Are you getting to grips with soccer? Or are you an avid fan hoping to refine your skills? We’ve listed the top techniques for all soccer fanatics and how to to perfect them.
Passing the Ball
Great passing is key to gaining the advantage. By passing effectively, your team will retain possession, allowing you to push the ball towards the goal and thereby create more opportunities to score.
By considering the technical elements to passing, players will move the ball speedily across the pitch. The main aspects to think about are:
- Identifying the target (i.e. who you want the ball to go to).
- Approaching the ball.
- Placing your non-kicking foot on the ground beside the ball.
- Fix your eyes on the person you’re passing to.
- When completing a pass, ensure that you make contact with the ball with the side of your foot.
Many of the technical elements involved in passing are also present in shooting, but the main difference is the final aim of scoring a goal.
Try to follow these key points when shooting:
- Even though this isn’t always possible, try to look up slightly and identify the position of the goalkeeper.
- As you approach the ball, plant your supporting foot firmly on the ground, slightly ahead of or just behind the ball. This will help to keep your shot low.
- Then, fix your eyes on the ball.
- When you come to make contact with the ball, ensure that the ankle of your kicking foot is locked and your toes are pointed downwards.
- Make sure that your hip joint and the knee of your kicking leg are pointed in the direction of the goal.
- Then, follow through and keep the ball low by putting your weight forward and landing on your kicking foot.
Good dribbling is key to keeping possession of the ball There are various ways to prevent an opposing player from taking the ball off you:
- Learn and perfect various manoeuvres – such as the Cruyff Turn (named after the late Dutch legend Johan Cruyff), which allows you to change direction quickly and unexpectedly, before the opposing player has the chance to do anything about it.
- Body language can also be used to confuse opposing players. For example, players will often indicate who they are passing to by glancing in the direction of their target just before they make the pass. You can take advantage of this by looking in the wrong direction when you want to fool the opposing player and send them the wrong way.
- Changing your speed can also be off-putting for the opposite team. By speeding up and slowing down in quick succession, members of the opposing team will find it difficult to keep up with you – and with the right manoeuvres, this will help you remain in possession of the ball for longer.
Practice make perfect when it comes to tackles, they have to be fast and firm.
Try following these few basic tips when tackling to gain possession and avoid injury to yourself and the opposing player:
- Quickly close in on the distance between you and your target. Then, get into a defensive position by bending your knees, ensuring that your feet are shoulder-width apart, and putting your weight on the balls of your feet so that you can move quickly.
- Make sure that your stance is well-balanced by planting your off-shoot foot on the ground and placing your weight over the ball as you go in to tackle.
- Your ankle and knee should be locked at this point, and you should go for the ball with an instep. Make sure that the motion is fluid and that momentum carries you smoothly as you gain possession.
Remember that your knee should face the opposing player, as positioning your knee sideways can leave it open to injury. You should also bear in mind that the tackle itself should be focussed on the ball – not the opposing player.
Honing Your Skills
Training in soccer can be tough, but with regular practice and by enjoying the sport you play, you will be able to perfect your techniques and excel.
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