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How to Increase Soccer IQ? 7 Simple Methods

How to Increase Soccer IQ? 7 Simple Methods

The intelligence quotient is the full form of IQ. It is a proportion of an individual’s thinking capacity. So, it should check how well somebody can utilize data and rationale to address questions or make expectations.

Intelligence level tests start to gauge this by estimating short-and the long memories. They additionally measure how well individuals can recall data they’ve heard or seen, and it also encompasses how rapidly they could recall them.

Intelligence quotient is also a matter in the game of soccer. Players can be said to have a high soccer IQ, and some can be said to have a low or not good enough soccer IQ.

This article aims to make more clarity on the case of soccer IQ by explaining what it means to have soccer IQ. Also, this article aims to explain ways by which soccer player can increase their soccer IQ.

What does it mean to have a high soccer IQ?

At its most basic level, soccer IQ refers to a player’s ability to make appropriate judgments during a soccer match. The top soccer players on the planet have a high soccer IQ.

To put it another way, they’re not simply terrific dribblers, shooters, and passers; their ability to make smart judgments on the fly is what separates them. This article discusses the many aspects of soccer IQ and how to enhance them.

For a soccer player to be tagged to have a high IQ, there must be a high level of smartness and preciseness in such a player’s decisions on the soccer pitch.

What differentiates players these days is not their physique or even their talents (these are important and very needed in every team) but the difference is now more seen in time and space.

It sounds bizarre to say time and space determine a whole lot in soccer these days, but it is true. Soccer players who are meticulous in maximizing spaces available in soccer will always come out with productivity, unlike the ones with the talents or even the physique and cannot manage the space they have.

Time is also an important factor that makes a player with a high or low IQ. If a soccer player can be able to make timely decisions, there is a higher tendency that they will be more productive in all he does.

Coaches who train their soccer players to maximize both space and time will reap the reward of victory. The Liverpool team under German boss Jurgen Klopp is a good example of this.

The team was trained to be tactically intelligent. And this helps them all the time to manage space and time very well. Also, the presence of amazing talents adds up to their undeniable success.

In their UEFA Champions League semi-final match against Barcelona, on the 7th of May, 2019, the topic of how a team can be tactically trained to be intelligent was displayed as they had a comeback after being trashed 3-0 at Camp Nou, Barcelona’s stadium.

They were able to beat the Barcelona team 4-0 at their stadium, but one of their goals displayed how soccer players can have a high IQ.

Divock Origi scored the goal, but this was because Trent Alexander Arnold was able to play the corner to him, seeing that the Barcelona defenders were relaxed after there were two balls on the pitch (but the second ball had been kicked out of the pitch).

He quickly maximized the space and the time he had, and Divok Origi was also able to put the ball to the back of the net.

The team went ahead to win the Champions that same season. But the main point behind this example is how Trent Alexander Arnold was able to display a high level of soccer IQ. And what brought us to that conclusion is that he was able to maximize space and time judiciously.

How to increase soccer IQ?

Most of the world-class soccer players on the planet presently and before are self-built geniuses. Of course, not all of them have the talent, but most of them were able to train themselves to what they have become.

A high soccer IQ is an innate ability for some soccer players, but it can also be built up. Therefore, there is a possibility that soccer players can increase their soccer IQ.

In order to get this done, there is an obvious need to get involved in some activities that will enhance the growth of soccer IQ.

In this section of the article, you will be enlightened on how to go about increasing your soccer IQ.

How To Improve Your Soccer IQ - Master Football Intelligence

Improve on your decision-making

In a soccer match, all 22 players on the pitch are making decisions at any same time. Therefore, the decisions made during the game accumulate and have a cumulative effect. Typically, the team that makes the best judgments wins the game.

Soccer, on the other hand, is a game of errors. So even if a team makes solid judgments 99 percent of the time, they might still lose if their opponent takes advantage of and punishes them for one or two errors.

While making excellent judgments is vital, avoiding significant errors may be one of the most important components of having a high soccer IQ.

Having said that, no player is flawless. Even the top players in the world make mistakes now and again. What matters most is that players do not concentrate on their errors.

There are two types of decisions that may be made during a soccer match. What soccer players do while they are with the ball and what they do without it are two different things.

When a player gains possession of the ball, they have three options. They can dribble, pass, and shoot. The finest players in the world are always aware of where their teammates and opponents are.

The soccer player is dribbling alone on the field

They frequently know what they’re going to do with the ball before it arrives at them, thanks to their great degree of awareness. Therefore, the greatest approach for players to make effective judgments is to think one step ahead.

What soccer players do when they do not have the ball, on the other hand, is also crucial. Any particular player will hold the ball at their feet for one to two minutes throughout a 90-minute soccer game.

Because this is such a little time, the majority of a player’s contribution to their team is comprised of what they do while they do not have the ball.

