The game of soccer is a competitive one, there are always two teams. And each team always comes with a primary aim of coming out as the winner of the match. And this is why each team deploys every ability talent they’ve got in the team to come out the successful part.
Speed is one of the important skills deployed by soccer teams to come out the winner of the contest. Speed is vital throughout many sports, but it is much more so in soccer because you spend most of the game sprinting around the field.
We are talking about a lot more than just sprinting in soccer whenever we discuss speed. While this is significant, the ability to run at full speed for the duration of a game is what matters most.
To get the most out of their roles, forwards, most midfielders and even fullbacks need to be quick with the ball at their feet. This does not imply that they must be lightning quick, but they must be capable of dribbling at full pace.
It’s a difficult talent to learn (because you also have to master your dribbling abilities), but it’s crucial since it prevents the defense from becoming complacent.
This article is dedicated to shedding more illumination on how a soccer player can effectively run with a soccer ball.
How to run with a soccer ball?
It should be noted that speed in football is different compared to that of other sport. It is very different sprinting alone. This is because many soccer players most times have to have the soccer ball with them while running.
The case is on the contrary in an ordinary sprinting sport where we have athletes competing against themselves only based on their speed abilities, without any ball.
To be able to distinguish yourself from the defensive players surrounding you on the attack, you must learn how to move well on and off the ball.
Wingers, for example, will have to get past his team’s fullback and the center backs. Lacking speed, defenders may sit back and rest, knowing that no one can ever get past them
On defense, players must be quick to stop attacking players from running past them.
Slide through passes to wingers and strikers attempting to sneak past the backline are the simplest route for teams to score, thus defenders must have the quickness to catch up with them fast.
So to get your best pace while you are still with the ball you will need to master the methods that will be mentioned in this section of the article.
Get the basics of running right
Maintain a decent posture. Maintain a modest forward lean with your torso centered over your hips and your back relatively straight.
You shouldn’t bend too much at the waist, but leaning into your run is good, especially when running uphill. Maintain a straight back and bent elbows, pumping them with each step.
Remember to take a few deep breaths while about to start a run with the ball. Breathe in a relaxed and natural manner. If you fail to breathe or hold your breath, you’ll find yourself struggling to breathe and this will end up slowing you down.
Properly taking your breath is often efficient while running with the ball. It is also effective as well for other forms of exercise. This is even great when you do it in such a way that you breathe in through your nostrils and out through your mouth.
Put on the ideal soccer cleats. You will not want to settle for any cleats if you want to play soccer and also run with the ball. Investing in a pair of excellent soccer cleats that fits you well and supports your feet is a smart decision.
You don’t want your soccer cleats to be too loose that they slip about, but you also don’t want them to be too tight.
Most soccer cleats retailers use educated specialists to assist you in finding the optimum fit for your foot. Try on a variety of cleats and walk around the store with them until you locate a pair that you like.
Different types of arches require different sorts of cleats. While going for a run, some people’s ankles flex slightly out or slightly in and cleats are available to alleviate these issues.
Discovering Your Footsteps
Your stride is the movement in which your legs stretch and contact the ground, propelling you forward. Instead of feeling unpleasant, your natural running stride should feel smooth. Everyone’s stride is a little distinctive, although most people have a similar overall shape. You’ll reduce your chance of injury and improve speed after you’ve found your stride.
You may play with several different factors. Pay attention to how high your knees are compared to your hips. Pay attention to how your feet land and how you push off to produce your strides. Some people like to strike the ground with their heels first, while others prefer to do so with their toes first. Find what feels right for you and work with it.
Your optimal stride is the longest space between steps that you can make when walking or running without stretching or straining yourself, however, it depends on your body shape and whether you want to run for distance or speed.
As a soccer player with the ball, your stride length should be relatively short, as shorter strides provide more power. However, because this requires more energy, your stride length would lengthen if you were running a great distance with the ball.
Your body will usually recognize its default stride length, and it will be up to you to choose how much you should decrease it.
When undertaking shorter, quicker runs, one’s attention is likely to be drawn to arm movement. Especially in sprints, when the pace is largely determined by arm movement.
You must alter your stride to the terrain if you are jogging on a tough section of the pitch. As a result, rather than being a fixed length, stride length will fluctuate.
However, most pitches have a level surface with no obstructions, so your stride should be determined by how comfortable it feels.
To put it another way, a stride that seems like you’re extending to its maximum length might become quite taxing after a certain distance. You may also have aching muscles and tendons as a result of overexertion.
