Since soccer began in England in 1863, the sport has appealed to children and adults alike. But while soccer is a lot of fun, there are also a lot of technical skills that are required. If your child wants to attend summer soccer schools this year, they’ll receive individualized soccer training that will help them become a better player overall. But before they get out on the field, they’ll need to master — or at the very least, be very familiar with — these five skills.
This is the most basic skill and it’s integral to the game. Dribbling refers to carrying the ball past other players, all while maintaining total control. This technique involves gentle, close contact between a player’s feet and the ball. Dribbling actually serves a few different purposes, including beating an opponent, moving the ball forward quickly, and avoiding pressure from opponents. While dribbling confidence will come with experience, this is the number one skill your young player needs to have down.
On youth soccer leagues, passing is extremely important. In many cases, the best passers are actually the best players because they put the team’s needs above their own. Soccer has three different kinds of passes: the standard, the chipped, and the lofted. Players will need to be familiar with all three passes and use them often in practices and in games. Being able to identify how much passing time a player needs is critical and comes only through repetition.
Of course, along with passing, players have to know how to effectively receive the ball. When a player receives a pass poorly, it puts them in a bad position and often allows an opponent to close in space. Having an excellent first touch, on the other hand, sets a player and team up for success. They’ll have more time to dribble and shoot. They’ll also have more time to make sound decisions, rather than stress-induced, rash ones. Passing and receiving go hand-in-hand (or foot-in-foot, rather), so practicing them together is often a good idea.
Oftentimes, shooting gets a lot of the glory. After all, it’s what directly determines the point outcome of the game. Because of the added pressure that comes along with shooting, even the best players at summer soccer schools will struggle with their technique and confidence when it comes time to go for the goal. And since many players have dominance in only one foot, that puts them at an even greater disadvantage. Still, for many young players, scoring a goal is the most enjoyable part of the game. By working on this skill on a consistent basis, they’ll become even more confident in their abilities.
It may not be a technical skill, but this definitely impacts gameplay like nothing else. A player can execute everything to physical perfection, but if they aren’t a team player with a positive attitude, they aren’t going to get very far. The best players possess an eagerness to learn and improve and help out their teammates, as well as a strong work ethic. Determination and good sportsmanship are truly the foundation of any great soccer player. And just like the technical skills, young players can be encouraged to display a positive attitude. Soon enough, it will become second nature.
At our summer soccer schools, we’ll teach young players all the skills they need to be successful on the field. To find out more, contact us today.