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.
#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.
#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.
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
#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…
#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
The Dreaded P-Word… PRESEASON!
We know many of our athletes this week are preparing and packing their things for the dreaded P- word.. PRESEASON!! If your fitness isn’t there yet, please don’t kill yourself this week. You want to be going into preseason fresh and NOT SORE!
That doesn’t mean you should skimp on the touches though. You can never get enough touches in! And, of course we have the resources for that. Just check out our at-home training systems in our STORE
At the very least, try to get 10,000 touches in this week! Here’s a quick way to get 600 touches in 6 minutes! —
Here’s are list of tips to get you ready for preseason!
1) Don’t go too hard this week!! Would you run a marathon the week before your marathon? This is the time to take it easy, but not too easy. Get out and get some light runs in and don’t forget those touches!
2) As we said before.. get those touches in. You want the soccer ball to be your best friend. Take the little guy around with you everywhere… this goes with out saying… NO HANDS. Take him from the living room to your bedroom, lifting the ball over the stairs or obstacles in your way. Juggle, juggle, juggle! Juggling doesn’t necessarily make you an awesome soccer player, but do you know of any awesome soccer players that can’t juggle.. Makes sense. Get comfortable with that ball. Lastly, if you have a wall, brick mailboxes, whatever you can find to hit the ball against without getting in trouble, get some passing and receiving in. You don’t want to go into preseason not having touched a ball in ages. And we hope you have been getting touches in all summer, but we know how it goes. It’s never too late to start… #ownyourdevelopment
3) Hydrate!!! August is usually the hottest month in most places of the USA. So make sure you are drinking plenty. You know the drill. If your pee is yellow, you are dehydrated. If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated. If your pee is neon, well that might be your multivitamin!
4) Speaking of multivitamins!!.. Start taking fish oil if you are not already on that train! Make sure you do your research though and find a good source. Some fish oils have too much filler and you would literally have to take 20 liquid gels to get the benefits. What are the benefits? For the athlete especially, fish oil helps with inflammation on the cellular level. Try to avoid anti-inflammatories such as Advil. Use the natural one- FISH OIL! Fish oil has also been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer. A really good source for fish oil is Pure Pharma
5) Sleep and sleep and sleep. Get the rest your body needs especially because you know what it is in for. Sleep isn’t just for beauty it is for beast!! We had to.. On a serious note, sleep is one of the most important things in athlete performance and recovery–if not the most important. You want to be mentally and physically sharp, so log in at least 8 hours a night! Having trouble sleeping at night? Don’t be all up on snapchat stories and instagram before bed. Stop staring at the screen. Read a book instead. Make sure you are in a cool room with preferably zero lighting when it’s time to fall asleep. Now would be a great time to close your eyes and visualize! This is part of one of our tactics for success, which can be found in “Mastering the Inner Game”
6) Eat clean. No need to fatten up before the gauntlet. Just make healthy decisions this week. Your body will thank you! Imagine running your fitness test bloated and sluggish.. no thank you!! Lots of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats this week- and every week for that matter! We do touch on this in The Soccer Vortex with a whole section dedicated to nutrition. Details at the bottom!
7) The last tip we have for you is increase your mobility/flexibility. You will be doing a number on your body as a soccer player. We’ve tracked down a simple, yet effective mobility routine for you to do at home. All you need is a foam roller and a lax ball. Trust us, this might be worst than the dentist, but your body will seriously love you. You can get the whole routine down below! Thanks to Joe Defranco for this amazing routine.
