Sam Vines: A Young Superstar
We are lucky to have had Sam Vines, a current MLS and U.S Men’s Soccer team player, come onto Pro Mindset Podcast to talk about his experience as a young professional athlete. Sam is now in his third season with the Colorado Rapids and was able to make his first appearance on the U.S Men’s national team. The national team only carries between 24-26 players so Sam considers it an incredible honor to be considered one of the top 24-26 best soccer players in America. Sam’s outstanding play happened at a very young age as he explains when he describes his training regimen when he was a kid. “I've been training with them (professional athletes) since I was 14 so the guys let me go in with the first team and train day in, day out … But it's a different gear once you actually signed to the team and are trying to win your starting spot. Everything changes.” After high school, Sam went straight to the league
instead of playing in college. He recognized that he was ready for the challenge that would be the MLS. His play as a left-back stunned scouts all across the country because of his amazing pace and ball-control. With his ultimate goal being to leave the MLS and join the Premier League, Sam talked about the mindset needed in order to accomplish the goal.
With Sam being only 20 years old you might think it would be difficult to adjust to life as a professional athlete playing alongside men a little under twice your age. For veterans the idea of getting cut is not as much of an issue but for newer players that is something that they have to worry about constantly. Sam talks about this when he says, “You just got to know that there's always someone behind you. If you don't train well that week, you don't play well on the game that week, then you just gotta know that that spot is not always there for you and there's always going to be someone trying to take it.” But, Sam takes everything in stride with his cool, calm, and collected attitude. Sam says his mindset going into games would be to “make sure he is comfortable.” He wants to keep the same routine, not overthink, and not expend too
much energy so that his body is ready for gametime. This mindset has proven to be successful as Sam has done excellent in his short time in the MLS. Although, Sam did use to be more of a scorer when he was younger but at the MLS level, they believe his talents are best utilized as a defender. He attributes this idea of trying to score less and play more defense to “just trying to win games.” Sam appreciates the value that he brings to the table and he knows that he is most valuable as a left-back who can stop the opposing offense. Diving into the headspace of one of MLS’s up-and-coming players makes for an interesting and enjoyable Pro Mindset Podcast.
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