How can I get really GOOD?

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Post by sk19501 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:24 am

Hey everyone,
I'm new here, and actually joined because this forum had so much positive feedback, so five stars for that! Anyways, I wanted to ask a question, and no where online had an answer specific to my scenario. I've been playing soccer for 12 years, I'm 16 now. I'm returning to my school's varsity team at the end of August, so I have roughly 9 months to get good, and I mean GOOD. I don't want to be the average player, I want to be that guy that everyone says "damn, he's boss" when they see me play. I've played with many, many people, and they all said I had talent. But when it comes to high school ,it's different. Everyone'es good, average. I want to be that defender coach looks to and says, "I need you to stop him." Can someone give me tips on how I can become the best I'm capable of being, just don't know what approach to take? I'm fit, fast, and able to work hard. Thanks so much.

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Post by FalcaoPunch on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:47 am

Work on touches. If you live here in the states practice your first touch because coaches love to rape that concept left and right.

Play simple and get the job done. No fancy stuff. Pinpoint the "star" player and shut him out. Done.
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Post by •MilanDevil• on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:52 am

@FalcaoPunch wrote:Work on touches. If you live here in the states practice your first touch because coaches love to rape that concept left and right.

Play simple and get the job done. No fancy stuff. Pinpoint the "star" player and shut him out. Done.

I strongly agree with this. You can also practice reading the game, try to understand the movements of players (the most common runs made) and think of how you can stop them.
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Post by CBarca on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:53 am

The best possible way to get good, fast?

There is no secret way that can allow one to do this. It takes hard work, dedication, commitment, and time. And for me the answer is simple.

Play as much as you can. Get together with friends and play, sign up for indoor soccer, futsal, leagues, anything you can. Go outside in your free time and juggle or dribble imaginary people, pass against the base of a basketball hoop (my favorite!!) Watch football too- and study the defenders. What are they doing right? How can you do that? Could he be positioned better here?

That's a part of it. Really for me, all you have to do is play. Play and work on your touches.

The rest is on you. Good luck.

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Post by Don't call me James on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:08 am

@FalcaoPunch wrote:Work on touches. If you live here in the states practice your first touch because coaches love to rape that concept left and right.

Play simple and get the job done. No fancy stuff. Pinpoint the "star" player and shut him out. Done.

THIS. First touch is so important in the early years (especially in the US, as Colo pointed out). If you aren't well developed physically as of yet then having great first touch will make you look butt loads good.

Also, in the US high school games are centered around physicality and some individual brilliance tbh. You can wow everyone with a good tactical understanding of the game. Watch some full matches of Xavi and Iniesta for Barca to get a better tactical understanding of how to play simple and smart and still look amazingly good. Work on one-touch passing and also long passing. If you can make over the top through balls to your forwards (even if they aren't pin point) or slicing through balls then you would definitely be considered a threat by any team. (DO NOT HOOF though Very Happy , unless a defensive clearance of course).

Lastly, learn how to beat a man one on one when presented the opportunity. It's very easy at your age group to beat defenders with a simply shoulder drop or quick body fake. You will look elegant and elegance oozes class Thumbs up

Obviously you would practice all of this a lot, and as I take it, you said that you had some talent so you should be fine with hard work. Keep playing a lot and you'll feel very comfortable.

Btw what position do you play??

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Post by CBarca on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:21 am

Lastly, learn how to beat a man one on one when presented the opportunity. It's very easy at your age group to beat defenders with a simply shoulder drop or quick body fake. You will look elegant and elegance oozes class

As someone who plays varsity in high school, I can back this and say it's 100% true. That's... really all I do most of the time. No need for fancy tricks, just the shoulder drop or fast cuts will do.

Messiah he says in the OP that he is a defender.
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Post by B-Mac on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:54 am

become a leader, be vocal that is the easiest way to get noticed probably, then keep working on your skills

coaches love players with character and leadership qualities, be the Commander of that back line

and most importantly.....


play with grit and steel Laughing :coffee:
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Post by Die Borussen on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:27 pm

you say you are talented which means physically you are able to implement on the pitch, thats good,
so
intelligence is the key
you want to be the best, in order to do that you have to be unique.. if you do what others do you will learn what others will,
its all in the mind..
you need to improve your judgment and exploit it for your actions on the pitch: Every move you do on the pitch defines you as a player,

here is a list of my personal suggestions that could help and assist on improving your talent:

maintain physical condition: start running 3-4 times a week,start gym,
eat healthy.

exploit your mind: start reading (doesnt have to be school books), solve quizes,crosswords. ask why? learn why.
understanding the concept of thinking in general, will help you understand the concept of thinking on the pitch.

Improve your skills required for your position by repeatance: if you do something repeatedly for long time your body will understand it and act unconsciously at its best. its similar to how you learned typing on keyboard unconsciously so fast..


and remember that a player plays for The team, someone is really good cause he acts on the pitch having in mind whats best for the greater good of the team, thats what a coach or a scout will appreciate.


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Post by sk19501 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:33 pm

Wow, all of these posts helped ALOT. From how I took it I'd say to stick to staying simple, playing smart, and be able to analyze the other team's style of play quickly? Yes, I play defense, mainly right wing. I usually play for about an hour and a half every single day, 2 to 3 hours on weekends with a friend, and we pass for about an hour. I'm not able to do that now though, since it's freezing and I'm in New England Neutral

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Post by FalcaoPunch on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:36 am

Find a nice indoor complex. Developing better control of the ball then indoor is perfect. Limited space normally 6v6 so being quick and agile on and off the ball is ideal. Quick and simple passes are the way to go.

I developed better control playing indoor imo.
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Post by Forza on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:43 am

Yeah, play futsal when you can't play outdoors. It improves basic skills immensely.

And learn how to jockey off a player. Practice stopping players getting past you - staying on your toes, distributing body weight properly and timing the challenge. No nonsense stuff. Then once you get possession, don't look for the risky pass immediately. Good, simple distribution is highly valued by coaches. Most often all you need to do is play a simple pass the way you're facing.
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Post by Amar on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:51 am

Must agree with B-Mac here, you need to show some leadership skills.

Be a leader at the back, command, the backline, and show extreme toughness.

But before that, as a defender, you must learn how to read the game and different players. You need to be a step ahead of the play and anticipate things before they happen. Doing this will also compensate for any lack or physicality you may have.

If you are able to, study opposition strikers and midfielders and their frequent tendencies in their movements.

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Post by Guest on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:08 am

Everyone has already added so much to the table and I don't want to repeat anything. Although I did start playing about 2 years ago and I can say that hard work will get you places. I also would like to believe finding your identity as a player to be important; find defenders you enjoy, or feel similar to and study their game (I play center midfield and watched players like Iniesta, Xavi, Ganso and others that I felt I could replicate - keep in mind that I will take bits and pieces from each player and do my best to make it into my own unique style). I know it's already been mentioned, but you should also study attacking players and learn their thought process and such, I have always found it important to know your "enemy".

I think you show great potential with your attitude alone, their are so many brillant footballing minds in this forum and most are willing to lend their advice.

All the best,
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Post by sk19501 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:01 pm

Really helpful! I've started working out since I can't get outside much about a month ago. I currently weigh 160 ,down from 190 about 6 months ago, so I'm making progress. How can I shed about 20 more pounds in 9 months? What exercises do you guys recommend? I would like to get tougher and more agile.

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Post by B-Mac on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:09 pm

drop all wheat products from your diet, you will just watch the pounds melt away its pretty incredible
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Post by sk19501 on Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:53 pm

But don't I need wheat products for their carbs that supply energy?

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Post by B-Mac on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:45 pm

@sk19501 wrote:But don't I need wheat products for their carbs that supply energy?

you can easily get those carbs from fruit, vegetables, rice, potatoes, milk
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Post by sk19501 on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:52 pm

Ohh, ok. I'll post again once I need other advice. You guys were very helpful, thanks!

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Post by RealGunner on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:29 pm

Don't eat potatoes excessively, It's mainly starch and not good for you.

Read this article.

http://www.active.com/women/Articles/Top_10_energy_foods__Carbs_athletes_should_love

That's just for energy though, you have to keep in mind that your diet must be balanced. Protein is probably the most important.


