When my wife and I moved back to Texas from California in November of 2008, we were expecting our first child and overwhelmed with life in general. The wife was working full time for the hospital in Dallas, part time teaching for a University, and working full time on her doctoral work. Although we had started the company in California, the differences in soccer culture there made things easier in some ways. Depending on where you live might make a difference when it comes to technical soccer training. Here’s what to look for…
Youth soccer in America
When we moved back to Texas there was so much we did not know about starting a business here.
Although my wife and I are both native Texans, making accommodations for the weather, the club structures, the freedom of coaches to dictate schedule changes. Texas was different from living in California. Things in SoCal and NorCal are way more laid back.
In North Texas most of the clubs try to control you and keep you from outside skills training. In Cali you can coach for different academies.
In most states you’ll have a hard time finding someone who teaches technical soccer training for a living… Some club coaches offer it, but their main job is coaching teams.
Everyone who moves in from any other state in America is like “It’s another level North Texas in every way”. Super competitive and a very high level of play.
What to look for in a skills trainer
There are times when a family we’ve trained for a long time has to move out of state due to job or family situations. They will often ask me what they should use to evaluate their next trainer in their new city.
The number one thing I tell them is character & coaching/playing experience.
Tons of people who played high school or college soccer have good talent, but is this someone you trust to spend 1 hour each week with your kid?
On the skills side, you want someone who promotes building technique & form.
Overall Experience is one of the main things that you want to look for in a skills trainer, because they should know what drills to work on for each age and level.
Players who practice on their own at home give themselves a big advantage.
The best technical soccer training drills
Does the trainer know what drills are best for the position, players, and improving on weaknesses and sharpening strengths? Just a few basic examples of this include controlling the ball on the ground and in the air, turning or striking the ball the right way.
Makes a difference when connecting on the right part of your foot and the ball.
Don’t worry about freestyle tricks, that is a waste of time. Honestly there are not too many professional players who can do those tricks. Pro’s spent time working on the important skills.
These are the best drills… You will be amazed by the high quality video and teaching.
In just a few months you will become smooth and confident with the ball. Enjoy!
5 considerations parents and players should make when looking for good technical soccer training:
#1 Form / Mechanics
The exact position of the toes in shots, how to open up the upper or lower body and when, why it is important to have proper mechanics [in other words – provides the education piece as well].
Check out this popular blog post on soccer mechanics.
You can work harder than anyone, but what if you are not kicking the ball or dribbling the ball as well as you can be?
Making sure the toe is up or down when it needs to be or bending your knee’s just a bit will make a big difference.
#2 Teaching [explaining & correcting]
Teaching equals correcting and explaining why and when to do or not to do something…
If the ball is coming from a particular direction, which foot should you use and why? Even in this situation, the player should be taught that there are times when it’s okay to control the ball in a way that is not “technically correct”.
Example: Sometimes you need to ‘toe poke’ the ball to get a quicker pass or shot… This is okay – it’s futbol.
Which is the quickest way to get off a pass or why sometimes you shouldn’t pass too soon?
How does one make the transition smoothest, instead of wasting the movements to reposition myself to shoot with my ‘dominant’ foot?
How should you move forward with it to put you in better situation to move forward with trapping the ball? Davy Arnaud one of best examples of this particular skill by the way.
#3 Content of the skill
If a coach/trainer teaches the wrong things there is no player development…
You can train everyday, but if the content of the skill is not the right stuff, you’ll improve at the wrong things.
Example: Instead of tricks and just kicking the ball, players need to be taught the right things…
What you need to learn and practice most:
- One touch passing from 5 and 10 yards away with purposeful training/mindset. Good form and locking the ankle, using different weights.
- Using every part of the foot to dribble, turn and cut.
- Long passing [striking] – properly
- Receiving [trapping] the ball out of the air and on the ground [stationary most] because you get more reps. Good teams will receive the ball in one place more than moving. Average teams will receive the ball on the move because their teammates passes are not good enough.
- Turning while receiving
#4 Timing [teaching the right things per age group]
The difference in being introduced vs practicing often…
There comes a time when the players can do “basics” independently at home and the professional trainer should challenge them to progress.
Did you know there are over 20 ways to pass the ball and most youth players at the highest club levels only know 3.
Kids need to be introduced to almost everything by the age of 10…
Example: I teach kids how to bend the ball at age 8. The reason is because if they practice at home, they’ll become better than their peers.
Learning is something that should always be happening no matter what. It could be technical or mental.
#5 Players maturity [mentality]
Maturity carries a lot of weight when it comes to what they can learn and practice.
Some kids understand the importance of repetition and others don’t.
3 ways of understanding the importance of reps:
- Natural – some just get it naturally.
- Taught – others need to be taught and they grasp and take advantage of the teaching.
- Others don’t understand or they lack the maturity to focus, for the intent to improve.
Soccer coaches who bring good energy
Is the energy high with the trainer/coach? If the trainer is routine in a bad way, negative, berates the player or is not receptive to your feedback, then find a new soccer trainer.
The personality issues with a trainer are not to be taken lightly as this person will spend countless hours as an authority figure with your child.
Even a negative attitude is enough to damage the passion of some of the youngest players.
So find someone who is encouraging and teaches quality stuff!
Great trainers will be able to do these things and more. They will inspire confidence in the player. You will see this reflected in emotional energy on the pitch as well as in physical skill set.
Communication is big
If you have ever taken private lessons of any sort in your life, then you know that schedule [communication] is a game changer.
I think that most trainers who either are young or don’t have kids of their own, just don’t understand that time is valuable. So changing days and times or cancelling same day are bad.
Or what about not showing up? This is one reason my online ball control courses are doing so well, is because players can purchase soccer skills lessons that guarantee to improve your technique. Over a trainer who is not consistent or experienced.
A growing 12 year soccer business
However, NO ONE was doing what Global Fútbol Training was doing. As a matter of fact, almost everything I heard from coaches and trainers here was that I could never make it work, unless I also coach teams.
Fast forward to now – GFT has over 76K monthly blog readers & ranked top 10 soccer training blogs worldwide.
From the homework courses to my 1:1 technical soccer training lessons, you have different choices.
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