April 14, 2023

Athletic Development Planner Pt. 2: Development Opportunities

Mike Semenza


Athletic Development Planner Pt. 2: Development Opportunities Image

Hey everyone! Coach Mike, head soccer coach at Blayze, is back again to help you fill out the athletic development planner. We’re going to focus on using the Development Opportunity section to accomplish your weekly goals.

If you haven’t already, make sure to read part one for a full overview on how to use the planner itself!  You can find part three here.

Let's jump right into it.

Creating Your Weekly Goals

First up, put your name at the top of the sheet and the week that you’re heading into. It’s important to notate the week for reference when you reflect on your progress and training.

Weekly goals allow you to organize and track your progress chronologically

One of the most important parts of this planner is setting yourself a specific goal that’s relevant to you and is measurable and attainable. The more specific of a goal you set, the more specific training schedule you set for that week.

An example goal would be to say, “I want to improve my dribbling and ball control abilities this week so that in my game this weekend I can win at least 50% of my 1v1 duels.”

This is a great goal because I know that in the game if I can win at least 50% of my 1v1 duels, I'm going to help my team win the game. I'm going to create dangerous scoring opportunities that might even get me noticed as a player.

Schedule Your Development Opportunities

Now that you set your goal for the week, you will go to the Development Opportunity boxes and layout a schedule for the week. This is very important!

You cannot just set a goal and then randomly search all week for a way to accomplish it. With a schedule, you can hold yourself accountable for the work you put in to achieve your goal. The schedule lets you track what you did, how much time you spent on the development, and if it helped you reach that goal.

This section helps break down your weekly goals into manageable segments

Start with your Team Training Sessions. Those can be club, high school teams, etc. If you have training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday and a game on Saturday, block off those sections with the approximate times of the sessions. Team practices could be 60 minutes and your game is 90 minutes.

Now move to the next box. What can you be doing individually to accomplish the weekly goal? You could work on your training drills from your Blayze coach. They’ll give you all sorts of tips and tricks tailored to help reach your personal goals. Everything from ball mastery drills, dribbling drills, ball control drills, and game analysis.

If your Monday and Wednesday afternoons are open after school, then you can dedicate those days to individual training. How about 35 minutes for skill-building? Maybe your Sunday is free. You could do 10 minutes of juggling work.

The next section is Physical Strengthening. You need to ask yourself if physical strengthening will help you accomplish your weekly goal. If not, maybe leave it off for the week. If your Monday has extra free time, maybe do 20 minutes because it helps your body feel better.

Onto Soccer IQ. You can learn from other players like your teammates or professional players. You could read books on players, or drills, or watch YouTube videos of the pros like Neymar and his dribbling skills. Maybe plan on Friday night, before game day, you spend 20 minutes on your Soccer IQ.

The last box is for Self-Care. This could be meditation, stretching, nutrition, hydration, or anything that goes into keeping your body and mind feeling its best. Schedule 10 extra minutes after team training to work on your self-care activities.

Again, these are just examples. Adjust the schedule, times, and development opportunities to fit your needs.

End of Week Evaluation

With your schedule laid out in front of you, you can tally up the total amount of time spent throughout the week for each development opportunity.

Use the highlighted sections to log the time spend on various activities during the week

Now you can answer questions like “Was it enough time or should I have spent more time on different spots?”

Maybe you weren’t able to do all that you planned. That’s okay! Nobody sticks to a schedule perfectly. It’s adjustable. Make note of what you did complete and what you need to adjust for the next week.

Look back over your week:

  • What goal did you set?
  • What schedule did you plan out to accomplish that goal?
  • How much time did you spend on development?
  • Did that amount of time help or hurt your accomplishments?

At the end of the week, you can give yourself an honest evaluation of what kind of goal and schedule you created. Remember, it’s okay if it doesn’t work. You’ll have valuable clues on how to adjust your schedule for next week.

For the final step, go back to the top of the planner to the self-evaluation section. Add your details and the total amount of time spent on activities. How did the game go? Maybe you won 3 out of 5 1v1 duels. That’s more than 50 percent, which means you accomplished your goal!

Use the self-evaluation section to reflect weekly on what worked, and what didn’t

It’s important to be honest and critical of yourself. You can go a step further and note if something during the week made the difference for you with your goal. Maybe it was a coaching session or the Soccer IQ. Make a note of it.

It's a reflection that helps you continue to learn new lessons about yourself and how you can further schedule and adjust your weekly plan to accomplish your goals.
Are you ready to move onto the final part of our three part athletic development planner series?  Click here!

Learn More With Blaze!

Through training or game film analysis, our coaches can hone your gameplay skills. They customize coaching that drives performance where you need it most, in games.

With weekly custom training plans, Blayze coaches give you the individual drills you need to improve the skills you’re working on. These are drills that the pro players do themselves in and out of the season.

Through chat messages + live calls, your coach is there to support you through every moment.

All of this is available through our Blayze program. Tap here to select your dedicated private pro coach at Blayze for one month for just $29!

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Mike Semenza

Coach For L.A. Galaxy Development Team


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