The effort necessary to increase your stride length when sprinting with the ball can be hard on your feet since you may be jumping off each foot, resulting in pain or worse, damage.
To learn particular strategies as a soccer player, you may need to practice under various conditions. As a result, if you want to work out in an uphill setting, you need to think about your steps.
Practice positional running
The concept of positional running deals with a soccer player running with his position in the team in mind. This will help the team reach a more productive fit at the end of every run.
And this will also decrease the amount of overlapping, dangerous threats, and unsuccessful runs in the team.
Midfielders are known to be soccer players with high expectations of more runs with the ball in a soccer game. They are always expected to run with the ball to provide assists or help in coordinating the flow of an attack with the forwards.
They are also expected to run in helping the defenders to prevent danger in a soccer game. So this position with high hopes needs to master how to play their position well and how to run with the ball in the jurisdiction of their position.
The midfielder needs to learn to be relaxed and not too overconfident while running with the ball. While launching an attack the midfielder needs to be aware of every possible opportunity around for the team to be able to convert the attack to a goal.
Forwards are also a set of soccer players with high expectations to make runs with the ball. German international, Timo Werner is a perfect example of how a forward should make use of pace.
Even though he lacks good decision-making in many cases, but his pace gave him an edge above many other forward players. And thanks to that, he’s able to score goals.
Defenders are also expected to run with the ball on their feet. But defenders have a low expectation of running with the ball compared to the forward and the midfielders.
When a defender runs with the ball, he or she must make sure another defender (teammate covers for him or her), this is to help the team avoid the risk that might usurp from a mistake that can cause a counter-attack.
A defender must always run confidently without forgetting his or her major duty post, to avoid lethal attacks in case a mistake pops.
For a goalkeeper, his or her duty post is in the goal area. It will be somehow inappropriate to run with the ball into the football pitch. Anything can happen, and if it leads to a goal, that might cost the team that game, and that can cost the goalkeeper his or her career.
There are always exceptional cases, where there will be a need for the goalkeeper to run all out with the ball with him or her.
In cases like this, there is a need to be composed, the goalkeeper needs to take a deep breath and scan the pitch before taking any decision but he must be timely.
There are loads of benefits to positional running. It helps to maintain the formation and the strategy even though speed has been introduced.
But it limits surprises and it might not make a team play dynamically. This is because some opportunities might occur while running with the ball but with one’s position might not give room for taking it. But as a soccer player, taking opportunities that will help the team comes first in all.
Master your dribbling skills
Running with the ball gets more interesting if a soccer player masters his or her dribbling skills. Several areas of both feet may be used to develop a variety of dribbling skills.
This will assist you in gaining greater ball control and maintaining better mobility and balance while advancing with the ball in a game.
To get better while running with the ball you should know that in soccer, a touch is whenever you make contact with the ball. By utilizing delicate touches, you will make more contact with the ball, which will initially slow you down.
But as you become more accustomed to making more touch with the ball, you will be able to progress more swiftly while maintaining more control over the ball.
Also, always make sure to have the ball closer to your feet while about to dribble. And dribbling here is not aimed at humiliating defenders or any soccer player it is to get you running and past them.
Pass the ball forth and back between the inward sides of your feet while keeping your knees bent. When facing an opponent, keep your body between the defender and the ball. This will help you to be able to shift directions more quickly as well.
Also, you need to engage in more practice, to help you get your skills mastered. So you can execute them more swiftly.
Dribbling helps in getting past opponents while running with the ball. Lionel Messi is proof of that, as he gets the ball with him on the run comfortably while dribbling his opponents. And that gives his team more space to take a goal-scoring opportunity.
But if the skill is not well-mastered, It might cost the team a break in the attack flow or even a counterattack.
Speed is super-important in a soccer match. It is a necessary skill every team eagerly looks out for in players. It is then important to get to know the methods by which one can get better as a soccer player while running with the soccer ball at the feet.
Match awareness through pitch scanning cannot be over-emphasized. It helps in making the right decision while running. Also, getting to know the basics of running which includes finding one’s breath and footsteps is also important in getting better as a runner with the ball.
Positional running is also a great concept that can help any soccer player and the team. It will help players with the ball run with his or her position in mind. This will help the team avoid silly mistakes.
Dribbles are one of the sought-after parts of any soccer match. And any player with the ball can up the game by being master at it. This will help in creating more space on the opponent’s side.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
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!