The Limber 11
1. Foam Roll IT Band: 10-15 passes
2. Foam Roll Adductors: 10-15 passes
3. SMR Glutes (lax ball): 30sec. – 2min.
4. Bent-knee Iron Cross x 5-10 each side
5. Roll-overs into V-sits x 10
6. Rocking Frog Stretch x 10
7. Fire Hydrant Circles x 10 fwd/10 bwd
8. Mountain Climbers x 10 each leg
9. Cossack Squats x 5-10 each side
10. Seated Piriformis Stretch x 20-30sec. each side
11. Rear-foot-elevated Hip Flexor Stretch x 5-10 reps (3sec. hold) each side
Lastly, a really good resource to invest in is The Soccer Vortex. It will cover everything you need to become a the total soccer player. We include TECHNICAL work (over 400 drills), TACTICAL info (knowing your role/position), PHYSICAL fitness (in season, off season, and preseason), NUTRITION (what to eat and when to eat it), MENTAL (upgraded version of Mastering the Inner Game; MIND ARMOUR), and other bonuses including ACL Prevention. Find out more info here:
So rest up, eat clean, roll out, and get ready to rock your preseason!! This is what you have to look forward to:
This past weekend the top youth teams in the nation met in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Over 185,000 players and 10,000 teams competed. Just fourteen teams from U13-U19, boys and girls, were declared National Champions! These champions fought hard. Battling through their perspective State Cups and then wreaking havoc in their regions, they made it to US Youth Soccer Nationals, a series that has been around since 1935 (http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/nationals/History/).
The takeaway from this… these players worked hard to become National Champions! Some would argue that Nationals is when these champions were made.
We would argue differently. These players didn’t just wake up the morning of their final and decide that they were going to win Nationals. They set their goals from the beginning. They put in the extra work. The extra touches, extra sprints, and the extra minutes–all of these things were factors when it came to their time to shine. Not to mention the sacrifices they made. We have all faced those choices… soccer or prom, soccer or friends, soccer or anything!.
Soccergrlprobs got it right with their “I Can’t, I Have Soccer” Shirts!
But back to our argument… these players prepared for this! The last year and maybe even longer went into preparing for these championships. When they had to make that clutch through ball, that last second tackle, that big time save, or that wicked rocket shot, they were able to do it!
The question is… do you have what it takes to be a CHAMPION? Are you willing to put in the extra work? Champions aren’t made at Nationals. They are made the second you decide to commit yourself to being one! Don’t know where to start?
Start with our FREE training program:‘The 12 Essential Footwork Drills To Develop Technique’
You can check out the 2015 US Youth Soccer National Champions HERE
Welcome to the Beast Mode Soccer Blog!
Here you will find all things soccer. From updates on what we are up to in the BEAST MODE SOCCER house, to tips and tricks to take you to the top, to just good old soccer knowledge, this blog will serve as another resource for you to #OWNYOURDEVELOPMENT! Feel free to comment and share our posts. Cheers!
Beast Mode Soccer founder David Copeland-Smith explains why having high expectations for yourself is SO important. This is an exert taken from a seminar in Vancouver Island, Canada during the Women's World Cup 2015. Check it out below:
Today I will show you a video of two players, and tell you why they are my favorites to watch, purely because of their absolutely sublime first touch. Check this short video out:
Obviously by now you know that I am absolutely OBSESSED with players technique. I have studied Dennis Bergkamp and Dimitir Berbatov for literally hundreds of hours, and our ‘touches’ series in The Soccer Vortex is basically based on these guys and other world class class players. I highly recommend that you read Dennis Bergkamp’s book ‘Stillness and Speed’, where you can find out exactly HOW he managed to achieve such a worldy first touch.
Remember, first touch isn’t just ‘killing’ the ball dead. You need to be able to manipulate the ball so that it goes exactly where you want. We teach the kill touch, but more that that we teach ‘progressive’ first touches, teaching players to look for space to play the ball into in order to set themselves up for their next movement. The second touch is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the first!
