U17 Danish Talent of the Year: “It’s fun to self-train”
Even if you are a professional football player and have to work hard to stay at the highest level, training should still be enjoyable—even self-training. The U17 Danish talent of the year from Esbjerg, Mark Brink, is in agreement, and here he shares his experiences and explains how to self-train with teammates.
18 years and 21 days: that was Mark Brink’s exact age when he had his Superliga debut for Esbjerg om on April 4th, 2016. Since then he has played nine matches with the first team in Denmark’s highest football division, and he has made his mark in central midfield—and even scored a goal.
A talent on par with Schmeichel, Kjær, and Højbjerg
Brink was named the U17 DBU Talent of the Year in 2014 — an award that Kasper Schmeichel, Simon Kjær, and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg once won. In January 2016, Brink was named the most promising talent of 2015 in Esbjerg. None of this has come easily to the Jutlander. In addition to daily club practices, Brink has invested a lot of time training on his own.
“Throughout my life, I have spent a lot of time self-training. When I was younger, I would often go out and shoot towards the goal, and over time I have incorporated a lot of different elements into my practices.”
“In self-training, I’ve mostly practiced technical things, like dribbles, passes, and finishes, as they’re the easiest things to self-train. But they’re also some of the most important things to practice on your own time; you have club practices for everything else.”
Necessary to self-train if you want to be great
As you can probably tell, the Superliga player considers self-training a crucial part of one’s development as a football player. And the nice thing about self-training is that it’s very possible to do together with teammates, even though we call it self-training.
“My attitude towards self-training is that it’s very necessary if you want to be as good as possible. And you’ll benefit greatly from doing something in addition to club practices, whether it’s with the football or with weights in the fitness center.”
“A lot of my teammates self-train, and it’s something we do together from time to time after club practice. Our exercises vary depending on what we want to focus on, since players at each position have specific things they want to improve.”
Which position do you play on the field? Here are 5 great exercises at every position:
- Are you a goalkeeper? Watch here
- Are you a defender? Watch here
- Are you a midfielder? Watch here
- Are you a forward? Watch here
How do you get started with self-training?
Often your coach can create a self-training program, but if that’s not possible and you’re unsure which exercises you can benefit from, the Internet can be a good source of ideas. For example, you can access more than 200 videos here on self-training with the m-station football rebounder from Munin Sports.
On the question of where you can find inspiration if you want to self-train, Mark Brink has this to say:
“The inspiration can come from many places. You may sit and watch some of the big teams play and then go out and practice what you’ve seen, you can watch documentaries about football players or football in general…. My own source of inspiration is constantly changing.”
And we like to watch football documentaries precisely because our love for the sport is so great. That love stems from the very early days when we enjoyed simply running around on the field in the time between classes, trying to score some goals. It was pure fun. And even if you’re now a professional, or you’re striving to become one, training should still feel like this.
“The most important thing is that you have fun while training; otherwise, it will be difficult. And if you have fun, there’s nothing more to it than simply putting on your boots and walking out into the yard or onto the training field.”
All in all, Mark Brink has 25 youth national team appearances to his name, several of which he secured with the captain’s band around his arm.
If you want some inspiration for self-training, you can find it for free here.