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Post by FalcaoPunch on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:54 pm

Pasta is a good source of carbs from what I hear.
Eat almonds...
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Post by sk19501 on Tue May 28, 2013 10:02 pm

Alright, so it's nearly four months later and I'm bringing this thread back to life. During those four months I've dropped 12 more pounds, and put on muscle. I'm quicker than many, and have exceptional mind and physical skills. Today, I played with a couple of college students who made me feel like I was an 8 year old player. That's when I immediately thought I have to come here for your help. They were so quick with their moves, so agile. Their cut backs were amazingly fast and never did the ball roll away from their reach. What can I do to become this confident? Thanks!

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Post by McLewis on Wed May 29, 2013 12:56 am

Well you gotta know what you want to do with the ball before you even have it. It would also be pertinent to work on your movement to into positions where you can be dangerous on the ball. Just keep your head up and know where your teammates are and rest usually comes naturally.
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Post by Guest on Wed May 29, 2013 1:13 am

@McLewis wrote:Well you gotta know what you want to do with the ball before you even have it. It would also be pertinent to work on your movement to into positions where you can be dangerous on the ball. Just keep your head up and know where your teammates are and rest usually comes naturally.

Great stuff from McLewis here. Also, you just have to put in the time for certain things like ball control. Dribble the ball whenever you have the opportunity and get as comfortable as you can with it at your feet. The confidence will come as you continue to progress, but also keep in mind that all sports comes down to mentality - you have to believe in yourself, once you lose that, you are as good as done.

I recently started to play volleyball and have found that my mentality plays a huge role in my performance. I basically started from scratch and began with the basics so that I was building upon a solid foundation. I started playing football (soccer) late in my life and I managed to get good fairly quickly (people who come across me playing tend to think I have been playing for many years and I credit that to the hard work and dedication I applied to my training.)

I have also had the good fortune of finding people who have been willing to help make me a better player. If you come across any players that standout, try to speak with them and perhaps they will be wiling to offer up some help.

Hope you continue to improve and work hard Thumbs up

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Post by McLewis on Wed May 29, 2013 1:48 am

Sage advice there, Dom.

Mentality is indeed huge for a player. You don't necessary have to have a big head, but it often helps to know your strengths and look to exploit them as much as possible. If you are pacy, then work on your touch so that you can expose yards of space and burst past your marker. From what you've described, you already seem to be a pretty good player.

Keep your head, know what you're about and keep digging until those guys come here asking for advice :coffee:
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Post by Nishankly on Wed May 29, 2013 2:32 am

Diet isnt that big an issue at this level imo. Just eat.

About the game, The others covered it thoroughly. As for defending at this level. Some obvious tips that coaches and players better than me gave me.

Always try to show the striker on his weaker foot.

Always release the ball in minimum 3 touches, You DON'T want to be the defender who is great at stopping but loses his nerve when he touches the ball.

SLIDING TACKLES - This is one thing that everyone loves to see and are very important in the game.

Flexibility, The ability to turn the way strikers turn while on the ball.

I read that you are fast, That's a plus point. So here's one thing, Its pretty obvious but if you focus on this while defending you get the better of the forwards most times. So a striker is coming at you, Dont charge like a chicken, Wait for the guy to take a touch, The moment he takes that touch you can move towards him, Dont go to fast or he might go through you using a simple change in direction. The moment he takes that touch, You go press him, He has 2 options, Pass under pressure, Try to dribble using a longer touch or change in direction. If he passes, good for him, If he tries the other option, You're fast you'll probably get the ball through a slide or press him until he has no other option but to pass. This is just one scenario, Keep it in mind its works very well.

For passing what i used to do was, I chose a wall, took some chalk and made a rectangle. Kept passing the ball at it, Shooting at it until i used to hit it all the time, When my success ratio went higher, Distance from where i passed became longer, ands soon the rectangle became smaller. This helps too in accuracy.

Also there will be people better than you, There will be people worse than you who could get the better of you on some given day. What is important is that you are confident, The moment you start doubting yourself, It affects your entire game. Its a big step back. Dont lose confidence, Bad days come and go, Your talent remains the same!

Hope i helped, All the best to your future endeavors in football Very Happy
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