Endless Training to Become a Soccer Pro
If your heart is set on becoming a soccer pro, you need to realize that soccer is far from an individualistic sport and may be one of the most difficult sports to stand out in. The fact that there are 22 people on a pitch at any given time means that it is easy to get lost in the crowd and ultimately disappear in a game. However, it is a sport that is very accessible and can be played and practiced by everyone and in any condition. Regardless of whether a full team is present or not, training can be done at any particular time by any specific player. More often than not, the best way to train to become a soccer pro is all alone working on important soccer skills like ball control, shooting and passing accuracy, set pieces, as well as shot power. While team training is an essential part of improving in the sport, taking responsibility to practice outside of team training is what makes the difference between a good player and a layer on his or her way to being a soccer pro. The best soccer pros in the world have honed their skills through many hours of training with teammates as well as alone. Players must take the initiative to practice on their own, outside of team training in order to be the best soccer player they can be. This Website provides lots tips, tricks and strategies on ways to work on particular skill-developing exercises and drills that will help improve a player's performance on the pitch in real game situations. These Drills are predominantly aimed at the individual aspects of training and development, allowing want to be "soccer pros" to work on there skills in there own time, supercharging there progress!
Soccer Pro - Ball Control
Ball control is the most important and fundamental aspect of becoming a soccer pro. It is what makes the likes of Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates such a powerful force in world soccer. It is also one of the hardest soccer skills to master in the sport. Naturally, even the soccer pros we watch on TV are not used to controlling objects, in particular a small circular ball, without the use of their hands. However, it is through endless practice that the soccer pros give to this skill, they are able to improve their abilities far more than the average Joe. Gaining confidence in one's ability to properly control a ball can be a tedious and strenuous time, but practicing this skill using the right drills is guaranteed to produce results in the least amount of time. Ball control is also one skill where an individual person can practice at anytime in any complex/facility. Take the basic and cherished game of keep ups or "juggling" as an example. The game has been around as long as soccer itself and it is one of the easiest and most basic methods in which to practice ball control skills by yourself. Trying to keep a ball in the air without the use of one's hands is much more difficult than one might originally think. Performing keep ups requires solid hand-eye coordination required by soccer pros, as well as proper technique and positioning. Keep-ups may be a basic concept, however, they should be practiced by all aspiring soccer pro, regardless of position. As a forward or midfielder, long balls/crosses/lob passes will all need to be controlled in the air and keep-ups is a good way to simulate controlling these types of passes. As a defender or goalkeeper, balls will be flying into the box from all angles and successfully controlling these balls is a vital part of ensuring no damage is done. A defender must be possess strong ball control skills in order to avoid unnecessary giveaways to opponents on the attack. Many games have been won or lost by an untimely error at the back by a defensive player who lacks proper ball control skillls.
Pylon drills are also a great way to work on ball control outside of team training. Dribbling in and out of pylons requires no teammates to be present and can help a player become a much more efficient ball handler. Pylons can be set up in a variety of ways in order to constantly provide new challenges to players of even the most elite level. Spaces between pylons can be made as wide or tight as needed and it is an inexpensive way to practice outside of training. Obstacle courses set up by pylons is a great way to work on dribbling the ball and can always be adjusted to increase the difficulty level. When having the opportunity to cover and study AS Roma's training sessions in Chicago, I noticed that one of the most common drills used were pylon drills. Professional players are constantly working on ball control and pylons are sure to provide quality training sessions even without a team present. It is the players that put in time outside team practices that stand out on the pitch and working on individual skills with pylons is a sure way to improve one's abilities in real game situations.
Soccer Pro - Passing
Successfully passing the ball is a simple concept but a essential part of development for a soccer pro. This can and should be practiced outside of team training as well to ensure accuracy and proper technique. An effective way of properly practicing passing the ball outside of team training is to set up specific targets to be knocked down. These targets should be set up at various distances in order to work on short passes as well as long passes. Anything can be used as a target but try to find something that can be seen and hit from a distance like placing sticks in the ground or placing pylons upside down. One should practice both hitting short targets to knock them down as well as hitting short targets and keeping them up. Working on light and soft passes is as important as working on quick and speedy passes. Depending on the game situation, a light and slow pass may be more desirable to a teammate than a quick one that will take more effort to control. Short passes are crucial for a team that hopes to control possession in a game and break down their opponents slowly. Although specific tactics and set-pieces should be worked on as a team, the skills needed to execute these tactics and plays require individual work. This is especially true with long balls and crosses as aspiring soccer pro needs to develop these specific skills away from the team in order for them to work with the team.
