“My final exams were on the 31st of October,” Petersen reflects, “I feel positive that I have done well.”
Combining professional soccer with studying isn’t always easy, but that’s not how the goalkeeper sees it. “I put all my energy equally into football and my studies – balance is the key to success, so I keep focussed on my goals and achieving excellence.
“To be honest, the discipline of studying has helped me pick up things quicker in the game, because my brain is alert, forever processing information. This also helps me at training and everywhere else.”
Generally, there are two full-time lectures in the morning, which the lanky goalkeeper misses, because of having to train with Kaizer Chiefs’ first team. Some of his friends make notes during class, which they then share with him. After reviewing the notes and making sure he understands them, Petersen will do some extra training at around 16:00.
He spends studying the rest of his evening between 20:00 until 01:00 in the morning. However, when there are exams, Petersen will usually carry on until about 04:00. “Then I will take a power nap before it’s time to go to training,” he says.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper advices every player to study. “Soccer is not a sustaining career, so you need something to fall back on after your playing days. It’s a pity that most footballers only start thinking about what to do next after they have hung up their boots.
“It’s tough to start studying post-career. Of course, to study during your playing days is also not always easy, but it can be done. Besides that, working towards a degree needs discipline, which will help you in your soccer career. On top of that, you have peace of mind knowing that you have something to fall back on.”
Petersen now has about three months to solely focus on his soccer before resuming his studies in February 2019. “It will feel like having a holiday break,” the goalkeeper comments with a big smile on his face.
Five study tips:
- Have a study schedule and be disciplined.
- Find you inspiration – know what your goals are.
- Make notes every day with a view to them being your study notes.
- Work through past papers – the more the better and learn from your mistakes.
- Take regular breaks, exercise keeps your mind focussed.