To show exactly what I mean, check out one of my all time favorite goals by Dennis. It’s the quarterfinal of the World Cup in 1998. It’s the last minute and the game is tied 1-1. De Boer gets the ball, makes eye contact with Dennis… Plays a great ball. Dennis brings the ball down with an absolutely world class first touch… Now at this moment, most players in the world are going to take that ball to the right… It’s the correct decision, you’re shielding the ball from the defender, who’s moving at pace and you should be able to get a shot off or at least hold the ball up to wait for a better option… However… This is Dennis Bergkamp. Watch his SECOND touch. This absolutely makes the movement. Anticipating the defenders speed of movement, Dennis cuts the ball back with the inside of his foot immediately after his first touch. The defender fly’s past. Now… Most world class players would use their left foot to power that ball home… But again… This is Dennis Bergkamp. Spotting the left corner of the goal open, he delicately and gently uses the outside of his right foot to curl the ball around the advancing keeper. Absolute genius.
ll you need to get a first touch, and second touch is a wall, a ball and a few cones.
Check this video out where I show you one of my favorite drills to teach players the 'kill' touch. The girl in this video is one of our D1 College players and her touch is absolutely out of this world. You can have that as well!
Don't forget to let me know how you got on over in our Facebook Group! You can get direct access to the team and myself, as well as be surrounded by like minded players!
If you missed part 1, just click HERE
Today we take a look at passing maestro Xavi and how he is ridiculously consistent with his passing ratio! This video does a great job of also breaking down Xavi’s incredible vision, reaction and awareness. Check this video out
As you can see, Xavi is amazing at ‘finding’ that pass. He is so calm on the ball, his vision is superb and he seems to ‘see’ passes that other world class players wouldn’t. Check this video out we shot showing a drill I use to train players to be able to thread the ball through small openings.
What always amazes me with Xavi is his confidence of knowing where his passes are going. In our training program, The Soccer Vortex, we have a complete section dedicated purely to vision, reaction and awareness that teaches players to pass on reaction, over different lengths, using different styles of passes, just like Xavi. You can check that program out The Soccer Vortex
Our third technical breakdown is a doozy! This was Zlatan’s first goal for Paris Saint-Germain a few years ago. This is what I would call your ‘typical’ Zlatan finish, cool with the ball at his feet, great use of the body to manipulate the defender with a phenomenal finish. Let’s break the goal down!
Ibrahimovic receives the ball is in his own half. Immediately plays it back to his midfielder (playing the way he was facing) and spins off his defender, and turns into the space. Note that the defender is still with him at this point
Before the player on the right has even touched the ball, Ibrahimovic has seen the massive gap and has already called for the ball. Note that he holds the defender off when starting his explosive run, actually pushing off him to gain an extra yard. This is where his experience and physical dominance comes in!
The ball played to Zlatan was impeccable, rolling in line with the run he had made. Zlatan has beaten his defender in the foot race, glanced up to where the keeper is and looks like he is about to shoot the ball. Look at how his body shapes like he is about to strike, this is one of our FAVORITE 1v1 moves at Beast Mode Soccer and we believe to be the most effective… Why? Defenders will always try to block the shot when coming from the side, and always shield their body when coming straight on (it’s human instinct and literally impossible to stop yourself from doing… Nobody enjoys taking a ball in the face!) Look how realistic the shot looks, would you fall for it? I would!
As the defender comes to shoulder level with Ibrahimovic whips a Cruyff turn (another move that makes an appearance in our footwork series). This wrong foots the defender, who to be fair recovers well. Look how controlled Ibrahimovic looks, he knows that the ball will do exactly what he wants!
The defender did really well at this stage. He recovered from the Fake shot cruyff and now look how close he is to the ball. Ibra keeps the ball moving though and puts a quick left foot lunge step, then quickly pushes the ball across his body with his right foot (we call this the ‘scoop bell’), immediately shaping up for his left footed shot.
He allows the ball to roll just enough across his body, then gears up to strike. Again, the defender doesn’t actually do that poorly, he hasn’t gone to ground, but it is probably in the back of his head that inside the box, Ibra is the master of the fake shot. As Ibra shoots, he tries to block the shot but it’s too late, the ball is in the back of the net.
Great footwork from Ibrahimovic- A fake shot into a Cruyff into a left footed lunge into a right foot tap into a left footed shot.
Check this finishing drill out that I do with USWNT star Alex Morgan. You can add that fake shot into any of the elements. Join our Facebook Group and tell me where Alex does the fake shot!