How Can You Improve ? The Ultimate Guide - Soccer Drills and Skills |

How Can You Improve ? The Ultimate Guide

All soccer players have one question who bother them entire life. “How do I improve ? ” Well this article answers 90 percent from this question.

Here are the 13 advices who every coach need to tell to his players:

1.Practice. There are no shortcuts.

2.Practice more. If you want an edge over the opponents, it’s not in an equipment brand, it’s through practice. It’s at 6am on the training ground, 10pm in the gym. Not on youtube videos, not in a shoe store, not in a videogame, it’s through work. You can’t buy, watch, read, listen your way to significant improvement, it’s all about practice.

3.Speed, agility, fitness. Soccer is not chess. Its physical. A high performance body can make up for technical deficiencies and when combined with technical ability makes you unstoppable. Look up plyometric exercises, interval sprinting, jumping, lifting. Get your cardio in. Do agility ladder and speed footwork. Balance and core work. Doesn’t have to be soccer specific, it’s about building speed, agility and fitness.

can you improve soccer

4.Pressure and game speed. Train the way you play. From rainbow flicks to a simple pass, everything is easier when you’re unopposed and at stand still but that’s not how the game is played. You want to practice everything fast and under pressure of a defender.

5.First touch. You cannot dribble, shoot, pass or have any meaningful influence over the ball if you can’t control it first. The secret? See points 1,2 and 4. Practice juggling, playing and receiving quick one/two touch passes, with both feet, under pressure. Your first touch should be into space/away from a defender so be aware of where they are BEFORE you get the ball (check your shoulders). Have a soft cushion touch whether it’s your chest or your toe.

6.Dribbling Practice all permutations of foot, foot surface, directions and speed. Left foot, right foot, sprint to stop, laces, inside, outside, sole, forwards, turning backwards, sideways. Remember point 4. Don’t just play against cones or empty space, practice beating people. It’s not about “doing a trick”, it’s about have fluency with the ball and getting past people, usually that’s as simple as changing speed and direction quickly.

7.Passing and movement. Smaller space means less time between possessions therefore more touches of the ball. It also means more work to find space and in less time. This is why people laud futsal and small sided games. So it’s practice (points 1 and 2) at game speed and pressure (point 4), you’ll definitely need good first touch (point 5) and need to be constantly moving to create space (point 3). Coaches love futsal players.

8.Shooting. You want to get a shot off quickly while under pressure, with power and accuracy. People think “shooting” training is “scoring goals” training but it’s not. The shot is actually the least important part of scoring goals. You’ll need movement to get in the right position (pt 7), good first touch to control the ball quickly into space (5), maybe some dribbling and agility/speed to create more space from defenders (6, 3 and 4) and only then do you get to shoot. The worst strikers aren’t the ones that miss, they never even got to shoot.

9.Defending. Defending is “easy”, you get in the way of the oncoming player/ball right? The skill is not being in the way (though it helps to be fast and strong pt 3), but GETTING in the way. You’ll need to see the relationship between the ball, attackers, other defenders and goal. To do this you need to look around, talk and think. Be goal side, don’t give the opposition space and minimize risk to your goalkeeper (think about when to press and when to hold back). Don’t forget the touchline is on your side. It’s a lot of thinking and analyzing, so PRACTICE UNDER PRESSURE. Develop a “swivel head”, look, decide, act, repeat. As a team, if you can maintain possession (pts 5, 6 and 7), you won’t need to defend as much anyway.

10.Train to your weaknesses. Having a bad left foot doesn’t mean you refuse to play on the left wing, it means you train more with your left! Unless you’re playing at the peak of your abilities in a pro league, there’s always room to improve. “I’m so slow, so I only play defensive midfield”, EXCUSES! Get on the running track and add pace and energy to your game. Never use tactics as an excuse, playing to your strengths is not the same as refusing to address your weaknesses.

improve soccer guide

11.Skills are universal across the pitch. “How do I train to be a better ?” By being a better player. Having a first touch, fitness, passing ability, quick decision making, positional awareness are important universally across the pitch. At the amateur level, there’s so much more ceiling to improve on all these basic skills that you should focus on these before thinking you’re some sort of specialist. At this level, the most important thing is putting in the work.

12.Skills beat tactics every time (at the amateur level) If you are not good at soccer, the answer does not lie in converting your team to catennachio or total football. It does not matter if you’re a regista or a box to box midfielder or an inverted winger. Tactics is an interesting facet to the game that has some influence (particularly at the top level) on performance but you need SKILL to execute a game plan. Technical, physical and mental skills can all be improved and will have far more influence on the game. Similarly, a SMART player (ie one that can make quick decisions, find space, track opponents at speed and pressure) is far more useful than one that has encyclopedic understanding of the roles of the formation they’re playing. This isn’t academia, execution is more important than theory. Understanding a position/formation/philosophy is not the same as having the skill to execute it. So by all means, read “Inverting the Pyramid” but don’t think it’s the same as putting in the work. PUT IN THE WORK.

13.Diet and lifestyle, you know these already. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, nothing to an excess. Don’t play injured. Be strong, be supple, be a mindful teammate and opponent. The F11 program in the side bar is a great warmup and injury prevention program. Don’t forget to enjoy the game (it is just a game).

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Despite the fact that i am an experienced Pro licence coach , i really like the way the article above is worded and set out , simple and to the point with no rocket science. There is a little to much complication and terminology for young players too understand at times . But this is great and i will for sure steal the context if i may and as we do .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *