Parents, want your kid to do better in soccer? Do you need a cure for average? Then get your kid outside with a ball and get your homework done. Here are a few Soccer Practice Tips:
- Show up! Sometimes the hardest thing is to just show up. By showing up to train you give yourself a chance. The player that never shows up to training fails before even starting. Showing up is the first most important thing. No matter if you’re tired, sore, worn out, not feeling it – you’ve still gotta show up. Winning doesn’t care about your excuses. It just knows if you showed up.
- Quality over quantity. Short but sweet is better than long and lazy. Practicing the wrong thing for a very long time could be devastating. Make sure that you are practicing the right things. And practice them well. Discovery is good but can sometimes be a long process. When starting out begin with the basics. Follow a program that gives you good quality steps that are easy to follow. Training efficiently at first will be great. Focus on quality.
- Intensity. Each and every training session try to work your way up to a very high level of effort and speed. Start slow but make sure you are progressing. By the end of the training you want to be at game speed.
- Stretch yourself. Get out of your comfort zone. Push yourself with a new move. Each time you go out learn something new. Even if you go out to try the move and fail, you will still be learning. Sometimes failing is the best lesson of all. And it’s a great motivator.
- Imagination. Use your imagination. It doesn’t have to be super serious. Kids are amazingly creative. Put that creativity to good use. Got and invisible friend?
- Invite a Friend. Don’t always go it alone. Call a friend and have them join you in the backyard or at the park. This one trick alone will change the dynamic of extra soccer practice more than you could ever imagine.
- Have Fun! Yes that’s right – training can and should be fun. Make little games, get creative, and reward yourself. The more fun it is the more likely you will be to go back out the next time. Fun is good! It’s a game right, it’s suppose to be fun.
Tired of being average? – We are the Cure! Go to SoccerHomework.com for tips, tricks, free training, player workbooks, instructions on how to play your position, and more.
As pre-season moves along and you get into tournaments, you might find that you’re not getting the playing time you want. The big question becomes, how to get more playing time in soccer games?
Here are a few tips to help you get more playing time in soccer:
- For competitive games, please understand that most coaches will put the players in the game that they feel, in their opinion, will give them the best chance of winning. Even the most selfish coach knows that by winning, he looks good. So… what does that mean for playing time? It’s simple really – you’ve got to be productive. This means scoring goals or getting assists. It is the fastest way to influence your coach’s opinion of you. Score a goal a game and you will see more time on the field.
- Have the ball! The more you touch the ball in the game, the better impression you leave the coach with. This lasting impression is the you were constantly involved and making things happen. Get the ball as often as possible. To do this be aggressive to go get the ball. Check out Soccer Homework’s course on How to Become More Aggressive in Soccer.
- Pay attention to your Ratio. For this what I mean is make sure you know what your statistics are. If you touch the ball 10 times, how many times were you successful? 10 touches, 7 successes – that’s pretty good. But if you had 10 touches and only 2 success – then yikes, your success/failure ratio is bad. Make sure that your stats can prove that you need to be on the field.
- Leadership. Don’t hide! Be a standout leader for the team. Always encourage and get things going. Coaches love a good leader.
- Heart and Hard work. It will not go unnoticed! Think Rudy… if you haven’t seen the movie you might want to. Many good coaches will tell you that they will take a worker over a talented lazy player any day of the week. Be a worker and give it your best effort. Be able to say that you left it all on the field.
You’ve had your break and your rested and Pre-Season Soccer is here. It’s time to knock the dust off the boots and get back to training. Your objective is to get ready for the season.
Here are 3 tips for your pre-season soccer training:
- Set Goals for the Season. Before you do anything else – set your goals for the season. You will want to ask yourself a few questions like: what do I want to get out of this soccer season, what do I want to learn, how do I want to play, what work do I need to do to be happy with my play, how many goals do I want to score, etc. Ask lots of questions of what you Want so that you can work toward it. Having a target is extremely important.
- Get on a program. You will want to begin to set those daily habits of working towards your soccer goals. After you have set your goals, review your soccer training program and make sure it aligns with what you want to accomplish. Then work the plan. Your program should be a road map to your training so that you can take daily and weekly steps to get you there. Check out Soccer Homework’s Pre-Season Workout Program to get you started with your training.
- Do Work! Yep, you must get up off the couch and work. The break is over. If you want to accomplish your goals, you’ve got to embrace the fact that pre-season soccer is here and that means do the work! Get up, get your ball, get outside, and get to work.
Off-Season soccer is coming to an end. Reading that sentence may feel a little funny and leave you asking, “What exactly is off-season soccer?”
After 18 years of playing and 18 years of coaching, let me say this: I absolutely agree with you! What on earth is off-season soccer?
Here’s my take on off-season soccer and my take is probably very different from many coaches (especially High School coaches who love to throw around the term “off-season”). Let me explain. My take for “off-season” is to “Take A Break.” Yep, instead of the traditional off-season workouts and practices that many high school athletes in the USA go through, I say just Take A Break. Get away from the game a little and here’s why.
Getting away from the game is like going on vacation. Sometimes the constant routine of practices and games wears on kids – both mentally and physically. Yes it even wears on the best players. No matter how much you think your kid loves soccer, giving them a break will actually help and probably make them love the game even more. And No I’m not talking about a 1 year break. I’m talking about a few weeks to let their body and mind recharge. Plus, coming back rusty is a great motivational tool for kids to start to discover that they actually have personal expectations! The inner fear, disappointment, and possible embarrassment is a great motivational factor that can get them off the couch and back to working hard.
