A question some soccer parents have asked in regards to fancy skills is “will they actually use this in a game?” It all depends on the players personality, how much they practice and if it’s a useful skill. There are many “skills” that are terrible and should never be taught. Things like Brazilian Toe Taps… It just doesn’t make sense to work on things that even a skillful pro player wouldn’t use. Let’s dive into what you should learn and practice.
Definition of skills
First of all, skills [as defined by Encarta Dictionaries] is ‘the ability to do something well, usually gained through training or experience.’
Therefore, it’s very important that you spend your time wisely.
The fundamentals are by far most important.
Once a player is consistent in passing short with both feet, they should add in some fancy skills to boost love for the ball.
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Fancy skills players need to work on more
More players need to work on controlling the ball with the bottom of the foot.
This fancy skill is important for game play because it gives you more tools to use in different situations.
You can dribble and trap the ball using the soles.
Being fast and good on the field is not enough if you want to be YOUR best.
However, a balance is required for quality play and ball control, which allows the athlete to set the game tempo and direction.
When I have new trainee’s oftentimes I’ll have them dribble 20 yards however they want…
Usually players only use the inside of the feet… If somewhat trained, they’ll use the laces.
Very rarely will they touch the ball with different parts of the feet.
“The most skillful players can use all surfaces of the feet.”
High level teenagers lacking skill
We have 14 yr old players who play on the National Team who do not know these skills when they come to us.
I tell players “you don’t have to do this in a game or know it to be a good soccer player.”
You need to be aggressive, talk, work hard, pass and receive the ball to be a great player.
After 3-6 hours of good personal training, you should see a difference.
The more an athlete works at home the better!
We do not expect them to do this in a game for 4-10 months, but they will be more composed on the ball, evidenced within the first 3 weeks, which will create better game play.
Best age to start learning fancy skills
It all depends on the player…
Some kids ages 6 and 7 can pick up most things you show them.
If a young players between 6-9 years old can perform basic drills, they can start up on SOME fancy skills.
On the contrary, I’ve seen great athletes [age 14 – 22] who play high level due to athleticism, yet have little skill. After only a few hours of working on the Magic course lessons they feel and see amazing improvement.
“The younger a player starts, the better. Although consistency is key”
Drills to practice at home
No matter how old or good you are there are a few things you should always work on.
Fundamental passing… Meaning, inside of the foot getting high reps from 2-5 yards.
You can use a wall or rebounder to get quantity… 6 rebounders worth buying
In addition, you can develop your first touch on the ground and in the air.
Stationary exercises when you don’t have much space are always good for home training.
Try these 500 touches in 3 minutes – video.
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