Drafted and Undrafted

How to become a football player after 20

The college players who perform at the highest level consistently while garnering national media attention, and players who win collegiate awards and are named to all-conference and all-star teams will have a leg up and be considered as NFL Draft potential for the league’s 32 teams. Three years following a player’s high school graduation date, he is eligible to declare for the NFL Draft. Many players will have a sense where they will rate in the draft, although this is by no means a lock. Some players who declare won’t be drafted at all and can sign as an undrafted free agent with NFL teams. Drafted players and undrafted free agents go to NFL training camps in July, where open competition for roster slots and practice squad assignments take place.

Sat 04 May 2019

Becoming a pro guides

It’s a question that many of us have pondered, either when we were growing up or when we imagine achieving the dream of playing football for a living – just how difficult is it to become a professional footballer?

The numbers show the competitiveness of the professional game. Out of the children who enter academies at the age of nine, less than one percent will make it as a professional footballer at any level. In terms of playing Premier League football, just 180 children of the 1.5 million who play organised youth football at any one time will go onto a career in football. That’s just 0.012 percent.

With chances so limited, how can a young a player give themselves the best chance of being in that one percent? The answer is that it takes far more than talent. We’ve put together a list of some of the other traits needed to succeed as a professional footballer.

Understanding what it takes to become a professional footballer

Clubs and teams have ever rising demands and are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the selection processes used to find players. Although the expectations may change depending on the professional club or academy, some are looking for more than natural talent. This means that they may expect players to demonstrate an understanding of the dedication that is required to become a professional footballer.

Positive signs that can help with this are displaying the right attitude and a determination to be the very best. By showing they are aware of the long journey ahead and are prepared to work as hard as possible for it, a young player will stand out above those with the wrong attitude.

Motivation to play

The dream of playing football professionally in front of packed stadiums for a living should provide motivation enough – but even the most passionate young player can lose sight of why they want to become a professional soccer player.

Focusing on being the best, never losing sense of why they started playing football in the first place, remembering to keep smiling and enjoying the game are helpful motivations. Combining diligence with having fun is always essential to remaining motivated.

“The only thing that matters to me is playing, I do it because I love it” is one of Messi’s great quotes which highlights how building an enjoyment, love and passion for the game over the years is fundamental to the success of a player.

Confidence as a player and in their footballing ability

If a young player wants to become a professional footballer, it’s vital that they are confident in their abilities and have the desire to always improve them. If they don’t have a belief in what they can do, then chances are that an academy won’t either. Self-belief in footballers comes in many forms, from body language, communication and positive thinking, to preparation that ensures they are ready for any situation.

Belief is the key to success. When a player possesses self- confidence, they are more likely to play creatively and stand out in the crowd. They need high confidence levels on and off the ball, but also on and off the football pitch. The ability to learn from the past is vital to player development.

An athlete’ healthy and balanced lifestyle

To be a professional, a player needs to be much more than a footballer – they must become an athlete as well. That derives from lifestyle. A healthy and balanced diet will help keep the body physically and mentally fit, which will reflect in performances on the pitch.

Getting into the best possible shape by working on stamina, leg power, core strength, agility and raw pace will improve a player’s effectiveness. This is a hard part of becoming a professional and can often require strong levels of determination and will-power.

Appreciation of the importance of recovery

Recovery is critical. Overtraining and not looking after the body can lead to injuries and fatigue and professional club are far less likely to take on a young player if they’ve got a history of spells on the sidelines.

Professional footballers can be expected to play up to three 90 minutes a week, covering anything up to 12 kilometres per game. That’s where the world of protein shakes, ice baths, warm downs and recovery tights come in.

Sleep is also vital for a footballer–resting can be as important as running. Ronaldo sleeps 12 hours per night and even has a sleep coach!

Tactical awareness, game knowledge and a desire to learn

Football isn’t just played out on the pitch, but within your head as well. A young player who is aware of their role in various formations can be an asset to the club.

Football intelligence and knowledge of the game are relevant to progression and these can be worked on in a player’s own time through videos, match replays or studying different playing or and coaching styles.

Football intelligence can also derive from understanding how to connect with other players and being an expert in a designated role or system. The most complete players are students of the game as well as prodigiously talented, but they have one thing in common: the desire to always learn and improve.

Start your footballing journey

Becoming a professional footballer is an incredibly difficult thing to accomplish and there are many things that a player must master to be successful. Some key characteristics that many professionals have in common our desire to win, a drive for continuous improvement, a willingness to learn and most of all enjoyment of the game– these qualities are vital to success.

Everyone has a different football journey , it is unique to each player and the most important thing is to enjoy it. We Make Footballers have helped over 2000 players enter grassroots teams and 180 players sign at professional academies. We focus on helping players of all abilities become the best they can be.

Contact us today if you would like us to help you.