We don’t promote playing possibilities here at Jobs In Football because we don’t want to be the ones to let down the many talented young footballers that contact us every year. Not that we plan on being Football Agents any time soon, but we do have some useful advice on how to better a player’s performance on the field.
So that we don’t have to disappoint any other young players who are looking to develop their abilities and technique, we’ve put together this brief guide with a few crucial pointers to help you do just that.
Be sure to practice the skills that are necessary for
The Art of Keeping The Ball In Your Control
No matter what position you play, having a good first touch and being able to handle the ball are among the most essential skills. The key to your success in the game is your ability to receive the ball and deliver it in the most efficient way possible (preferably with both feet).
If you want to improve your touch and ball control, playing futsal or 5-a-side games is a wonderful place to start. In these games, you receive a lot of touches on the ball and have to be careful not to lose it because of the restricted area.
You’ll be asked to bring the ball under control with your right foot, left foot, chest, or any other body part you can control it with after you reach 11-a-side, and you may be receiving 50-yarders every 10 minutes depending on the tactics your team plays.
Being Aware of Surroundings
Playing frequent, competitive Football matches against great players can help you develop this technique, which is considerably harder to define and coach.
Once again, this is a talent you’ll need to hone and develop regardless of your position on the field; yes, goalkeepers included. Ederson, the goalkeeper for Manchester City, is extremely valuable to his team not only because of his shot-stopping and ability as a traditional Goalkeeper but also because his ball control and passing skills allow him to effectively act as an 11th outfield player, allowing him to contribute to goals for his team rather than just stop goals for the opposition.
Although it may seem like a child’s play, the art of passing is a complex talent that few people understand.
- Always be aware of the precise location of the ball while keeping your head up and looking in the direction you want to pass.
- Just make the appropriate pass selection.
- Use the appropriate amount of force on the pass, taking into account the distance and your teammate’s movement in a split second.
- Immediately after releasing the ball, you should evaluate your next action.
Again, no of your position or style of play, you may improve by sprinting with the ball. To help you become a better dribbler, here are five easy exercises to try:
It is crucial to your success in the game that you know your role and what is expected of you while you are not in control of the ball, since the average time any one player possesses the ball throughout a 90-minute game is roughly in the neighborhood of 60-90 seconds. To be an effective member of the team, you’ll need to learn how to strategically place yourself inside the group.
Using Both Feet as Playthings
There’s a logical reason why it’s becoming more difficult to identify a football player’s “weaker foot” in the current day.
The ability to confidently and skillfully use both feet to control the ball can greatly increase your footballing potential, making you more versatile and tough to defend against. How often do we see athletes in a good scoring position fail to convert because they don’t have the self-assurance or skill to take a shot with their less dominant foot?
Practice and train more more more
There is no way around the need to put in significant practice time. What separates professional football players from regular people is the level of application required almost every day, and this includes practicing and training on things that are outside of your comfort zone, such as working on your weaker foot, building your leg strength, or repeating the same drill hundreds of times until it becomes second nature. While we’d love to win with only our dribbling ability, that’s not going to cut it.
What is an appropriate amount of practice time?
Every day, put in as much effort as you can to become better, whether that’s at a practice or in your backyard working on a trick. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers: The Story of Success,” one needs as many as 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in a certain profession, topic, or skill. There is no magic bullet or short cut to success; if you want to reach your full potential, you will need to put in the time and effort necessary to do so.
Inspiration and Perspective
Whenever we take a look at the finest players in the world, we find that they have a few distinguishing characteristics. Even though both Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Kane are clearly very gifted, they are often praised for being “model professionals” and the “first one on the training field and last one to depart.” This is a direct result of their relentless pursuit to improve and, make no mistake, none of these players would have achieved their level of success in the sport without a strong mental approach.
Obviously, you need to train not just your body, but also your mind. A nice way to ease into it is by reading. If you want to learn from a man who has advised major league players, coaches, and clubs, then you should read Dan Abraham’s free Soccer Psychology e-book. Carole Dweck’s “Mindset” is a non-football book we often suggest; in it, she describes the “growth mindset” that is common among great achievers and, without a doubt, an essential quality in a world-class player.
Gather a Group, and Compete in the Toughest League Possible
Although it may seem apparent, the best way to develop as a football player is to play the sport regularly and at a high level. Training and practicing alone won’t make you as good a player as playing with and against good teammates and opponents would.
