Soccer Training has drastically changed and what you believe you know almost certainly is not the most effective method of instruction. Take it from a recent former professional soccer player that has a behind the scenes understanding that what you are learning out there's probably counter productive. What do I mean by that?
Well the most useful way to becoming certainly the best soccer player you can, or even if you are a coach the fastest way to teach the soccer players of yours, is with effective soccer training. If you're still doing drills that consist of just standing in a line for minutes waiting to get the turn of yours, then you are most likely subject to your first mistake.
1. Drills are dead!
First off for the coaches let me clarify what I mean as a "drill". In case you have players standing around waiting for their turn to play you're just flat out wasting training time plain and simple. If you're working on offensive strategies then be sure your defense is off working on defensive strategies also.
Additionally, players must be working on more individual skills either at the same time, where they each have a ball to work on touch drills or even passing with a partner, or perhaps they need to be working on individual improvements on their own time. This brings me to mistake number 2.
2. Soccer Practice versus Individual Practice.
While practice is great for team building and team chemistry, you've to ensure that you or even your players are practicing individually if you would like to sky rocket their abilities to a higher level. Think of soccer practice as a period of time to put all your individual attempts to use and get them game ready for game situation. I saw my soccer skills literally explode over the off season when I chose to do my very own individual soccer training rather than join another club team.
Did you understand the average time a player has the ball in a given game is only 9-15 seconds? So you have to know that the time you have the ball is very important. Just as important you have to understand that the time off the ball has to be a lot more sharp since that's a majority of the game.
How do you do that exactly? Moreso, what should you be learning? These're both quite common questions I get.
When you think of soccer you should be thinking of a few items to make you a game changing player. Individual skill, speed, street soccer conditioning, and what your soccer I.Q. which is the ability to out think folks on the area are is called by me only a small number of aspects of overall soccer training. You must also understand where you need to be, where the teammates of yours ought to be and where the ball needs to go. Great players have great soccer I.Q.'s and that doesn't happen by accident. It comes through practice, understanding, and above all great guidance from a knowledgeable coach.
The third mistake that a lot folks make is undoubtedly the biggest.
3. Soccer Training is ninety % mental.
Now this may come as a big shock to you but let's think about the 9 seconds you have the ball on average per game. What are you doing the rest of the game. You are supporting, helping other players defend certain spaces of the field, and you are making runs into space. What do all these have in common?
Sure while they need some physical running which is easy to train for, they are mostly mental.
Most people, especially in America, tend to play soccer physically. I was almost always the smallest yet best player on the pitch as people were outsmarted by me constantly. How can you know if you should go in for a slide tackle or you should jockey the defender? Should you then push the offensive player towards the sideline so he does not have a place to go and / or should you turn him inside towards another teammate that is supporting you?
These are a number of things coaches really do fail in teaching kids. Please do not make the mistake! I can't stress that enough. There is a huge line between being a soccer player along with a fantastic soccer player. But there's a super fine line between a great soccer player and an epic soccer player that people will remember, will have to play with, and fear playing against.
All this begins with the right guidance, the right mental mindset, and the right soccer training.
Soccer has and will often be coined as a sport of mistakes. It is who makes less mistakes and who can capitalize on another team's mistakes. So whether you're a coach, a parent, or a soccer player that's wanting to become great remember that it all starts with your individual soccer training before anything else.