Soccer is a top sport that is very popular with various persons at every level, from professional to even youth soccer. It usually takes years to become a master of soccer. You have to train and practice with other soccer players that have a high level of skill.
You cannot get better at soccer in just a week, but you can make changes to your basic skills and areas which would allow you to get better in the future.
- How to get better at soccer?
- Increasing Soccer Intelligence
- Improving Awareness
- Improve Your Weaknesses
- Make Improvements to your Foot Skills
- Improve your Skill Sets
How to get better at soccer?
Though it usually takes time to get better or improve at soccer, you have to take the first step by thinking of improving or getting better.
One way to improve or get better at soccer is to have a dedication to the game of soccer. By searching for ways to improve, you have laid down the framework of getting better at soccer.
To get better at soccer or improve at soccer, you have to master basic soccer skills for every position in soccer. Such basic skills include passing and ball control, skills, tactics, and other factors.
Now, based on the position that you play in soccer, you would also need to improve some other skills such as defense, dribbling, shooting, and tackling.
This is why some defenders are known for being good at shooting. This, therefore, makes it essential to improve your basic skills.
Below you will be shown some methods that you can use to get better at soccer. These methods include skills, tactics, technical skills, thinking capability, mental and physical factors.
Increasing Soccer Intelligence
Just as a soccer player needs to be physical when playing soccer, he also needs to have the intelligence to execute certain tactics and skills into his game.
Soccer is physical, and at the same time mental, you have to have the intelligence to be able to perform certain maneuvers and employ strategies in a game.
Below are some ways that you can improve your soccer intelligence to get better at soccer.
Learn from Professionals
A major way of improving your soccer game and soccer intelligence is to be consistent in learning from professionals. Watch recordings of professional games every week.
While watching these videos, watch the movements of the players when off the ball or on the ball, how they position themselves, how they make runs, how they defend, and how they attack. Then, learn from their mistakes and make criticisms while getting new ideas.
Also, try to learn why certain tactics professionals made did not work.
Think about how you are going to emulate certain tactics and how differently you can play. You can also watch highlights of professionals on YouTube. It will help you in filling the gaps in your techniques.
Learn Team Tactics
A major part of soccer intelligence or technical skill is the ability to be able to work as a team. Every team has its strategies that they make use of; irrespective of these strategies, the team has to work together to develop. Some of these tactics include:
Keeping the defensive shape. You might not be playing on the offside trap, but you always have to ensure that the defense should be in shape, a horizontal line. If the defense loses shape, holes, and gaps would be created. For defenders, you have to always look right or left and ensure that everyone is on an even line.
Keeping the pressure on the opposition. If a team can consistently fire shots at the opposition, the possibility of scoring a goal from the shots would be huge.
The pressure associated with continuously shooting shots at the opposition usually leads to a lapse in the opposition defense and difficulty in clearing the shots.
Keeping defense and expanding the offense. Every game is usually based on this strategy. This tactic ensures that the defense doesn’t have space while the team creates space when they attack.
Therefore the team has to defend together at the center of the field to form a base that moves together to prevent offensive threats.
Learn to be a Good Communicator
Another part of increasing Soccer Intelligence is to be a good communicator. In matches, you can see some players aiding their teams through communications on the pitch. The game of soccer is a team game, not a one man game.
This makes it necessary for every person on the field to be on the same page throughout the game. Certain things can be communicated in a game; they include:
Making Runs. If the pressure is too much, you could correct your teammate from overlapping or playing the ball back. Usually, in soccer, players would not be able to see their teammates because their eyes could be on the balls.
Making Defense. You can also learn to let your teammate know who to cover or direct them to unmarked opposing players that need to be covered.
You also have to learn that communicating with your teammates does not mean you have to shout a lot of information to them. You can also make use of gestures to tell them when they have a mark on them or when they are free.
Train your one-on-one defenses Skills
As a soccer player, whether you are a defender, midfielder, or striker, you have to be able to defend individually. This is extremely important as there are occasions in soccer where you have to be able to defend against the opposing player.
You can start practicing 1v1 defense with a partner while working on handling and effectively pressuring your opponent. A basic principle of defending one on one is to be slightly crouched and ensure that the ball is kept on your feet.
You should bend your feet in a way that would allow you to react positively regardless of the situation. For example, place one of your feet above the other while your body is angled.
Try to force the opposition to the sideline, ensure that you do not stand straight while you let the opposition choose your direction.
Watch the hips of the opposing player to ensure that you are not tricked. The hips are the center of gravity of every player, and it shows where the direction the player is going to move in. It helps if you can use this to your advantage.
Keep your eye level straight when you are with the ball
Every great soccer player is capable of scanning the field while with the ball. Though it is quite hard to control a ball that you cannot see, it can be achieved as long as you practice.
You should also learn to be able to make use of the bottom of your eye to become a smarter and a better player.
