How to Make 2018 HUGE!


It is crazy to believe that we have just entered November; season 2017 is now a distant memory. The season may or may not have played out like you had anticipated. You may have done everything you could have or you are now scratching your head to figure out where it all went wrong.


Whilst the year has flown, the good news is that this off season period is a clean slate – a time to start again in order to make something truly special out of 2018.


Below are 5 helpful and easy to implement ways to ensure you achieve your footballing goals in 2018.


1.    Goal Setting


Without having a goal to work towards, how do we know if we have achieved what we set out to do?


This is by far the most obvious yet most important part in shaping 2018 but so often young athletes get it very wrong.


When we ask athletes what their goals are for rugby league, everyone always says, “To play in the NRL”. That is a wonderful goal to have, but how actually are you going to do it?


Every single player in the NRL has gone through years and years of achieving little goals in order to achieve the overall goal of the NRL. An example may have been:


-       Being fit enough to make a first division team

-       Gaining a starting position in the first division team

-       Being one of the top performers in my team

-       Being noticed by representative sides

-       Securing a spot in a representative side

-       Gaining a junior contract

-       Gaining a senior contract

-       Playing in the NRL


Whilst the above is a very simple version of what actually occurs - the key message is that without achieving the first small goal, every other goal that followed may not have happened.


Goals can be broken down into years, months, days, hours or minutes. However one thing leads on to the next.


So, what are your goals? And do you know how to create a long-term goal plan?



2.    Don’t Waste Time



The off-season is a gift. It needs to be seen as a window of opportunity where contenders are separated from pretenders. If you have hopes to one day carve a career out of playing sport but believe that you will get there by resuming training in late January and starting from scratch – you are well mistaken.


Sure, when you are young you can get fit very fast and have a good season. But, the older and better you get, your body is going to be asked to do more demanding work more regularly.


What happens when the time arrives that you make a representative squad, which requires you to train 3-4 times per week starting 3 months earlier than you have experienced before? It will be a rude wake up call to you and your body.


Physically and mentally you will not be used to the demands and you are at a much higher chance of mental fatigue, physical exhaustion and soft tissue injuries. However, if you have been utilizing your time properly since you were a young athlete, then your body has began to adapt over time.


If you really want it – you need to view additional training as not a chore but an opportunity.


An opportunity to get better from your last session.


An opportunity to close the gap between you and your competition.


An opportunity to widen the gap between you and your competition.


An opportunity to make 2018 the best it can be.




3.    Find Friends on the Same Page


Whilst it is all well and good to say “Get out and do something!”, the reality is that is does get tough to do it on your own. The thought of heading out to train on a hot summer’s day is much harder when you know you are doing it by yourself.


Finding someone who wants to achieve the same goals as you is a major step in ensuring 2018 will be the best year yet. Working with someone holds you accountable to your actions or lack of action. It is very easy to let ourselves down, however, we hate letting others down.


In the same token, if you hang around friends who discourage you from reaching your potential, you need to seriously reconsider whether these people will get you to where you want to be.


There is nothing sadder than hearing about a talented athlete who hung around the wrong people and turned into nothing in the end.


Choose who you hang out with wisely.


4.    Challenge Yourself Constantly


The term “working within yourself” refers to someone doing the minimum in order to get a task done. They may have done it much better if they devoted extra time, effort or care towards the outcome.


We see it all too often with young athletes who choose to “work within themselves”. They are perfectly happy to sit back and let others shine when they could if they really wanted to. This can be attributed from a couple of reasons:


-       They are scared of what others will think

-       Scared of failure and a lack of confidence

-       Fearful that they may not be able to replicate their efforts


Nobody ever achieved anything great from remaining in their comfort zone. So, if you want to be truly great in 2018 – challenge yourself.


Challenge yourself to be an athlete that shines through your time. Challenge yourself to not be afraid to put yourself out there. Yes, people may think differently towards you but it will only be because they feel threatened.


In the end - does it really matter if you were able to achieve your goal and the rest are wandering what could have been?


5.    Look After Your Body


Whilst there are many guarantees in life; we can guarantee that every year a young athlete plays sport the following occurs


-       Every athlete continues to develop physically and mentally

-       The game gets faster

-       The collisions are heavier

-       Soreness and recovery becomes greater

-       The chance of injuries increase


Understanding your body and looking after it are crucial to success, as how can you make 2018 the best if you are stuck on the sidelines?



The Kaizen Academy provides solutions to every aspect which has been discussed. Athletes learn the following:


-       How to set short, medium and long term goals and the best ways to implement them

-       How to maximise their time in the off-season to become better footballers for 2018

-       Create a group that are all on the same page to train and develop with

-       Be challenged and gain the confidence to not “work within yourself”

-       Learn how to understand your body and take better care of it for injury reduction.