Top 10 Pro Soccer Tips written by: AnjanDash Soccer is the most popular sport in the entire world. The number of countries playing soccer at the international level is greater than any other sport. With over 3.5 billion fans worldwide the popularity of the game is huge. The speed, the thrill, the uncertainty and the rush of this beautiful game connect the passions of its followers with the players and institutions they support. Soccer clubs and training centers in every part of the world coach and nurture young players and help them access the world stage but many choose to train on their own. So, here is a list of the most useful soccer tips that are often overlooked.
#1 – Learn To Play Soccer As A Team
This is perhaps the most important of all the tips. Soccer is a team game and you must always play it with the best interests of the team in mind. Make good use of the help of other team members, plan the game-play together and outsmart your opponents. Pass and switch play as often as possible. Not only will your team have more possession but they will also succeed in drawing the opponent from one side of the field to another.
Every player is important and each player contributes a little to the game. But eventually, what matters most is what the team has achieved together regardless of individual performance. Of course, in every team some players consistently deliver match-winning performance, and it is fair that they receive the glory they deserve, but what the combined effort of the team accomplishes is more important.
Make good use of the help of other team members, plan the game-play together, to outsmart your opponents.
#2 – Be Mindful Of Your Energy
Try to move the ball more than yourself. When players run around too much they get exhausted quite easily. For a ninety-minute game, you must effectively use your energy and focus more on passing the ball forward and less on running behind the ball. Anticipate the ball and make your move when the time comes but do not chase the ball all around the field.
Try to move the ball more than yourself!
#3 – Follow The Ball Every Second
This is absolutely vital for a good soccer player, in fact, for any soccer player. Your primary focus should always be on the ball. You may take note of the players in the opponent’s defense line, the position taken the unmarked players etc but you should always follow the ball and anticipate its movement. Don’t lose yourself only because you are winning or there is little time left.
Follow the ball every second and anticipate its movement.
#4 – Focus On Your Timing
As a defender you should learn to time your charge so that you can successfully either clear the ball or take possession of it. Charging too early will allow your opponent to deceive you, and he can then move forward with the ball or redirect the ball to his teammate. While charging too late will give your opponent too much time to think and play the ball forward without a challenge. Time your charge so that your opponent does not have too much to think but do it without committing to your charge. This will press him to release the ball quickly and make a mistake. The opponents will try to freeze your movement as they come close to you but if you can time your charge effectively, quickly pushing the ball out of his possession, you can easily offset the attack.
Time your charge to press your opponent to release the ball quickly.
#5 – Work On Holding The Defense Line
One of the most important things for a defender is holding the defense line and making it impenetrable. As long as the opponents cannot break through this line they cannot score easily (without running offside). Mind the gap(s) between you and the next defender or the boundary line, and always try to keep yourself in a blocking position. Sometimes your opponents may try to run past you with the ball through the gaps but effective blocking and follow-up clearance can counter-balance the attack speed of the striker.
Don’t let the ball slip through the gaps and try to keep yourself in the blocking position.
#6 – Use Your Body Effectively
You should be afraid to tackle the opponent striker or slide on the ground if necessary (but make sure you do not commit fouls). Anticipate your opponent’s next move and try to break his speed by tapping the ball off course. If you manage to win the possession of the ball, use your body to shield the ball. Keep your body between the ball and the opponent and hold the ball outwards with your foot as your back is turned towards the opponent. Then switch the directions of the ball with your foot as your opponent tries to win over the ball before passing it on.
Use your body effectively to tackle, block and shield.
#7 – Utilize The Sides Of The Field
One of the most effective ways to break the defense line is to move in from the sides. The gaps between the boundary lines of the field and the defenders are the most vulnerable parts of the opponent’s defense line. Also, if there are too many people in the center it will be difficult to create game in that area, so it is advisable to use the wing-men to exploit the sides. (Also, make sure that you do not take the ball over the boundary line.)
Utilize the sides of the field to attack the most vulnerable parts of the opponent’s defense.
#8 – Learn To Freeze The Defense
When you see a defender charging at you, make a sudden movement, use your footwork or simply throw in a fake to slow him down. This will give you some time to think and your players to take position. Also, look for ways to pass the ball through the legs of the defender as the defender tries to close on you right after the freeze.
Slow down the defender rushing at you to gain more time.
#9 – Triangulate And Distribute The Play
Distributing the play in a triangular association is a good way of breaking tight defenses. As you collaborate with your team members and distribute the play, the defenders in the opponent team can make little effort to block the ball as your players are not charging in to the D-line but just simply holding the ball possession. Even if they attempt to chase the ball they would leave a huge gap for the players to move in and initiate a quick attack. This classic method can also help push the defense line backwards thereby creating a chance for the players to take direct shots.
Take help of your teammates to play in triangular association to initiate a quick attack or push the defense line backwards.
Here’s some more great soccer tips.
THE GOLDEN TIP:
#10 – Focus On Your Best Game
This is important. You play your best game when you play with a lot of passion. You also learn the best when you are having fun. Initiate the right attitude, and approach the game with a fresh mind. Keep calm, learn from your mistakes within the game but do not to dwell upon them. Only then can you find creative ways to overcome new challenges and lead your team to victory. Yes, the score is important but playing your best game matters more.