Soccer is a game that can be played at many levels. When children play at school recess, a player kicks the ball down the field and everyone runs after it. As players develop more ability, they learn to receive and control the ball and discover different ways of kicking it.
Later, players decide where to kick it and to whom and develop reasons for their actions on the field. Controlled, purposeful soccer is the beginning of higher levels of play.
Soccer drills will help players learn to assess situations and direct play to their own benefit. Whether maintaining possession, dribbling forward, or setting up for a shot or pass, skilled players must develop and practice techniques to maintain the advantage against opponents.
Two critical parts of smart, purposeful soccer include vision and decision making. Before a player receives the ball, he or she must evaluate the available options. A skilled player must have composure and be able to read the game. Players should develop a better understanding of their limitations and play to their strengths and avoid situations that utilize skills beyond their abilities.
Players need to incorporate individual skills into a larger team framework. They should work together to accomplish a given task, such as keeping possession of the ball or advancing it towards goal.
The age of a player is secondary for many drills. One of the jobs of coaching soccer is to identify where a player is in the development process. There are youth players with advanced abilities and older players that are just beginners. Developing a skilled player is a complex process.
Many factors contribute to a player's success. The coach will also need to consider the raw athletic ability of each player. In the early stages of development, coaches can help players develop balance, coordination, and agility. Some players will have gifted natural abilities and others will need to work hard to improve.
Although skilled players may have moments of brilliance, a player's real value is measured in his or her ability to perform routine tasks consistently and with precision and accuracy. Skilled soccer has more to do with composure and smart play than it is with flashy tricks. It takes time for perseverance to rise to the top. The higher the level of play, the harder it is to make gains.
The coach dedicated to helping players reach their potential will reap the rewards on game day.
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