Soccer Training has drastically changed and what you think you know most likely isn't the top 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's probably counter productive. What do I mean by that?
Well most advantageous way to becoming certainly the best soccer player you can, or even if you are a coach the fastest way to teach your soccer players, is with effective soccer training. In the event that you are currently doing drills that consist of just standing in a line for minutes waiting to get your turn, then you're likely subject to the first mistake of yours.
1. Drills are dead!
First off for the coaches let me clarify what I mean as a "drill". If you've players standing around waiting for their turn to play you are just flat out wasting training time plain and simple. In case you are working on offensive strategies and then make sure your defense is off working on defensive strategies too.
Furthermore, players must be working on more specific skills either simultaneously, exactly where they each have a ball to work on touch drills or even passing with a partner, or perhaps they need to be working on individual improvements on their own time. This brings me to mistake number 2.
2. Soccer Practice versus Individual Practice.
While practice is great for team building and team chemistry, you have to be sure that you or your players are practicing individually if you would like to sky-rocket their abilities to a higher level. Think of soccer practice as a time to put all 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 very own individual soccer training instead of 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 learn that the time you've the ball is extremely important. Just as important you need to know that the time off the ball needs to be even more sharp since that is a vast majority of the game.
How will you do that exactly? Moreso, what should you be learning? These are both common questions I get.
When you think of soccer you need to be thinking of a couple of things to make you a game-changing player. Individual skill, conditioning, speed, and what I call your soccer I.Q. which is actually the ability to out think folks on the field are just a couple of aspects of overall soccer training. You have to also understand precisely where you have to be, where the teammates of yours should be and where the ball has to go. players that are Great 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 mistake that a lot folks make is definitely the biggest.
3. Soccer Training is 90 % mental.
Now this may come as a huge shock to you but let's think about the 9 seconds you have the ball on average per game. What are you doing the majority of the game. You are supporting, helping other players defend certain spaces of the field, and you are making runs into space. What do all these have in common?
Sure while some physical running which is easy to train for is required by them, they are mostly mental.
Most people, especially in America, seem to play soccer physically. Simply because people were outsmarted by me constantly, I was usually the smallest yet most effective player on the pitch. How can you know if you need to go in for a slide tackle or even you must 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's supporting you?
These're several things coaches do fall short in teaching kids. Please don't make that mistake! I cannot stress that enough. There is a huge line between being a soccer player along with an incredible soccer player. But there's a very fine line between an excellent soccer player and an epic soccer player that folks will remember, will here have to play with, and fear playing against.
All this begins with the right guidance, the right 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 could capitalize on another team's mistakes. So whether you're a coach, a parent, or a soccer player that is wanting to become great remember that it all starts with your individual soccer training before anything else.