You should practice or train to be proficient in keeping your head up while with the ball, then you will see improvements in your games.
Awareness is a difficult skill to learn and is one of the necessary skills that every soccer player needs to be able to get better at soccer.
Soccer awareness helps players to be able to get a general location of the fields. It is like a kind of spatial awareness where the player would be able to get to free spaces, know who is around him (teammates and opponents), know where to stay for receiving passes, and so on.
In soccer, you can train awareness with some Cone drills. Below are some Cone drills that can help you to train your soccer awareness. Of course, you would need to have some cones and other persons to practice these Cone drills.
The Shoulder Touch
For this drill, your teammates have to stay behind you and move either to your left or right shoulder before you get the ball. You have to look over both of your shoulders to know the position of your teammates.
This Cone drill has to be repeated continuously to train your awareness. This will ensure that in games, you would have the ability to look over your shoulders to know the position of your teammates or opposing players.
The Cone Spot
For this drill, your teammate or friend has to help place different colors of cones behind you on the pitch. Then, before you receive the ball, you have to quickly look over your shoulders then call out the names of the cones that have been placed in the ground.
When you perform this Cone drill repeatedly, you would increase your awareness of the pitch and will help you to understand who is around you and where you are in the pitch.
An advantage of awareness is that it allows you to be able to control the ball, keep your head up and also have a mental map of the entire field. It helps you to be able to see the whole field while giving you access to the position of every player on the pitch.
Awareness gives soccer players time to make the right decisions.
The major con of this drill is that very few soccer players can practice it correctly and properly.
Improve Your Weaknesses
To get better at soccer, you have to make improvements to your weaknesses. Usually, during training, the weaknesses of players are not shown because they try to impress their teammates and coach.
Most soccer players, during training, try to avoid their weaknesses, like their weak feet or inability to head properly.
Therefore, it is when players train alone that they try to become better players. For example, Lionel Messi, some years back, was not given a chance to take free kicks because he was unable to score, but today he is one of the best free-kick takers in the world of soccer.
Messi got to this stage by improving on his weakness through constant practice on his ability to take free kicks. Now he has turned this weakness into strength.
Therefore as a soccer player, if you wish to become better at the game, you have to make improvements on your weaknesses, whatever they might be. This is an important part of getting better at soccer.
Make Improvements to your Foot Skills
In order to become a better player in the game of soccer, you are to make improvements to your foot skills. Below, you will be shown the methods of improving your foot skills.
Dribbling with Tight and Precise Control
To become a better soccer player, you have to learn to dribble. You have to ensure that the ball becomes an extension of your foot.
Try to make quick stops and dribble between the lines of small areas such as the penalty box. While doing these practices, try to change your speed as you go on.
Make use of both feet, then try other moves. The aim is to ensure that the ball sticks to your feet regardless of your speed. When you are capable of dribbling at any speed, you will become the bane of defenders.
You can also practice dribbling with cones, flags, etc. Make use of weave, zig-zag, then make changes to your directions without losing the ball. You should also try juggling, as it is one of the easiest ways to improve ball touch, ensuring that the ball is kept close to your body at all times.
Make small and higher juggles while working on both feet. It is also necessary that you practice advanced tricks and moves, as it will increase your offense lethality in games.
Practice Perfect First Touch
In soccer, having perfect control demarcates you from the average player. As a soccer player, you have to be able to stop the ball from the ground or air once you receive it, then lay it down properly so you can make your next touch to start an attack.
You have to learn to be able to trap the ball either with your foot or with your body. Having good first touch usually puts defenders in a difficult situation as they would become confused and give you the chance to start a perfect attack.
Also, ensure that you can properly make touch pass with your teammates that are in close range. This can be practiced by kicking the ball against a wall.
You can also practice the first touch with your teammates by letting the teammate throw or pass the ball to you. When the ball is passed to you, ensure that you make only two touches, the first settling the ball then the second passing the ball back to the player or another player.
Another way to practice the first touch is to learn to pass and shoot the ball while on the run.
After your teammate has passed the ball to you, ensure that your first touch is properly timed so that you can either shoot the ball or pass the ball on your second touch with ought breaking your momentum.
An advantage of practicing the first touch is that it ensures that you can perfectly control the ball on the pitch and make perfect passes.
Practice taking Crosses and Shots
Every soccer player is usually capable of crossing or shooting the ball properly when the ball is not moving. However, to become a better soccer player, you have to learn to cross or shoot the ball effectively when the ball is not moving.
Current soccer is a game of speed; therefore, this skill has become very important. Being able to shoot or cross or pass the ball while in motion is important, especially when you become accurate with it.
You can practice how to shoot while running with a partner or alone. To get started, put the ball in motion with touch, then after getting to about 70% of your speed, try taking a shot or across. As you progress, you can increase your speed.
