Soccer Training has drastically changed and what you think you know almost certainly isn't the most effective means of instruction. Take it from a recent former professional soccer player that has a behind the scenes understanding that what you are learning out there is most likely counter productive. What do I mean by that?
Well most beneficial way to becoming perhaps best soccer player you can, or if you are a coach the proper way to teach your soccer players, is with effective soccer training. If you are currently doing drills that consist of just standing in a line for minutes waiting to get the turn of yours, then you're probably subject to your first mistake.
1. Drills are dead!
First off for the coaches let me clarify what I mean as a "drill". In case you've players standing around waiting for their turn to play you're just flat out wasting training time plain and simple. In case you're working on offensive strategies and then make sure your defense is off working on defensive strategies as well.
In addition, players must be working away at more specific skills either at the same time, where they each have a ball to work on touch drills or passing with a partner, or they should be working on individual improvements on their own time. This brings me to mistake number two.
2. Soccer Practice versus Individual Practice.
While practice is great for team building and team chemistry, you have to ensure that you or perhaps your players are practicing individually if you want to sky-rocket their abilities to a higher level. Think of soccer practice as a period of time to put all of your individual attempts to use and get them game ready for game situation. I saw my soccer skills literally explode over the off season when I chose to do my own individual soccer training rather than join another club team.
Did you know the average time a player has the ball in a given game is 9 15 seconds? So you need to understand that the time you have the ball is really important. Just as important you have to learn that the time off the ball has to be even more sharp since that's a vast majority of the game.
How can you do that exactly? Moreso, what should you be learning? These are both quite common questions I get.
When you think of soccer you need to be thinking of a few things to make you a game changing player. Individual skill, speed, conditioning, and what your soccer I.Q. which is actually the ability to out think people on the area are is called by me just a few aspects of overall soccer training. You need to also understand where you need to be, where the teammates of yours need to be and where the ball needs to go. Great players have great soccer I.Q.'s and that does not happen by accident. It comes through practice, understanding, and most of all great guidance from a knowledgeable coach.
The third here mistake that many make is definitely the biggest.
3. Soccer Training is ninety % mental.
Now this might come as a significant shock to you but let's think about the nine seconds you have the ball on average per game. What exactly are you doing the majority of the game. You're supporting, helping other players defend certain spaces of the field, and you're making runs into space. What do all these have in common?
Sure while they need some physical running that is easy to train for, they're mostly mental.
Most people, particularly in America, seem to play soccer physically. I was usually the smallest yet best player on the pitch because people were outsmarted by me constantly. How will you know if you need to go in for a slide tackle or you need to jockey the defender? Should you then push the offensive player towards the sideline so he does not have a place to go and should you turn him inside towards another teammate that is supporting you?
These're several things coaches really do fail in teaching kids. Please do not make the mistake! I can't stress that enough. There is a big line between being a soccer player along with a great soccer player. But there is a very fine line between a fantastic soccer player and an epic soccer player that folks will remember, will have to play with, and fear playing against.
All this starts with the right guidance, the appropriate mental mindset, and the right soccer training.
Soccer has and will often be coined as a sport of mistakes. It is who makes less mistakes and who can capitalize on the other team's mistakes. So whether you are a coach, a parent, or possibly a soccer player that is wanting to become great remember that it all starts with your individual soccer training before anything else.