Soccer Training has drastically changed and what you believe you know probably 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 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". 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 also.
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 they should be working on individual improvements on their own time. This brings me to mistake number 2.
2. Soccer Practice versus Individual Practice.
While training is good 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 their abilities to the next level. Think of soccer practice as a moment to put all your individual efforts to use and get them game ready for game situation. I saw my soccer skills literally explode over the off season when I decided to do my own individual soccer training instead of join another club team.
Did you fully grasp 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 extremely important. Just as important you have to learn that the time off the ball has to be a lot more sharp since that is 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. Personal 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 small number of aspects of overall soccer training. You need to also understand where you need to be, where here 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 above all great guidance from a knowledgeable coach.
The third mistake that people 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 easy to train for is required by them, they're mostly mental.
Most people, particularly in America, tend to play soccer physically. Since people were outsmarted by me constantly, I was almost always the smallest yet best player on the pitch. How do you know in case you should go in for a slide tackle or perhaps you must jockey the defender? Should you then push the offensive player towards the sideline so he doesn't have a place to go and / or should you turn him inside towards another teammate that is supporting you?
These are many things coaches do fail in teaching kids. Please do not make the mistake! I cannot stress that enough. There is a huge 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 people will remember, will need to play with, and fear playing against.
All this starts with the right guidance, the right mental mindset, and the right soccer training.
Soccer has and will usually 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 perhaps a soccer player that is wanting to become great remember that it all starts with your individual soccer training before anything else.