Soccer Training Tips: How to Add Fluidity and Improvisation to Your Game

Summary: Performing in impromptu situations require you to understand the game beyond what’s taught in regular league play.

The game of soccer requires a combination of awareness and training. Moreover, it requires players to refine their approach on a continuous basis to keep up with the fast-paced evolution of the sport. This article is aimed at players that are looking to tap into other aspects of their game that may need fine tuning.

Situational Awareness

While much of the game is dictated on the flow of each team, there are situations where you’ll find yourself in a precarious position. Needless to say, you’ll have to improvise and act according to what’s given to you.

For instance, let’s say you’re trapped and being double-teamed. What’s your next move? What can you do to turn a defensive situation into something that can be taken advantage of by your teammates? There isn’t a definite answer to any of these questions. Rather, it’s something that’s rooted deep within the ebb and flow of the game. Remember to take what the defense is giving you.

There are multiple routes that you can take, with each bringing both advantages and disadvantages to your team. The more experience you have on the field, the more you’ll be able to act according to the situation. Stay a student of the game and take a look at some of your professional players. See what they do when they’re placed in an unorthodox situation. How do they react? What are they looking for? Are they drawing them in?

Conditioning

Training your mind and body to perform quick, strategic actions requires an assortment of conditioning and practice. By keeping a consistent schedule, you’ll be able to hone in on each aspect of your game that you feel is underwhelming.

Start by devising a practice routine – be prepared to fill up those cheap soccer backpacks with notes and other tools to be used on the field. Jot down various scenarios that you’ll find yourself in during a match. Whatever the situation may be, you’ll either want to work with a teammate or friend to simulate these situations. Remember, the more you run them, the more you’ll be able to identify what to do when the real match starts.

You can even go about purchasing some practice equipment from distributors like Soccer Garage for example. These practice tools are designed to help you push your game to the next level and are underrated assets. The only problem is finding the right tool that suits your personal preferences.

How can U.S. Soccer Be More Inclusive of Latino Talent?

I just read this article…

What More Must U.S. Soccer Do to Be More Inclusive of Young Latino Talent?

It’s not just Latino talent that’s being missed. This is a big mistake to make it a race or ethnicity issue. Elite USA-American soccer is exclusive of pretty much everyone who isn’t friends or family, or in their “inner circle”, so to say.

The USA Latino talent pool just has a lot of kids with Mexican citizenship so they have options that Anglo/Chinese/Afro/whatever kids don’t have. It’s easier for Gonzalez to hop over to Mexico where he has citizenship, family, friends, and speaks the language than it is for an American kid with only US citizenship to fly 13+ hours to Germany where he doesn’t speak the language and has no family, no friends, and has to adjust to a new culture.

And then the American kid with US citizenship still can’t play for the German national team even if he’s good enough to do it.

So the reality is not that US Soccer is missing “Latino talent,” it’s that they are missing talent of all races and ethnicities, and that the Latinos, specifically the American-Mexicans, are the ones leading the way to making it obvious that elite USA-American soccer is missing a lot of talented players of all races and ethnicities, even white kids.

MLS Soccer in 2018

2018 will go down as the year the MLS spent millions on mediocre and unknown foreign players who are in the downside of their careers. Did the agents trick the teams with slight of hand by mentioning words like La Liga?

Once again MLS is giving millions to a foreign player who is no better than the American players in the league and who are coming from college and youth academies. For example USA has a lot of players who played in the Dutch first division which is a 2nd or 3rd tier European league. Read more

Preparing for college soccer

For anyone about to leave high-school, the search for a college is an exciting experience. Finding the right college becomes even more exciting when you are a soccer player. The popularity of soccer is growing in the US and with it comes more and more opportunities for young soccer players as they move into college.

Playing soccer in college is a full-time commitment much like any other college-level sport. There will be limitations to the courses you can select if they clash with practice. It will be harder than the normal college experience. However, there are several advantages according to Soccer Garage:

Admission – Given the choice between two applicants with roughly the same grades, most colleges would choose an athlete over the other. The boost playing a sport gives your admission chances is especially important for the more competitive colleges.

