Everybody who plays soccer understands that you need to work hard off and on the pitch to take your game to the next level. Over 250 million people in over 200 countries in the world love to play the beautiful game.
Training regularly is vital to help you understand how soccer is played. Practicing will help you:
- Grow in confidence
- Help you stay focused
- Improve your work ethic
- Help you understand positioning better
- Feel more confident in front of goal
- Improve your passing ability
There are many drills you can do at home to help maximize your skills and techniques. Off the field, diet and discipline are also very important to get the most out of your game. Remember, don’t overdo it as this could lead to injuries. Each time you practice make sure you warm up properly by doing the proper stretches to reduce your chances of sustaining an injury. If you are playing with friends, wearing shin guards is important.
Two-touch 5-A-Side Training Matches
You need 10 players in total to play a two-touch 5-A-Side training match. Split the teams in half. If you have difficulties deciding who plays for what team the easiest solution is to use an online random team generator that will help you generate a team randomly. This will assign each player to a different team randomly.
The great thing about this training session and one of the awesome things about playing soccer are that you don’t need much equipment. All you really need is a soccer ball. If you don’t have goal posts find an alternative. Many people use a piece of clothing instead.
A 5-A-Side pitch should be a lot smaller than a full size pitch. Approximately 40×30 yards. No goalkeeper is needed on either team. When the game starts each player can only take two touches of the ball. This gives each player in possession of the ball limited options such as:
- Take a touch and pass it
- Pass the ball first time
- Take a touch and shoot
- Shoot first time
The idea of this training session is that it forces the players to think quickly. They don’t have the luxury of dribbling. They will understand the importance of their fellow teammates and how vital it is to keep the ball moving. During a real game you need to think quickly, and this exercise is a great way to help your brain to understand that.
David Beckham, one of the best crossers of the ball said he spent hours each day perfecting his trade as a child. He, like most footballers with amazing accuracy, aim to kick the ball at a mark on the wall outside his home. These drills might sound simple, however, to be able to hit the same spot consistently is a lot more difficult than you think. By perfecting your crossing, your free kicks and passing will also improve. Your technique is vital, so practice this session frequently.
- Kick the ball slightly in front of you at an angle to avoid other players and to help you get some space before you kick it.
- Glance at the exact position you want the ball to end up
- Your standing foot needs to be next to the ball
- Your hips should be turned at the angle of the ball
- Kick the ball by wrapping your foot around it so it causes the ball curl
- Hit the ball with power. Don’t hit it with full force, but enough pace that it goes to the position you’re aiming at without the other team retrieving the ball easily.
- Try this from different positions of the pitch. Also, attempt this with both feet as you don’t always have the option of crossing with your preferred foot during the game.
Crossing is a technique that needs to be practiced over and over again. Good crossers of the ball create lots of goals. The more practice the more accurate you will get. Have teammates, especially those who go in the box for corners and free-kicks to join in sessions with you. If you don’t have that option, put a marker down and get as close to the marker as possible.
Players like Cristino Ronaldo and Lionel Messi were obviously born with a gift. But both these players spent their entire lives perfecting their dribbling skills to help them improve their game. Dribbling is a vital part of soccer to help you get past your opponent. The faster your dribbling is, the more difficult it is for opponents to intercept you.
- Get ten cones and place them in a line around 5 yards apart from each other.
- With the ball, weave through each of the cones, dribbling the ball with the inside of your foot. Don’t use your preferred foot, alternate between each one.
- Repeat the drill by using the outside of your foot.
The faster you get the better your dribbling skills will improve. If you don’t have cones you can easily use other small objects as an alternative. Keep the ball as close to your feet at all times to help you keep close control.
Because soccer is the most played sport on the planet, regular training is essential to help you compete. Work off the pitch is vital, gym work, watching matches on television, and maintaining a healthy diet is all key to helping you improve your game. 1 in every 4,000 people who play the game sign a professional contract, so if that is your goal, expect some serious hard work, both on and off the field.