Posts Tagged ‘learn basic soccer skills’

Beginner Soccer Skills 3: Dribbling

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

Running with the ball – also known as dribbling – is one of the soccer skills that is exciting to do and see others do.We keep the ball under control and use dribbling to beat defenders. They will often panic when we run right at them. There are many tricks and techniques that we can use when running at defenders such as the step-over, nutmeg, and shoulder drop.

But before we go into how to run with the soccer ball, stop for a second and think about what we are actually trying to achieve here…

  • What is essential about dribbling is our ability to keep the ball under close control and to change direction.

For dribbling we need to be very comfortable with the ball (soccer skill 1) so that we can keep it close as we run past defenders. When we run with the ball, we can use our feet in many ways – inside, outside, sole and heel – to keep the ball close at the same time as moving it forward.

The basic idea is to move the ball ahead of us in small movements and to fool the defender into thinking we are going one direction, when we really go in a different direction.

EXERCISE 1

The key is to PUSH the ball forward. Make little touches forward. Keep it simple and slow. Gradually increase your speed as you get more familiar with this movement. Keep your head up and look in front of you as you tap the ball forward.

EXERCISE 2

With a friend (or an inanimate object like a tree or a ‘No Ball Games Allowed’ signpost), practice running with a ball towards them (or it). When you get close to them, slow down for a few steps and then increase your speed past them. Notice how this can leave the defender standing still as they do not have the time to react to your new movement.

Do this many times, sometime passing on their right side and sometimes on their left. Once you are comfortable with, start pretending to go right and then quickly go left  to unbalance the defender. Then try moving to your left and then shifting your right as you go past the defender.

Maradona shows how it is done:

SKILLS HOMEWORK

Practice pushing the ball forward and changing direction. Do these two soccer drills every other day for 3 weeks. As for the other skills, take the time to imagine doing these soccer skills in your mind whenever you can.

REMEMBER

  • Keep your head up while running and look around you
  • Keep the ball close
  • Slow down as you get near the defender
  • Increase your speed to go past the defender
  • Pretend to go right and then go left  to unbalance the defender

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Learn Soccer Skills Watching The World Cup 2010

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

During any sports tournament that is broadcast on television (such as tennis, golf and the Olympics), the amateur players of these sports find that their skills at these sports can improve as they watch the professionals play at the highest level. TV viewers who know what it feels like to play the sport can train the awareness and the muscle memory in their minds and bodies as they unconsciously absorb the skills through visualization and imagination.

The World Cup 2010 soccer tournament in South Africa is a great opportunity to improve your soccer skills just by watching the box. It is exciting to support a particular team and watch them progress (or not!) through to the latter stages of the competition. We feel we are part of the whole event.

There are 32 teams in the competition. There are great players to watch and learn in all soccer positions: goalkeeping, defence, midfield and attack. Players that many are looking forward to see in action are: Kaka of Brazil, Wayne Rooney of England, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Fernando Torres of Spain, Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast, Lionel Messi of Argentina, and Arjen Robben of Netherlands. Who will be the surprise star of the World Cup 2010? There is always one.

It is well-known that visualization (aka mental rehearsal) can be the difference that makes the difference at the highest level of sport. By creating a mental image or intention of what they want to happen or feel, sports performers can improve their physical and psychological reactions in certain situations. They can also build both experience and confidence in their ability to perform certain skills under pressure, and in a variety of possible situations.

I wonder how many of the World Cup teams are rehearsing the taking of penalties in the minds as well as on the training pitch. I bet not many. Yet they will need to develop mental toughness to succeed under this kind of pressure in front of the millions watching on tv.

Will watching tv improve your soccer skills? Try it and see. Play a game of soccer after watching some of the games in the World Cup 2010 and see if there is an improvement in your ability. While watching you get to wear your favorite soccer cap and soccer jersey. If only all homework was this much fun…

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Beginner Soccer Skills 1: Knowing the Ball

Monday, November 9th, 2009

The aim of these pages is to show you how to play soccer with as few instructions as possible.

The key to being good at soccer is to work hard on all of the fundamentals. Train your feet. Train your mind. This constant practice and improvement in your ball skills will allow you to progress faster than others. Just decide now to be SO good at the basics that no one can keep up with you.

What do I really need to know to get started?

Your body already knows how to kick a soccer ball and if it doesn’t it will learn very quickly.

Get to know the feel of the ball

What you want to do is to begin to become very familiar with the football. Notice what it feels like to move it in different ways using your bare feet as well as soccer cleats.

EXERCISE 1

Play the following video clip (from Brazilian Soccer Schools) which shows you how to move the ball side-to-side, from one foot to the other. As you watch carefully, imagine yourself doing the same. Let the image stay in your mind.

You can watch the full clip here (00:00 to 01:13).

Now go outside and let your feet contact the ball where they want to and see what happens. Just let your body imitate this soccer move. Allow your body to do what is necessary so that you move the ball from one foot to the other. Just like the soccer players do in the above soccer skills video.

Practice this 100 times. Moving forward with the ball when you feel ready. Over time, you are aiming to get to moving the ball side-to-side at full speed – with your head up looking for where your team mates are…

After completing the side-to-side exercise, you are ready for the sole-to-sole exercise.

EXERCISE 2

Now play the following video clip (from Brazilian Soccer Schools) which shows you how to move the ball side-to-side with the sole of your feet. As you watch carefully, imagine yourself doing the same. Let the image stay in your mind.

You can watch the full clip here (01:16 to 02:56).

Now go outside and let your feet contact the ball where they want to and see what happens. Just let your body imitate this skill. Allow your body to do what is necessary so that you move the ball from one sole to the other. Just like the players do in the above soccer video.

Practice this 100 times. Moving forward with the ball when you feel ready. Over time, you are aiming to get to moving the ball sole-to-sole at full speed with your head up looking for where your team mates are…

SKILLS HOMEWORK

Do these two fun soccer drills every other day (or every day if you are keen) for 3 weeks. You can also imagine doing these soccer skills in your mind whenever you can – while waiting for the bus or walking the dog .

Remember

  • Work hard on becoming so good at the basics.
  • Your body already knows how to kick a ball and if it doesn’t it will learn very quickly.
  • Imagine yourself doing the side-to-side, and sole-to-sole skills before you actually physically do them.

That’s enough to get you started on training your feet and training your mind.

If you like, write a comment below about what it feels like when doing soccer training in this way.

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