Scholarships – The cost of education is going up, especially at the better schools. As a competitive athlete, you will have a better chance of securing a partial or full scholarship at almost any college that has a competitive sports programme.

Perks – There are also several perks for athletes in colleges. Some students will get first pick for dorm rooms, others will get early registration for popular classes, sponsored soccer footwear, and gear, and there is also the possibility of getting free tutoring through the college.

Why US is so bad in soccer

Maybe the problem in the US is similar to the problem in the UK – and the reason our international teams never make an impact in tournaments. Namely that we are so obsessed with the domestic league, with making it the richest in the world, attracting the best players possible and so on, that we neglect the development of home grown players. The majority of players in the leagues of successful countries are local players (ignoring the “giants”) but the opposite is true in the UK and I suspect in the US too, with its obsession with advertising dollars and glamour.

You have simply to decide what comes first: your national team and the development of the sport nationally; or the lure of money and prestige from turning your league into an international showcase. Read more

An example College soccer uniform policy

Starting from college soccer, teams will have uniform policies and codes of conduct that govern how the team look and behave. College teams will want to establish that the team is a professional outfit and will enforce the policy to the letter. Here is what a typical policy would like:

Brand

According to Soccer Garage, teams will stick to a specific brand for uniforms and gear. Often, the sponsor provides everything as part of a sponsorship package to the team. Some teams will use Nike, others Adidas, often exclusively. Players are given everything and might only need to get practice gear. Read more

Eric Wynalda USMNT Legend

One of my favorite players growing up was Eric Wynalda. I actually got to play a few minutes with him, while I was still in high school, before he exploded onto the scene in a big way. I remember the day he came back from playing against the Soviet Union in Paolo Alto to our club team game and did wind sprints after the game. I was just a high school kid at the time but it’s funny to me that even soccer journalists today don’t remember and/or don’t realize truly how good he was. Read more

How to Effectively Choose a College to Play Soccer

Summary: Choosing a college to play soccer is only half the battle.

Before reading this, you’re probably well aware of the competition level at the collegiate stage. Not only are you fighting to win the game, but you’re also fighting to retain your roster spot, to increase your playing time, and to ultimately make it to the next level. If you’re a student athlete looking to get an edge over your competition, this guide will help provide you with the necessary resources you’ll need to survive. Read more

Choosing Between a Non-Competitive and Competitive Soccer Program

 

Summary: Depending on your soccer experience, there are various pros and cons to playing for one program over another.

There has been quite the debate about which soccer program is best for a child to enter when choosing between non-competitive recreational soccer and competitive recreational soccer. There are two distinct options that you can choose from and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Non-Competitive

Rec soccer is a fantastic starting point for players that want to learn the fundamentals of the game. Almost every soccer player has started with a local rec program that’s usually offered by the city’s park and recreation department. Read more

Why US Soccer Team Failed to Make Worldcup

The US fails to make the World Cup, and the people who care the most, aside from the players and coaches themselves, are people who are not even American. With American Football in full swing, Baseball playoffs, NHL and NBA both getting started, most Americans did not even know there was a national team Soccer game on last night. TVs did not even show it. If it wasn’t because I read an English newspaper like the Guardian I wouldn’t have known either. Soccer is maybe the 4th most popular sport in the USA.

It might even be tied or lower than the popularity of Hockey in the USA. Soccer was never going to catch big in this country (not like Football, Baseball and Basketball). Not when kids have so many sports to choose from at a young age.

I have a friend who has 3 sons who played Soccer in grade school but by the time they were in 7th grade (12yrs) they had chosen Football and Baseball respectively and his eldest actually got a sponsorship at a Division 2 College for Baseball. Both his daughters played Soccer but liked Volleyball more. Soccer just does not have the popularity of the much bigger sports in this country. While it may eventually, because of the large influx of Central American immigrants I doubt it will take over the big 3 sports in the USA. Talent just goes elsewhere, other sports or Europe.

 

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