Soccer is the word’s most popular sport and it’s quickly gaining popularity in the United States. Among the reasons for soccer’s popularity are its safety, it’s equally suited for both boys and girls, it doesn’t require expensive equipment and everyone gets plenty of play time. Here are some things you should know if your kids are interested the playing soccer.
You have to ask for the ball. If you do not ask, you are not going to get what you want. This piece of advice is true for just about any position on the field (except for the goalkeeper). Without the ball, you cannot make things happen. If you find yourself shying away, you may want to reevaluate why you are in the game in the first place.
Remember that you have a role on the team, whether you are a natural play maker or not. Some people simply make things happen on the field. If you do not have that talent, you can act as a support to those that have different skills than you do. Figure out what your role is and play to your strengths.
Practice whenever you can. Bring your soccer ball along with you whenever you can, and if you’ve got a few minutes get a little practice in. You can also move the ball with your feet while walking from place to place.
You should feel comfortable about pointing out issues to the other members of your team, even if you recently joined the team. Suggest some new strategies or draw their attention to mistakes you noticed. A team can usually benefit from a fresh perspective on the strategies and habits they have adopted.
Learn to dribble effectively. To keep the ball in control at all times, keep the ball close to you and gently tap the ball using the inside and outside of your feet. Keep your eyes on the ball for best results and protect the ball by using your body to keep opponents away.
If your dribbling skills are lacking, use a tennis ball to practice. The tiny ball helps you to get used to micro-adjustments your feet need to make to control the ball. When you can easily achieve this, a soccer ball is bound to be that much easier to control.
Before each soccer match, make sure you take the time to do some pregame warm-ups and stretching. By following this pregame ritual, you will decrease your chances of sustaining a connective tissue injury. By providing additional blood flow to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, warm-ups and stretching increases your body’s flexibility. Your lower body should be the focus of your stretching exercises.
Make sure you are juggling the ball frequently so that you can improve your ball-handling skills. Juggling a soccer ball requires a lot of precision, and the only way to improve at this is practicing regularly. In addition, you should try improving other skills while juggling, such as passing, shooting, and trapping. For instance, juggle the ball some and then shoot the ball without allowing the ball to touch the ground.
Be sure you are focusing on your weaknesses. Your game of soccer is only as good as your weakest technique. If your weakness is accuracy, then line up several balls in a row and continue shooting balls into the net. On the other hand, if your weakness is trapping, get someone to throw balls to you repeatedly. By improving the areas you are weakest at, you will notice your skills increase substantially.
If you are kicking the ball and you notice someone running towards you, do not panic. There is a very simple method of avoiding them. First, kick the ball to one side of your body. Once you do this, quickly kick the ball to the other side. If you do this fast enough, you will avoid your opponent and be ahead of them. As a result, you will be better prepared to score.
It is very important that you eat a light meal before playing soccer, but make sure that you eat something that is not very heavy. You meal should contain a lot of carbs and it should be eaten a couple of hours prior to you heading out on the field to play.
The “press” is very important when preventing your opponent from moving down the field. You want to make your opponent feel uncomfortable when receiving the ball, perhaps even facing backwards. However, be careful when pressing not to commit a foul, or else you will not be helping out the team.
As you can see, getting kids started playing soccer is quite easy. All that is really needed is a pair of soccer cleats and a set of shin guards. This makes it accessible to virtually everyone, regardless of financial status. Soccer can be the beginning to a lifetime of fitness and will give kids an excellent understanding of teamwork.