Perfecting this level is very important as players with this skill are usually the nightmares of defenders.
When practicing this skill, ensure you approach from various angles; you can try hitting the ball while running from the sideline, crossing from the sidelines, or even shooting from the center of the field.
Also, ensure that you work on your positioning as it is very important. A striker, for example, needs to be able to take the ball from the midfielder straight to the opponent’s goal to relieve the pressure from his teammates.
Kicking the ball from various areas
As a soccer player, you have to know how you can kick the ball properly. Kicking the ball properly dictates how the ball would travel. Most of the best soccer players with the best ball control are capable of achieving this.
As a striker or defender, you would have an increase in your options on the pitch when you properly learn how to kick the ball. Make use of the inside of your foot to hit accurate, short, and mid-level passes.
Practice how to kick the ball from various angles, from kicking the ball from a diagonal angle to spinning the ball so the ball would be unpredictable.
You can also perform backspin chips for crosses by using the edge of your shoes. Ensure that you follow through with your foot when the ball is kicked either for a cross, pass, or shot.
Improve your Non-Dominant Foot
Most soccer players are usually dominant on one foot. However, no matter how good your right foot is, there are occasions where you must perform maneuvers with your other foot. It then becomes important that you improve the usage of your weaker foot.
Most great players such as Ronaldo, Messi, or Neymar are devastating with both feet. They can make defenders tremble with their supposed weaker foot. Therefore, you mustn’t neglect the training of your weaker foot but work on both feet.
Practice How to Handle Close-touch Balls
To become a better soccer player, you have to not only get faster but be precise and have perfect control of the ball with your feet to be a better striker or dribbler.
You can try various drills that would improve your touches.
Try bouncing the ball between your feet, then make use of the insoles to ensure that the ball is kept between your knees, then pass the ball back and forth as fast as possible.
Make use of the top of your toes to touch the ball rapidly. You have to aim to be as very fast as you can. While making improvements, you should then work on using the sole of your toe to roll the ball slightly. Ensure that your focus is on making precise and small touches.
You can also perform in-and-out drills by using your right foot’s sole to roll the ball to your right. After rolling your foot over the ball to the right, then you can make the step to pass the ball to your left.
The ball should be controlled with your left foot sole, then roll out the ball. After this, you can repeat the drill using both feet back and forth.
Improve your Skill Sets
In order to become a better player in the game of soccer, your skill sets play a major role. A majority of the best soccer players have a plethora of skill sets that they can choose from when varying their opponents. As a result, if you want to improve your soccer level, you have to improve or learn new skill sets.
Below are some of the ways that you can improve your skill sets to become a better soccer player.
In soccer, the ball can be passed either through the air or through the ground. The most common pass used is the ground pass, and it is often used for shorter passes.
Have your teammates face you while standing 20 feet away to practice passing. Ground passes make use of the outside or inside of your dominant foot. Place your non-dominant foot in the position of the pass, next to the ball.
Now swing your dominant foot at mid-strength towards the ball to kick it. Ensure that the ball is hit with the inside of your foot.
Ground passing aims to ensure that the ball does not bounce on the pitch. While practicing, ensure that you aim properly towards your teammates because you have to be accurate when in a game.
While improving on our practice, you can increase the distance of the pass from 20 feet to about 40 feet.
The second type of passing is the long pass, and this is usually from 50 feet away. The long pass makes use of the top of your feet instead of the inside.
While your teammates stand about 50 feet away from you, ensure that you create distance from the ball so you can have more power to the pass.
While moving towards the ball, place your non-dominant foot next to the ball, similar to the ground pass.
Your dominant foot would then be swung at full strength. While your leg comes down the dominant foot and to kick the ball above your toes. This ensures that the ball is kicked at the maximum angle.
While practicing, you can increase the pass strength. However, you don’t need to make use of your full strength to make a successful long pass. You can practice for about 15 minutes every day with your teammates.
Learn to score Goals
An important aspect of every soccer player is to be able to score goals when they are given the opportunity. Therefore, to become a better soccer player, you have to learn how you can score goals when the opportunity presents itself.
You can practice scoring goals by practicing taking shots from a little distance away from the penalty box. You can also practice shooting towards the goal from various positions on the pitch. Try to aim at various spots of the goal where you want the ball to be placed.
Take consecutive shots at a single angle till you change to another spot. Your teammates could also stand in place as the goalkeeper to represent a game while you practice. Position the ball at various places in the pitch while changing the strength that you use for shooting the ball.
To get better at soccer, you have to train yourself in various areas of soccer, from practicing technical skills, upping your physical ability, increasing your tactics, training, and learning new skills.
You also have to practice with your teammates to get better. While practicing, ensure that you learn from professional players. You can also analyze the matches of professionals and use them as a reference for improvement.
Following the methods above will help you better at soccer but what is important is that you focus on your practice sessions.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!