Without competition, it’s easy to become comfortable with where we are and stop trying to get better, which is a bad thing for any athlete or football player who wants to achieve their maximum potential. Once you’ve joined a group, you may use the incentive of daily competition to push yourself and your teammates to the next level.
Invest in a sturdy pair of football cleats that are ideal for the terrain you’ll be playing on, as well as your comfort, budget, and playing style.
Follow the advice of experts
It’s unrealistic to expect everyone to perform at Ronaldo’s level, but we can all strive to be our own best. Due to advances in technology and increased accessibility, we now know what professional football players eat, how they exercise, and even how they sleep.
They are the pinnacle of their sport because they are constantly monitored by experts in coaching, nutrition, sports science, and strength and conditioning, all of whom have a hand in shaping their growth.
Where did you learn this? Google! For instance, if you Google “Messi diet,” a plethora of articles will appear, some even written by Messi’s personal nutritionist. Or, if you’re interested in learning more about the training methods used by elite athletes, one of the greatest books we’ve read in recent memory is James Witts’.
Improve Your Health, Strength, and Conditioning
It goes without saying that fitness and conditioning play a crucial role in making it as a professional player. Croatian icon and former Real Madrid and Barcelona star Robert Prosenecki reportedly used his half-time break to fire up and smoke a couple of cigarettes. Gone are the days of celebrating every triumph with a night out at the bar or routinely hearing about top players smoking 40 a day.
In today’s game, players’ conditioning and fitness are meticulously planned and monitored on a daily basis with the help of player tracking technology like Catapult’s “Player Tek” or Exelio SRL’s “gpexe” systems, which reveal data such as a player’s total running distance, number of sprints, energy expenditure, and a host of other metrics that, just a few years ago, would have seemed like science fiction. As a result, any deterioration in quality will be identified rapidly.
For the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Marcelo Bielsa, two of the top managers in the world, whose teams rely heavily on pressing, counterattacking quickly, and maintaining a high level of energy throughout the whole match, nothing short of absolute peak fitness will do.
How does Bielsa, while coaching Leeds United or before that, Athletic Bilbao, get his players in such great shape? You may get a sense of what his teams are expected to accomplish by reading about their famed “Murderball” workouts. To become better at your game and achieve these levels of physical fitness, you will need to push yourself beyond of your comfort zone, and Murderball is the ideal illustration of this. Leeds United’s meteoric rise from the Championship to the Premier League was no fluke.
You think you can get away with anything since you’re the goalie, right? Ignore the notion! Today’s goalkeepers need to be in as good shape physically as their outfield counterparts if they want to keep up with the speed and quickness of the game. Although they may not exercise in the same way, their workouts are just as tough.
It’s also critical to get enough sleep, since the more training you do, the longer you’ll need to relax and recuperate before you can perform at your best again.
It’s important to learn about nutrition and eat healthfully.
To reach our full potential in training, practice, and physical fitness, we must also optimize our food and nutrition.
Most of us, unlike elite athletes, won’t have a group of sports scientists or specialist nutritionists to help us schedule and track our meals. It’s a huge field that keeps growing and changing every year, especially when new diets and lifestyles become popular and spread rapidly through the internet. But we don’t need a 4-year degree to get the basics correct, or to realize that no amount of training or exercise can improve your performance if you sustain a diet of everyday takeout.
By starting with FIFA’s nutrition primer, you’ll have a solid foundation upon which to build as you continue your journey toward finding the diet and lifestyle that best serve your needs. Try Peak: The New Science of Athletic Performance That Is Revolutionizing Sports if you want to learn more about this topic.
Keep an eye on the football game and try to learn as much as possible about it
Here’s a simple solution: take in as much football as possible. Modern football leagues such as the Premier League, Championship, La Liga, Scottish Premiership, Champions League, and Europa League allow fans to watch every minute of every game if they so want. Learn as much as you can about the other players in your position by watching how they move, where they stand, and how they make decisions.
Learn the ins and outs of the Football Analyst’s job and what they look for in a player so that you may improve your own skills. Total Football Analysis and other similar sources can provide you with all the player and tactical analysis content you want to master the game.
Furthermore, educate yourself on what a football coach does. Communicate with your trainer and try to grasp the ideas and thinking behind their approach. It is in the best interest of any competent trainer to ensure that you comprehend the methods and strategy they use.
You can also check out our list of 6 Great Online Resources for Football Coaches, which includes CV Academy, which gives you access to some of the leading minds in Football (such as Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo, Aitor Karanka, etc.) along with the training sessions, skills, and techniques that they implement with their tea.
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