I recently finished an English version of the DFB-UEFA B Course in Berlin. 24 “American” coaches traveled to Germany and took part in 2 and a half weeks of learning followed by exams. I put “American” in quotes because other than myself and the one female participant who live in Germany, one Polish guy who lives in England, and a Brazilian who lives in Brazil, the rest of the coaches who live in American were mostly not from America.
The best soccer players in the world are not just killers on the ball, but they are sneaky buggers off of it as well. Research shows that ore goals are scored when the defenders are positioned farther away from the shooter. That sounds pretty obvious, but creating space on the soccer field is getting harder and harder in today’s modern game. Of course, having a ton of speed helps because you can literally just blow by defenders. But the best, like Leroy Sane and Sterling from Manchester City, Mane from Liverpool, Son from Tottenham, all use intelligent awareness and timing in addition to their speed to unravel defenses. Aguero isn’t the fastest guy in the world, but he knows how to hide behind defenders or draw them to one area and then move to the space left. Check out the video I made below to see some examples. Try these runs and ideas at your next practice and watch how you are getting more crosses from the wing and more shots on goal.
Few things are more frustrating than having several minutes go by and not touching the ball during a training match (including possession) or a game. We all want to feel like we are contributing to the outcome of our team’s performance.
Scoring more goals in soccer requires good vision and passing combined with smart positioning off the ball. Learning how to get to the blind side of defenders will be a massive way to get more passes and increase your chances of being considered a dangerous player. At the highest level of elite soccer, it comes down to the little things.
KPI, or Key Performance Indicator, is defined as "a quantifiable measure used to evaluate the success of an organization, employee, athlete, etc. in meeting objectives for performance". The first time I heard the term KPI was in a talk by Olympic track coach, Dan Pfaff. While track and field is an objective sport based on distance and time, soccer is often interpreted as a more subjective game. Sure, a striker's goal count can be easily tracked, but coaches may like the way one midfielder plays more than another and it is hard to quantify which player is indeed more effective. All of this is changing, as technology advances and becomes more integrated into world and youth soccer.
Being a great passer goes way beyond playing the soccer ball to the person you want. Here are some things to consider when thinking about good soccer passing
I see a lot of coaches running the crap out of their players before, during, and after training. I can understand every now and then doing such grueling, NTF (not-that-fun) kind of work with older players, but what about younger players? A study on Spanish elite youth players, average aged of 13 years old, showed that small sided games are as effective as interval training for maintaining aerobic fitness in elite youth soccer players.
If a soccer player, coach, or fan was to type into a computer the ideal physical characteristics of a top footballer, I bet most people would choose similar attributes; 5'9 or taller, low body fat percentage, durable bone structure, muscular and explosive legs, and an efficient set of heart and lungs.
Interestingly, as much as this website preaches the importance of achieving a leaner and stronger physique and more athleticism, the nature of soccer is such that with a certain skill set, attitude, and intelligence (or vision for the game), there is no denying that certain players have found great success despite their limitations. One needs not look far to see that some of the best the game has ever seen have come in all different shapes, sizes, and with various physical strengths and weaknesses.
As I mentioned in a few recent posts, I am a rather new head soccer coach. In my efforts to expedite my learning process, I turned to youtube (like all modern age geniuses) and discovered a channel that was incredibly educational, entertaining, and eye-opening on the tactical side of the game. I contacted the creator of this brilliant content, Glen Preston, and he was kind enough to answer some of my questions and offer even more great insight into modern trends in soccer tactics. If you consider yourself a student of the game or simply a fan, this is one not to be missed. You will never watch soccer the same way again after watching some of his videos. Before we get into the questions, here is one of them:
The mental and physical demands that are usually placed on players during soccer training can lead to diminished performance. Undergoing prolonged and heavy soccer training may bring about something called overtraining syndrome, burnout or staleness. Additionally, having too many games done within a very short period can lead to poor performance and could increase the chances of injury and illness. The article will look at the various symptoms or signs of overtraining and the causes behind it.