As a result, decisions like making off-ball runs on offense and recognizing when to apply pressure vs. sitting back on defense may have a huge influence on the game’s outcome.

Having players play fast is one of the simplest methods to enhance decision-making. One of the most significant differences between professional and amateur soccer players is play speed. The professional game moves at a breakneck pace.

As a result, pros must absorb the game and make judgments faster than lower-level players. As a result, one of the first things that increase as players go to higher levels is their pace of play.

As a result, playing at the greatest level possible is the best method for players to improve. When you’re playing with larger, faster, and more skillful players, you’ll have to adapt and make judgments quickly.


There are several soccer drills that coaches can use on players in order to improve their IQ of the game. Below are some of these drills.

The three-grid possession drill

The three-grid possession practice is a wonderful way to enhance decision-making. Players must think quickly to make precise passes to their teammates in this drill. After completing six passes, they must also figure out how to play a long pass to the opposing side of the pitch.

Points for goal and passes drill

Points for goals and passes are another great drill for players to practice making judgments. Teams are rewarded for both holding possession of the ball and scoring in this game.

Players are more inclined to make clever passes in this game because they want to maintain possession of the ball. This encourages people to make good decisions.

Half-field attack drill

A half-field attack is also beneficial for players to enhance their decision-making in the final third. Players practice breaking down the defense to score goals in this game.

Many drills may assist players in thinking one step ahead, such as rondo keep away, and two teams against one, possession with neutrals in the corners.

It will be good to explain more about one of the drills mentioned above to improve the decision-making of a soccer player and the soccer IQ at large.

Before a soccer practice or game, the rondo keeps away exercise is a quick warm-up drill to get players keen on the ball. To begin with, this exercise, Set up grids and divide participants into four to eight groups. A soccer ball and one to two pinnies are required for each group.

Soccer players are instructed to retain one or two players in the center of the field during the practice. If the center players win the ball, they trade positions with the outer players.

In this exercise, attacking players are also pushed to see how many passes they can make in succession.

Easy & Effective Half-Field Soccer Drill for Attacking, Defensive and Transition Drills

Watch professionals that have a higher IQ than you

It will be beneficial for soccer players who want to improve their soccer IQ to observe players who possess this characteristic. Role-modeling is a fantastic option for everyone who aspires to greatness in life.

This implies you should observe professional players with a higher soccer IQ than you and emulate the better aspect of them that gives them the qualities you value.

This may imply that you will be following other tournaments, teams, or even soccer games to keep up with them (since games are a clone of reality). Nevertheless, this is a great method to pick up on little differences in other people’s games and adapt them to your own.

The first person you should seek is someone who used to play your position. Remember that soccer is a physical as well as a cerebral game, so develop those mental notes and apply them to your game.

Player number 19 is surrounded by opponents

For example, if you’re a winger, you’ll like to pay close attention to their first and second touches. You’re looking to see if they know when to let go of the ball swiftly and when to keep it for a while.

You’ll want to observe if they can defeat their defender in a one-on-one situation, and if they can beat their defender, what sort of service they provide afterward.

Do they even have the mental capability to select out teammates, or is he purposely putting the ball in the box?

Is he an effective communicator? Is it unpredictable because he varies his game? Is this player physically fit? Are they being truthful and defending themselves? Is he aware of where his teammates are supposed to be during the game?

On the field, how quickly does he make decisions? When you are observing other players, you should be aware of all of these aspects of the game.

Now that you know what to look for while watching the soccer game of your role model or whoever you want to learn more about soccer IQ from, you will need to go out and watch some more so you can apply what you have learned to your own game.

Enhance the ability to read a game

Another way soccer players can increase their IQ is to improve their ability to read a game. However, to be able to read a game in soccer, you need to learn and observe more.

Studying how your opponents play each game before you face them is a very good way of increasing your ability to read games. It is best if you ask yourself questions like; how good are their defenders? How good are their strikers? How do the midfielders play with the ball?

a kid wonders some questions about his opponent

Asking yourself these questions will give you time ahead of the match to prepare for your opponent. And once you’ve prepared for them, you would be able to easily read their game when the match begins because you’ve gotten sufficient knowledge on how they play.

Try to watch the recording of your game

Another way to improve your soccer IQ is to keep a close eye on yourself. That will make watching your game a necessary way to study your game. So that you can be able to point out your mistakes while on the pitch.

It will provide you with a visual representation of your performance. When you’re engrossed in the game, this will allow you to immerse yourself in action fully. Have a pen and paper nearby when you’re viewing yourself so you can write down notes.

someone writes down in notebook

Things you accomplished well and things you could improve on should be included in your notes. For example, if you’re a center midfielder, things to watch for include field placement, distributions, tackles, communication, and so on.

