Not in any particular order, here are five ways to become a better soccer player!
#1 Improve your SAQ. What’s SAQ? Speed, Agility, & Quickness. These three things are important in most sports, especially in soccer. SAQ is needed to compete athletically with other players, but can also be the determining factor in you being successful in beating players. Imagine you are racing to the back post for the cross to score a header, chasing down someone on a breakaway, or maneuvering through defenders to score; speed, agility, and quickness can help you be successful in these actions.
Alex Morgan doing SAQ w/ SKLZ
#2 Be strong and physically fit. The second one is pretty obvious. You have to be able to run for 90 minutes. It’s not just running at one pace either. Start and stop. Sprint, run, jog, and sprint again. Soccer is nonstop and the pace is always changing. Unless you are a goalie, you have to be able to keep up with the running (keepers require a different kind of fitness). As for strength, it is important, to once again, compete athletically with players. You need to be able to hold your own. You need strength going up in the air for a 50/50 ball, or when you are holding off a defender and waiting for the rest of your attack to get involved. You don’t want to be all muscles though. Core strength is key soccer. Instead of bulking up, look to do bodyweight exercises. You still want to be able to be quick and agile; having too much muscle can actually hurt you.
Ali Krieger with SKLZ-> Soccer Strong
#3 Improve your footwork and practice on your own. We don’t do this enough! It’s great to be physically adept at the game, but technique is key. The only way to better your technique is to practice! Find any way you can to get touches on the ball. Take a ball everywhere with you. Or do like Beast Mode Soccer and juggle a tennis ball! You can take that anywhere with you. If you have a wall, use a wall to hit the ball against the wall.
Ally Riley (New Zealand National Team) & Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy) at a Beast Mode Soccer session
Take it from the legend, Dennis Bergkamp:
“There, a worn-out brick wall still stands testament to the innate footballing mind, maturity and drive present even in an 8 year old Dennis. He spent countless hours practicing, kicking the ball against it, experimenting with different ways of how to control it, seeing how it bounced and how many times, how that affected how it came back … things that still don’t occur to most professional footballers. It was here that his technique was refined to such precision that he would aim for a corner of a particular brick, each time with different pace, power and spin to see how the ball’s trajectory changed. That wall is the birthplace of Bergkamp’s obsession with control, the importance he gave to that first touch, the challenges he set himself from a very young age in order to come as near that perfection as possible.”
“It’s not thinking. It’s doing … Most of the time I was by myself, just kicking the ball against the wall, seeing how it bounces, how it comes back, just controlling it. I found that so interesting.”- Dennis Bergkamp
Arsenal’s Dennis Bergkamp
#4 Play Fifa. No seriously, play fifa! How can playing fifa improve your game? In playing fifa you have to make decisions for the players. This helps with your tactical game. You also get of sense of what to do in ALL positions. Playing fifa will help you improve your decision making. Also, you will start to learn about the players and the teams. This will help with #5…
FIFA by EA SPORTS
#5 Watch soccer!!!! This is so important. Watching the game will take your game to new heights. Watch a player in your position and you will really benefit. You can then know what to do offensively as well as defensively. If you were doing #4 and playing Fifa, you will be able to really get into watching as you will know the players and teams. You can even join a fantasy league picking your own team and players. Getting into soccer in any aspect you can is the true way to become the best soccer player you can be. Beast Mode Soccer completely supports all things soccer. Whether you need to better your touch, better your fitness, or better your brain, we are here to help you achieve your goals. A great place to start is The Soccer Vortex (www.thesoccervortex.com). You will find ways you can work on for your game whether it be technical, tactical, physical, mental, and even information on nutrition.
Go out there and starting working on your game so you can become a better soccer player! #ownyourdevelopment