Sending the perfect long ball or cross can be one of the hardest things to do in a game of soccer. It is this ability that makes soccer pros likes of Andrea Pirlo, Xavi and Andres Iniesta some of the best players in the world. Usually it is the responsibility of midfielders or wingers, sending a ball from a distance to a teammate if often a difficult task and one that is far too easy to get wrong. It is for this reason that these types of passes need to be worked on outside of team practice as well as on the training pitch with teammates. Much like short passes, long balls, and crosses can be worked on by setting up specific targets and attempting to knock them down. These targets must be visible from a distance and should not be set up too far at first. This is a skill that will take time to develop and can practicing it can often be frustrating. Set up a targets at an appropriate distance to match your current skill level and attempt to hit the target in various ways, such as a ground pass and a lob pass. Gradually move the target further and further away as your improve at your accuracy. Eventually, replace targets with buckets and attempt to lob the ball into the buckets. This will be very challenging and can be extremely frustrating, however, it will make a big difference on the pitch in a real game situation.
Soccer Pro - Finishing
Crosses and long passes are great for midfielders to work on, however, if someone is not converting these types of passes into goals, then even the best passes will not be very fruitful for a team. Developing one's ability to finish can be one of the more fun aspects of practicing away from team training. Striking is also one of the easiest skills to practice as it does not require many resources. A great and simple way to practice shooting the ball is to find a wall to kick the ball against and aim at a specific target on that wall. There are a variety of ways to shoot the ball and all of these ways should be practices outside of team training. Simply kicking the ball against the wall aiming at a specific spot is a great way to work on both accuracy as well as power at the same time. Work on a variety of techniques such as shots using one's instep as well as the top of the foot. This is also a great way to work on finesse finishing such as chipping the goalie. This is a great way to develop one's shooting ability before attempting to work on set pieces such as penalty shots or free kicks.
Soccer Pro - Set Pieces
Set pieces are one of the easiest things to work on outside of team training for aspiring soccer pro, although it can be quite time consuming. Despite the fact that one cannot work on little tricks or ideas with teammates, they can develop the skills necessary to take a proper free kick. Everyone seems to want to 'bend it like Beckham', however, even Beckham was not able to bend it like that before spending hours on the training ground. This knowledge is largely experimental and there is no better way to improve one's ability to take free kicks than by experience. Set a ball up outside the box at various angles and distances and just keep shooting on the net until you find what works for you. This may seem tedious, but it will be major dividends in a game. Free kicks often occur during crucial moments of a game and can be the determining factor whether a team ultimately wins or loses. How often have we seen a soccer pro like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi win the game for their respective teams with an outstanding free kick?. The truth is that a properly placed free kick at the right speed is impossible to stop for a goalkeeper and this alone should be incentive to work on the skill.
Combining all these skill sets is the best way to simulate a real game situation. The best way to do this is to set up an obstacle course that requires strong dribbling, passing, and shooting skills. This can be done by setting up pylons, chairs and a finishing target. Pylons should be set up to dribble through with chairs placed between every 6 or so. The goal will be to pass the ball through the bottom of the chair while retrieving the ball on the other side and continue to dribble through the pylons until one reaches the end where they should attempt to finish with a strong strike at the target. This is a great way to work on dribbling, passing, and accuracy at once while also being able to measure one's success. One can time themselves and attempt to beat their personal best. Timing yourself is a great way to add a competitive element to the course and training while not requiring another person to be present. The course can be adjusted and modified based on one's skill set.
Regardless of whether you are naturally gifted in the sport of soccer or not, no skill comes easy or without practice. The best soccer pros in the world today have spent many hours honing their abilities practicing with their teammates as well as on their own. One should not underestimate the value of team play in the sport of soccer, however, one can drastically improve specific skill sets by working away from the team on their own. It is a simple concept "practice makes perfect" but it could not hold truer than in the beautiful game. It is easy to become discouraged when not successful at first but it is perseverance and determination that drives the greatest soccer players and properly working on skills and drills away from team practice is the best way to develop as soccer pro to be.
|1||New York RB||21|
|8||West Bromwich Albion||49|
|10||West Ham United||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||25|
|17||Deportivo La Coruña||35|
|19||Celta de Vigo||31|