If you’re having trouble dissecting your game, have a coach or someone you believe knows soccer well view it with you. However, I would still advise you to watch on your own and do your best to figure out what you did well and where you might improve.

Get feedbacks

Watching yourself alone might not be the best option; it will be a very good option for you if you get feedback from others about your performance and how you can do it better; this alone helps in developing a higher soccer IQ.

Whether in soccer or even life, asking for critique is one of the ways to develop. You’ll be able to receive an objective perspective on your game by receiving feedback. Request an evaluation of your game from a coach or someone you believe understands a lot about soccer.

It is now up to you to take action after you have received this information.

Always remember that there is always room for improvement in soccer, so never become comfortable with where you are. Instead, strive to be the best you can be, put in the effort, and the results will follow.

The coach is talking to his players

Set out enough time to practice

If you don’t get out and practice and implement what you’ve learned, no amount of research and observation will help you improve as a player.

Practice your methods regularly to create ball familiarity, which is when your body becomes so accustomed to the ball that it adjusts automatically to its presence.

Do some customized workouts to help you master your position in the field. Again, consistency is crucial; if you practice regularly, you will become a master at it.

Studying, observation, conversation, and practice are all essential components of improving your soccer skills. You’ll discover new ways to practice that you may not have considered previously by studying the game, observing it, and talking to others about it.

If you practice those components, you will become a better, more intelligent player. Practice is a well-proven technique. It is reliable; any soccer player will surely benefit from consistently practicing.

A soccer team is taking a cone drill

Keep to a healthy lifestyle

One of the fundamental ways by which a soccer player can increase in soccer IQ is by engaging in healthy living. Physical activity is one of the most effective strategies to improve brain function. Furthermore, a well-functioning brain ensures a good soccer IQ.

The better a soccer player takes good care of their body, the better results the body will yield in soccer performance. This is one of the reasons why a soccer player should never trivialize the concept of healthy living.

There are many things to do for a soccer player to stay healthy, one of which is taking a good time out to exercise.

According to a report published in 2018, light exercise increases activity in the hippocampus, which is important in memory, according to a reliable source. Also, it does the work of strengthening the link between the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning, and memory.

Exercise has a lot of cognitive benefits for soccer players when consistently done. The good news is that you don’t have to engage in strenuous exercise to gain the advantages.

Sleep is also necessary for good cognitive performance. Moreover, regular sleep is so critical that even minor sleep deprivation has been shown to have a deleterious impact on working memory.

healthy lifestyle eat nutritious food, do exercise, sleep well

Also, you should know that adenosine is a molecule in the brain that inhibits the production of stimulatory chemicals.

On the other hand, caffeine inhibits adenosine, allowing these chemicals to offer you an energy boost. This has the potential to improve learning and mental performance.

Caffeine use has also been shown to improve attention, which may help you stay focused and better absorb new information. However, coffee should be used in moderation. Caffeine use in excess can cause anxiety and jitteriness.

Also, as a soccer player, to have an increase in your IQ, you need to eat nutritious foods. Practicing this will not only help in keeping your brain in good condition, but it also will enhance healthy development for your body.

Foods containing vitamins and protein, among other classes of food, are renowned for being effective in helping the good development that your brain and your body need at large. They also fight against antibodies and strengthen your hormone system.

Some soccer players are known for their love for junk, but this will not help the body like eating good food. According to studies, junk food might negatively impact your memory.

Dementia has been related to poor diets because high blood pressure and cholesterol affect the brain’s blood flow. In addition, according to new research, junk meals can inhibit brain cells from reacting correctly to insulin. In short, bad dieting and junk are not the best for a soccer player.


The difference between soccer players, either world-class or average or even amateur, can be their level of soccer IQ. The intelligence quotient in soccer deals with how a soccer player was able to maximize their time and space in decision-making.

For a soccer player to be said to have a high-level soccer IQ, he must be able to maximize the space available properly. He must also be able to decide quickly how to use the space they have, whether to pass, shoot, take a run or even leave the ball.

In order to increase one’s soccer IQ, there is a need to work on decision-making. This is because decisions are not only taken while with the ball; even while a soccer player is not with the ball, they also make decisions.

So to improve on decision-making, there are some drills and workouts that can help, drills such as rondo keep away, and so on.

Role-modeling, that is, having a professional soccer player who has a high level of soccer IQ to learn from, is a good way to increase one’s soccer IQ. Watching players who are ahead will help them learn from their game and become better as soccer players.

Watching one’s own game can help soccer players get to know more about their games and help them mark out places where there is a need for improvements. This is more effective when players engage diligently in practice and drills.

Also, there is a need for healthy living to increase soccer IQ. Proper feeding, exercise, sleep, and so on are ways soccer players can help in increasing their soccer IQ.