While soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world, it is also one of the most competitive and challenging. The following tips can help you increase your speed, strength and overall skill in the game.
First, take your conditioning seriously. Eat a healthy diet and exercise daily to strengthen your muscles and increase your stamina. If you continue working out in the off season, you will be faster and more agile when the next season begins, rather than having to force your body back into shape before you can start playing effectively.
Second, practice passing. There are many ways to improve your passing skills; one of the simplest is to stand ten to twenty yards away from a target. You can use a cone, a ball or a mark on a brick or concrete wall as the target. Once you can hit it consistently, start using a smaller target, or aim from farther away.
Third, be careful not to ignore your strengths by focusing too much on your weaknesses. Although it is important to work toward becoming a wellbalanced player, your strengths are generally what earn you time on the field, and neglecting them too much can diminish their effectiveness.
Fourth, practice fundamental ball-handling drills such as dribbling and juggling the ball. You can practice these skills by yourself as often as you wish, and the better you get at them, the more precise you will be on the field.
Fifth, attend soccer clinics. High school or college clinics can be very effective for motivating you to practice harder, and for introducing you to drills and strategies you may not have seen before.
Sixth, focus on communication during team practices and games. A good team must function cohesively, engaging with each other and becoming comfortable with each other’s skills and playing habits, and knowing how to interact smoothly while under pressure.
Seventh, learn to react quickly. In a game, you will not have time to think through your next move. The best way to decrease your reaction time is to practice the same techniques and maneuvers so many times that they become instinctive, and you no longer need to consciously think about how to do them.
Eighth, learn as much about the game itself as possible. Hunt down books, articles, interviews, documentaries and the like, and study them. The more you know about the history, rules and strategies of the game, the more effective you will be in the field.
Ninth, try to imitate more skilled players. When watching soccer games, take note of the players’ habits. Learn to practice, move and react the way they do.
Tenth,practice with older, more experienced players, who can point out your mistakes and help you to improve as a player. For example, if you are in high school, look for opportunities to practice with college players.
The only way to become a more skilled soccer player is to learn as much as you can, and then practice what you learn regularly. Tips and strategies to help you get better will only be effective if you have the work ethic to push yourself to improve.