Integrity is an important quality to have no matter what you’re doing in life, and that carries over to developing as a soccer player too. Most people think of integrity as consistently sticking to a set of principles, such as honesty, dedication and commitment. This is a large part of integrity - whatever your personal code of values is, people respect other people who know what their morals are and abide by them even when it is difficult.
Integrity can also be defined as what you do when no one else is watching. Say you’re running sprints in practice and your coach tells you to go all the way to the endline and touch it with your foot before turning around. With the coach at the other end of the pitch, it would be easy to stop a couple of feet short. But you’d only be cheating yourself. Successful soccer players go the extra mile and pay attention to the details, because it makes a difference in the long run.
The concept of integrity can often be boiled down to not taking shortcuts or looking for the easy way out. If you’re working out by yourself, it’s easy to skip a set or call it quits when you get tired. The only person who would pay the price for that decision is you. A person or player with integrity holds themselves to a high standard and doesn’t need someone else supervising them to work their hardest. Whether you're playing a game with your team or trying to get better on you're own, consistency putting your best foot forward and not shying away from challenging yourself will help you go far. Being able to do so, even when it isn’t easy, will lead to good things both on and off the pitch.