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 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". 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 then ensure 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 two.
2. Soccer Practice versus Individual Practice.
While practice is good for team building and team chemistry, you've to make sure that you or your players are practicing individually if you would like 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 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've 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're both quite common questions I get.
When you think of soccer you should be thinking of a few factors to make you a game changing player. Individual skill, speed, conditioning, and what I call your soccer I.Q. which is the capability to out think folks on the field 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 has 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 a lot folks make is certainly the biggest.
3. Soccer Training is 90 % mental.
Now this could come as a huge shock to you but let us think about the 9 seconds you've the ball on average per game. What exactly are you doing the rest of the game. You are supporting, helping some other players defend certain spaces of the field, and you are making runs into space. What do all these have in common?
Sure while they need some physical running which is very easy to train for, they are mostly mental.
A lot of people, especially in America, seem 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 should 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's supporting you?
These are several things coaches really do fail in teaching kids. Please do not street football 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 people will remember, will need 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 usually be coined as a sport of mistakes. It is who makes less mistakes and who are able to 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.