Soccer Training has drastically changed and what you believe you know most likely 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're learning out there is probably counter productive. What do I mean by that?
Well most beneficial way to becoming certainly the best soccer player you are able to, or if you're 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". If 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, exactly where they each have a ball to work on touch drills or even passing with a partner, or maybe 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 make sure that you or your players are practicing individually if you want to sky-rocket the abilities of theirs to a higher level. Think of soccer practice as a period of time to put all of your individual attempts to make use of 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 that the average time a player has the ball in a given game is 9 15 seconds? So you have to learn that the time you have the ball is extremely important. Just as important you need to know that the time off the ball needs to be a lot more sharp since that is a majority of the game.
How will you do that exactly? Moreso, what must you be learning? These're both very common questions I get.
When you think of soccer you should be thinking of a couple of items to make you a game-changing player. Individual skill, conditioning, speed, and what I call your soccer I.Q. which is actually the capability to out think people on the area are 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 importantly great guidance from a knowledgeable coach.
The third mistake that a lot folks make is certainly the biggest.
3. Soccer Training is 90 % mental.
Now this will likely come as a major 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 rest 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 some physical running that is very easy to train for is required by them, they are mostly mental.
Most people, particularly in America, seem to play soccer physically. Since people were outsmarted by me constantly, I was almost always the smallest yet most effective player on the pitch. How will you know in case 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 doesn't have a place to go and should you turn him inside towards another teammate that is supporting you?
These're a number of things coaches do fall short in teaching kids. Please don't make that mistake! I cannot stress that enough. There's a huge line between here being a soccer player and an incredible soccer player. But there is a super fine line between an excellent soccer player and an epic soccer player that individuals will remember, will want to play with, and fear playing against.
All of this begins with the proper guidance, the right mental mindset, and the right soccer training.
Soccer has and will always be coined as a sport of mistakes. It's who makes less mistakes and who could cash in on another team's mistakes. So whether you are a coach, a parent, or a soccer player that's wanting to become great remember that it all starts with your individual soccer training before anything else.