In 2008 I started Global Futbol Training in the ‘great recession’ and not only was the economy low, but so was the amount of private trainers. Even till this day you won’t find too many if any full time trainers who teach private soccer lessons for their only job, supporting a family. Most coaches who offer private soccer lessons are club, HS, college coaches or they have another day job. Or they run some sort of indoor or futsal league. Either way, you want to find a good skills trainer who teaches the right stuff at the right time. Note: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
Improving your mechanics [form] is key in soccer
Have you ever heard the saying “You can work hard, but if your not doing it right what’s the point?” Well now you have and this is how soccer is for a lot of players. There are so many hard working players who are not getting the teaching they deserve. And that’s why you are seeing training online becoming popular. Instead of getting the same old training from your team coach, players are getting online to get what works. I launched my online skills courses in January of 2017 and we have had new clients buying my online courses all the way from California, Michigan, Louisiana, Arizona, Texas, Colorado and even as far as Canada, Europe & India. The thing they are all amazed with is how quality the video is and how fast they improve.
Team coaches can’t teach you what you need
Even if you have one of the best coaches in America or the World you just can’t get enough reps or teaching. The main area’s that private soccer lessons will help you is your shooting and finishing. Even if there is a small group of 4 players, you are having to share all the soccer balls. There are certain things that you can do better in a small group, but finishing is by far the best thing for your time and money. Think about all the ways you can finish on goal. The cool thing about private lessons is not only are you improving your finishing, but also your short and long passes. Again, small groups or large groups have their strengths. Example, large groups in my opinion are best for improving your speed of play. This means being able to get the ball and get rid of it fast.
Boosting player confidence with positive affirmation
When you do something good, does it feel nice to hear positive feedback or get detailed correction? Of course it does. So imagine getting this once a week in your own private soccer lessons. Someone in your corner to tell you good job when you do good or to hear “it’s okay – no problem” when you mess up. Because in private soccer lessons you are going to mess up. Or at least you should. If you are only doing easy things that are fun to you then you are not improving your weaknesses. It’s good to also work on strengths, but it has to be a mix. Working on shooting or passing with both your weak foot and strong foot (left and right foot).
Best skills to work on in private soccer lessons
For players that are not new to the game, working on things you can’t practice on your own are best. But if you are new to soccer, Footskills and dribbling are the first things that needs to be addressed. This helps players fall in love with the ball and makes soccer more fun. But if the player is already good at this element, than working on your first touch trapping, passing and finishing. When you watch pro soccer the main thing you will notice is how good they are at trapping and passing the ball. This is the game of soccer/football/futbol!
When I train USYNT (US Youth National Team) players, college player or pro players I am going to work on first touch passing & finishing every time. Getting both feet reps that they can’t get at team practice or on their own. Many of my students work on their footskills/ball control/dribbling on their own using my online skills courses, so that when they work with me 1on1, we do things they can’t practice on their own. This way they fast track their development, instead of wasting time doing with me what they can do on their own.
What young academy players should practice
Always trying to improve both feet with the short pass. So partner drills working on 1 passing from 5-10 yards away. Even the top teams in Europe practice 1 touch passing for 5 minutes straight. The problem for youth players in America and most parts of the world is they think since it’s easy they don’t need to practice. Footskills/Dribbling with both feet, using all surface areas of the foot. So using the inside, laces, outside laces and sole.
Soccer coaches should teach many elements
Most players this age 6-9 are only comfortable using the inside of the feet. So forcing them to dribble using the outside of the foot is very helpful. Besides dribbling you also want to work on receiving throw-ins and volley drills. These drills are also going to get academy players ahead of their peers. I think that kids as young as 6-7 years old should start to be introduced to trapping the ball with the inside of their back foot.
How to open up the hips to receive in soccer
In doing this you can take it to another level and work on opening up the hips before receiving the ball. Opening up the hips allows the player to be able to play out another direction faster. Kids this young [ages 6-9] who are doing private lessons or small group skills training will be able to get ahead technically. This means they can start to work on things that the older player work on. There are players in college who are not good at this because they were not properly trained. For the older players it now takes them longer to get comfortable on the ball.
High School players focus should be
First touch, passing with both feet short and long. Striking with the laces, bending balls with the inside and outside of the foot. Super clean with volley drills using both the inside and laces. If these are easy then instead of your partner tossing from 4 yards away have them toss from 10 yards away. Guaranteed to challenge you! Other partner drills of 3 players redirecting the volley using different techniques. High School players need to be working on everything. I could write a full article on this, so instead I will leave it at these vital elements of the game.
College and Pro players using private soccer lessons
No matter how old you are there is never a time where you should think you don’t need to keep improving. Even Carli Lloyd has her own private soccer lessons in New Jersey, where her private trainer has worked with her for years. Then you have another Women’s Pro Player and USWNT Player Taylor Smith who works with me in her off-season in Texas. Check out these highlights of Taylor Smith & I here.
So many college and pro players are at that level due to their athletic ability. So if you are not working on your own you will mostly likely fall off the map at some point. There are too many people working hard to not want to do the same. The best players in every sport are the ones who work on their own, outside of team practice.
Private soccer coaches across America
Youth soccer clubs across America are doing a great job developing players. Most of these players will tell you at some point or on going, they learned a lot of their soccer skills from a skills trainer. In most cities you can find a few people who offer private soccer training on the side. Some of you [my readers] have expressed that it’s hard to find private soccer coaches in your area. So for those who have the resources use them if you are looking to improve and feel good about your passion. I have personally lived in the “Bay Area” Northern California, Southern California, Denver, Colorado, Dallas, Texas experiencing youth soccer. Even though all of these are hotbeds for youth soccer, none of them really have private soccer training companies. But again, you can find college students or team coaches.