10,000 hours. That’s what it takes to become an expert. I know some very good footballers that hardly practised at all. But all the ones I know who have played at a high level have put the hours in. Consider you start playing at the age of 7. 20 hours a week, 50 weeks a year over 10 years equates to 10,000 hours. Expert. That’s nearly 3 hours a night for 10 years. For many people an unrealistic target. But we can come close. This time does not mean training with the ball at feet. It may mean studying tactics, watching skills tutorials or working on strength. I have known players to put in these hours only to ruin it in their teenage years or give up the game after rejection.
Imagine you do get that contract. Training day in day out, that expert level seems more achievable. So maybe it’s not about being an expert to become a footballer, but having the hunger, desire and commitment to become an expert in the future.
Of course this cannot be completely down to training alone. At the age of 34 I would be unlikely to put 10 years of training in expecting to make it professional. Some things you cannot get through training alone, so before you set out on this journey make sure it’s achievable and you really, really want it.