by Jan S0L0
It is true of many young players that, when training, they want to focus upon the fun and adventurous aspects of soccer. They naturally want to practise bending penalty shots or making one-in-a-million headers, not formulaic passes or necessary dribbling techniques. Moreover, these aspiring players don’t want to spend a training session repeating dull exercises or performing regulated manoeuvres, they want to be contesting thrilling matches or elaborate soccer-skill games of chance and glory. However, the sad truth is that the best players in the world become such through working extensively upon the rudimentary, mundane-but-necessary components of the great game. So, for aspiring soccer players perhaps neglecting crucial parts of their training, here are a few things you definitely should be working on.
Lionel Messi is undoubtedly one of the best players ever to have played the sport and he has made every team he has played for a favourite in regards to soccer betting odds. Whilst many column inches have been devoted to his logic-defying goals and blistering passes, it is one of Messi’s more fundamental skills which allows him to produce these unbelievable feats. That is namely his hypnotic footwork. Many coaches have said that, when scouting for young talent, the first thing they look at is footwork in regards to identifying future champions. Far too many young players make hard shots even more difficult by not moving and transitioning correctly with their feet. Tight footwork may not make you generate more pace or power, but it will allow you to access that power with much more consistency and ease whilst also limiting the possibility of injury. Doing footwork exercises may not be as exciting as shooting or tackling but they will create a solid and useful base. However, without this base of solid footwork, you will continue to have related difficulties within every other aspect of your game.
It is undeniable that memorable soccer moments largely, if not completely, consist of moments of high-risk/high-reward play. You only need to look at the reaction to Zinedine Zidane’s astounding virtuoso volley that belted past Hans-Jorg Butt to testify to this. Whilst it does sometimes pay off to go for broke in certain situations, it is not something you can do consistently. Whilst highlight reels consist only of gravity-defying goals and scorching passes, the match itself does not. These moments of high-risk brilliance are always connected and supported by a series of high-percentage shots. Ultimately, playing high-percentage shots creates a foundation where previously high-risk mistakes become low-risk successes. It may not seem as glamorous or exciting, but any team you play for will value your ability to get the basics right every time over the occasional capability of reaching the extraordinary.
Long gone are the days where professional soccer players could spend as much time on the pitch as at the bar. Moreover, even if you spend hours on the pitch, in today’s athletic game you still need to put in some serious hours at the gym. Real Madrid and Portugal?s Cristiano Ronaldo is known for doing extra training sessions of 3,000 sit-ups, when feeling he is not pushing himself hard enough. It shows in his tireless and energetic play. Ultimately, even a little bit of tiredness can begin eroding your performance. The more tired you are, the less high percentage your shots become and therefore the more mistakes you make. Moreover, to be a top player, you need to be able to play at the same level regardless of whether it is the first minute or the 89th minute. A feat which requires some serious gym-induced stamina.