Starting your life as a soccer player can be pretty intimidating, but there are plenty of things that you can do to speed up your progress. The worst thing that you can do is go in without a plan, which is exactly why we put this list together.
Below you will find seven very important tips that will help you develop into the soccer player that you want to become.
- ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN
It doesn’t matter if you are on the practice field or in a game situation, you simply have to plan ahead to give yourself the best chance to succeed. Without a plan, you will greatly slow your development because you will be putting more effort into making things up as you go.
If you’re practicing, you should know exactly why you are doing each drill to better understand what you need to improve. For example, if you are working on penalty kicks, you should be thinking about where you want the ball to go rather than on what the goalkeeper is going to do.
- FOCUS ON TEAM DEFENSE FIRST
It is tough for new soccer players to put more work in on defense than on offense, but the truth is that doing so can actually make you better on both sides of the ball. Good defense also leads to the best offensive chances, so players who are less interested in defense can see it as a chance to get the ball back for their teams.
Defense is also the best way to develop chemistry with your teammates. There aren’t too many better feelings in sports than knowing that you accomplished a tough task as a team, and you will see that the teams with the best defensive chemistry are often near the top of the standings in their leagues.
- WORK HARD OFF THE BALL
You simply have to work hard to get better, and that includes when you don’t have the ball at your feet. Some players save all of their effort for when they receive a pass, but that is a very small part of the game.
When your teammates have the ball, always work on getting into the best position possible for your specific position. Doing so will open up the field for your team and will greatly increase your possession numbers.
- TAKE PRIDE IN KNOWING YOUR TEAM’S TACTICS
Many new players put most of their focus on what they need to work on as individuals rather than focusing on becoming a good team player. You need to realize early on that you have a better chance of improving quicker when you get a full understanding of your coach’s tactics.
It's a good idea to learn about all of the most popular formations, but you especially want to know the ones that your coach uses.
- DON’T TRY TO BE PERFECT
It is true that you should want to be the very best soccer player that you can be, but that does not mean that you should put an extraordinary amount of pressure on yourself. Your main focus should be on developing into a better player, which means that you should recognize your weaknesses and slowly improve upon them.
- LEARN TO WANT THE BALL
Unless you were born to play soccer (no one was), you will probably be a bit nervous when you first start playing. Your instinct may be to get the ball to more experienced players as quickly as possible, but that is the wrong mental approach to have.
You won’t have too much talent when you first start out in soccer, but that is okay. As long as you keep wanting to get the ball at your feet, you will keep getting better with time.
- STAY POSITIVE
No matter what happens on the soccer field, you should always be learning. Having a positive mindset will enable you to learn from your mistakes quicker and will give your teammates a boost as well. When you stay positive through all of the good and the bad things that happen on the field, you will see that you will make fewer mistakes in future games.