Regular practice is key to mastering any skill and that also applies to soccer. Even the best in the sport are constantly thinking about what they can do to become better. Any player that’s happy to just coast on existing skills soon find themselves falling behind. Those that stay at the top are constantly analyzing other players and studying what makes them good. They then come up with strategies that leave opponents in the dust.
To really succeed in soccer and to play at an elevated level, you must constantly be improving your skills. Here are five things to keep in mind to do just that:
Master Some Basic Moves
To succeed at any sport, you must first learn the basics. For example, you won’t get far in hockey if you aren’t a strong skater. Soccer players must also know how to perform essential maneuvers on the field so they can both effectively control the ball and evade opponents. With these fully in your wheelhouse, you have the background to move on to other skills to further enhance your game.
Choose five basic skills where you need some improvement and work on them regularly. Starting with the sort of flashy, grandstanding moves you see the pros do on TV won’t make you a player on their level. In fact, it is more likely to get you washed out because you won’t even have the fundamentals to pull them off in the first place.
Get Instruction from an Expert
Finding a mentor is always a wonderful way to improve because they have the knowledge to point out what is both wrong and right about your current skill set. Experts provide the sort of detailed tips that allow you to concentrate on specific issues, while also being aware of other areas where improvement is not as much of a priority.
Play with a Team
It’s one thing to learn on your own; to really understand the best ways of putting your soccer skills into practice, you need to work regularly with other players. This allows you to communicate effectively, learn your teammates’ strengths, know how to move the ball most effectively, and offer the best defense for your goaltender. Soccer is a team sport and for a team to win, everyone must be in sync.
Build Your Endurance
A key skill in soccer is moving the ball more than moving yourself; that allows you to maintain your speed and energy levels longer. However, the greatest way to ensure that you have what it takes to be at your best throughout is to build your endurance. Seek out exercises you enjoy that will accomplish this and do them regularly, in order to stay at a consistent level. If you don’t have to worry about running out of steam, you can fully devote your concentration to working on other aspects of the game.
Practice Practice Practice
You may be able to instantly ride a bike after years of not having one, but soccer requires regular play in order to build and maintain your level of expertise. Whether you are just casually kicking around a ball with friends or playing in a league, getting out and doing it with regularity cannot help but make you a better player.
If your local climate makes outdoor soccer an impossibility during the winter months, don’t worry: you can continue practicing all-year-round in an air-supported dome. Contact your local facility to learn more about dates and times. You may even find that there is a league looking for dedicated and enthusiastic players like yourself.