So for me when I say off-season soccer is coming to an end that means that it’s time to be back at soccer. You should be all-in right now for pre-season training, tournaments, conditioning, studying, and getting ready for the season.
Yep, off-season is over and pre-season soccer is here! Each day you should be checking off the days on your pre-season soccer calendar.
To get a Pre-Season Soccer Calendar Training Program to follow, sign up at SoccerHomework.com.
Soccer training is like anything else in life, you’ve gotta know your why…
SoccerHomework is all about you doing extra soccer training. Extra soccer training? Why would I do that?
Yes, exactly. Extra soccer training is all about you finding your “Why.”
It is easy to say “I want to get better” (because your coach or parents said so) and that will probably get you off the couch for a day or two. Which is great. But for the long run, that motivation will most likely subside and you’ll find yourself back in your old routine of little to no extra practices in the backyard. If you truly want to get better at soccer and create dramatic changes to your on field performances you must find the inner motivation of “why” that will not just get you off the couch today but that will transform your daily routine into habits of success everyday to come.
Finding your why is not easy. It’s not easy because it’s about you. Your why is not something that someone else can tell you. It is a vision in your own head that is given to you and to no one else. Your why is inside you and only you can discover it because only you have access to your mind. However, others can help you find it. There are plenty of questions to ask that can lead you to your why. The easiest one is this:
If you close your eyes and see your perfect soccer day, what does it look like? What does it smell like? What does it feel like?
There are more questions of course: What moves did you use on your perfect day? What was your touch like? What problems did you overcome? What did you prove – to others, to yourself? What was the weather like? What did people say to you? What did people watching say about you? Who did you prove wrong? How fast were you? Etc. Use the questions to solidify the details of your story.
Start today and try to find your Why. Imagine your perfect soccer and make it concrete in your mind. Play a soccer in your head with you as the star. And then go see the movie again and again and again. Buy tickets to your movie – it is the most important one in your life.
Then, go out and passionately train to make what you see in your head a reality and what they see on the field. Train everyday with your Why motivating you each step of the way.
Ok all you soccer moms, it’s game time and here comes the weather. And as much as you want your kid to take responsibility for their “stuff” and being prepared for games, there are some things that you will need to lead the way on for both you and them.
Weather presents an interesting predicament for getting ready for soccer. Not only do you need to make sure your kid has their ball, shin guards, cleats, uniform, etc. – you’ve also gotta make sure they are ready for the weather.
Here are a few different weather scenarios that present different challenges:
1. Wind – wind stinks! And cold wind stinks even more. When it’s windy you will need to make sure and wear the right type of clothes. Wind can cut right through you and pull the warmth away from your body very quickly. This is warmth that you and your kid need to be able to survive the hours at soccer. Jeans and a t-shirt typically don’t work the best. Your best bet is a poly blend material that acts as a good wind breaker.
2. Rain – yuck! For rain, the best bet is shelter. If possible try to stay dry under a shelter. I would not recommend portable shelters or tents though because they often take a while to set up and can be bad if there’s wind or lightning that causes you to need to leave quickly. For your player, unless they’re in a stadium, shelter might not be an option. So the best for them is to just have a change of clothes ready and something to sit on in the car – cause they’re gonna get wet and probably muddy. And finally, shoes! Even if you hang out under a concession stand shelter or something nearby, you’re probably still going to have to deal with wet feet. Bring an extra pair of shoes.
3. Sun / Heat – Gonna keep this one real short – hydrate and find shade. A good tent or sports umbrella is a great option. And sunscreen!
4. Cold – layers! This goes for both you and your kid. Have a good thermal layer close to the skin that wicks moisture and a good outer layer that breaks the wind. Gloves and hats are also a great way to keep it bearable. They are very easy to stick in a jacket pocket and just leave them there. That way you have them when you need them. And for players this is really important – gloves, gloves, gloves! It is extremely frustrating as a coach to see a kid with cold hands pulling their hands inside long sleeves because they don’t have gloves. Gloves for players are a must and typically pretty cheap!
It’s that time of year again for preseason soccer tournaments. It’s time to shake the dust off and get back to work. And that means it’s time to start in with some good preseason soccer tournaments.
Preseason soccer tournaments offer a couple wonderful opportunities for players.
Shock and Fear.
Preseason soccer tournaments get us back to practice. As players come back to training after time off, there is a good chance that they are rusty. Their touches aren’t as sharp. Their vision is a little narrower and they find themselves looking down more – meaning they can’t see the field as well. Both these things will slow the player down and make the game immensely harder. Bad touches, lack of vision, harder playing – these are all a recipe for fear! It can be shocking sometimes for a player to go out to practice after some time off and realize that you aren’t doing as well as they wanted to. This is awesome! This is exactly what is needed and why it is so important to give teams and players some time off. It reboots their motivation to get out and practice. The fear energizes players to push harder and break through the plateau that players sometimes get to at the end of each season.
A Fresh Start.
Ok so the fear of the first practices back got you off the couch and back into action. You’ve hit the park, backyard, or driveway and have pushed through to a new, higher level of playing and now is your chance in the preseason tournaments to up your game. Preseason soccer tournaments are a chance for you to assert yourself and hit a reset button. It is a chance for you to step out of your comfort zone and challenge the self imposed limits of your past. You can try and fail and learn and everything is ok because it is just a preseason tournament. This is THE time to stretch and grow. Ask to play a new position. Experiment with a new move. Practice your weak foot specifically for one game. Try different things that will help you so when you get to league games you can dominate.
Preseason soccer tournaments are a wonderful wake up call where you can go out and try to get better in an environment that should be set up strictly as a series of games to prepare for the league season ahead.