6 Skills That Youth Soccer Players Can Learn from Clint Dempsey
Few players in US Men's National Team history have been as successful as Clint Dempsey. He's been one of the few field players from our country that has enjoyed lasting and consistent success in Europe, and an extended stint playing for the stars and stripes has been a byproduct of his elevation to one of our nation's best.
Here's a look at 6 reasons Dempsey is such a good player, and what youth players should look to takeaway and incorporate into their own game.
1. Cultured Technical Ability
You don't have a successful career in England's top flight if you can't hang with the big boys when it comes to technical ability. Clint spent countless hours honing his first touch, comfort with the ball, and ability to read the game and make decisions.
Put in the extra work on your ball mastery and push yourself to become a quality player with outstanding technical ability.
2. Mental and Physical Toughness
To compete in the Barclay's Premier League, you need to be able to withstand the intensity and passion of the world most physical league. Clint worked tirelessly to build his personal fitness and strength in order to prepare, compete, and excel at the highest level.
The great players all have one thing in common: they work hard to be the best.
Nothing comes easy, so start construction on your inner-toughness and develop an unshakeable mentality for when times are good, but even more so when they're bad.
3. Big Swagger
Clint will be the first to tell you he's from Texas, and he has always carried himself with Lone Star swagger. His belief and confidence in his own abilities make him an athlete that is determined to succeed.
His self-assuredness has a mystique, an aura, it infects his opponents, and also his teammates, letting them know he is ready to make the difference in a big game at a moment's notice.
Carry yourself with the big swag attitude of Dempsey and let your teammates know you're the player for the key moment.
4. Dead-Ball Technique
There are few better current US Men's National Team soccer players that can strike a dead ball as good as Deuce can. He has practiced, and practiced, and practiced some more, the ability to bend, dip, and swerve a ball into the upper and lower corners of the net.
Take a bag of balls out to the local park or school that has a goal and start practicing. That's where it all begins. Use different parts of your foot to shoot, try imparting different spins on the ball, hit some with power, some for placement, some with both.
5. The Always Ready Mentality
Clint knows that he only needs one chance, one slight opening, one shot, to make his mark on a match and turn the tide for his squad. He might go a whole game unnoticed, failing to contribute or garner much acclaim, or respect, but in just one instant, in one moment, he is conditioned to turn up and convert the big chance for his team.
Youth players should know that it's a game of two halves, and at any second there might be an opportunity to change the course of a match. Be ready, stay locked and loaded, and become a player that doesn't need to be asked twice to make the difference.
6. Pride in The Badge
It doesn't matter what Club Clint represents, he always does so with a tremendous amount of respect and pride for the badge on his jersey. He commits fully to fighting tooth and nail for the cause, his teammates, the fans, and the team he represents.
Be a player who honors tradition and history when you put on your jersey each match day, remember that you are representing all the past, present, and future players at your club.