Whether known as football or, as in the US, soccer; the ‘beautiful game’ is the most popular sport in the world. The best players earn millions of dollars per year, and the greatest clubs are icons in their regions. Children love putting down a couple of jerseys and having a kick around. Soccer is the team sport with the greatest public participation and. At the highest level such as the World Cup, tens of thousands of cheering fans watch the top leagues. Tens or even hundreds of millions following their team on TV, and they fill up stadiums almost every match. Soccer Training Drills take the individual components of soccer and allow practice in a pressure free, or pressure controlled, environment.
It is therefore no surprise that so many people love to play the game, and want to become better at it. Youngsters dream of becoming the next Pele, Messi, Maradona or Ronaldo. This book offers coaches and players an insight into how to become a better soccer player. This blog has posts on the role of the individual in this team game, and the role of the team in a sport lit up by the brilliance of individuals. Indeed, it is drills that lead to players becoming experts, as good as they can be.
Soccer Training Drills and Concepts
Imagine that a game of soccer is like an English Literature examination. For that test, you learn the information you need to know; you practice using that learning in tests, discussions and essays. You work on it on your own, making sure that your mind can tackle the challenge of the final exam.
What you very much do not want is to be learning new concepts under the pressure of the examination hall. That is the place to show what you can do, not try out risky ideas.
In many ways, sport is the same. For soccer, the examination is the match; learning the skills is like gaining your understanding of Shakespeare; applying those skills is automatic in the chaos of the game. Those exercises you worked on in training ensure that you can survive the game at your best level of play.
And just like a piece of great literature, so a great soccer performance is made up of separate elements, which combine to produce the art form that is the ‘beautiful game.’ Just as you could examine character, plot, language and metaphor when studying ‘Macbeth’, a great performance in soccer is made up of control, passing, shooting, defending and teamwork.
Those elements can be broken down, practiced and perfected during drills. The drill allows for experimentation; failure and error does not matter. Indeed, we learn through our mistakes. There is less pressure during a drill, so time can be spent getting the individual skills and movements right. A good coach can help a player focus on areas of weakness. Introduce pressure slowly, and in a controlled way, ratcheted up to recreate conditions more like those in the match situation.
During practice sessions, often younger (and probably older!) players long for the ‘game.’ ‘Can we play a match now?’ is the sort of request coaches of younger players will recognize readily. And that is fine, a little match – perhaps one that reinforces the skills on which the session focuses on, makes a fun and useful end to a coaching session. But drills are crucial in helping players to become the best they can be.
Soccer Training Drill sessions can be solo, or in groups of two to four. They can also be larger group drills, or whole team activities which help mutual understanding and coordination.
If you loved this post, and would like to escalate your game to the next level, then read our post on training drills that would get you there.
Your Soccer Training Home – Books