Pressure. Coping with it is one of the most difficult things to master. It is especially difficult to deal with in big games, as Goalden’s own Phil talks about here. In soccer, it often turns players who are really good in practice, into players who choke in the game…they simply can’t produce. Pressure will force you to make decisions that you otherwise wouldn’t in a normal state of mind/body.
It’s good to have routines in soccer. These include pre-game routines, training routines and routines that you do the week leading up to a big game. Some players even become superstitious hoping that will be the difference in playing well or not.
You never know when if you’ll be coaching one day. If so, wouldn’t it be great to have a binder full of exercises and training sessions already prepared? If you don’t plan on coaching, it still wouldn’t hurt to take notes of what you did as this is a great way to continually learn about the game of soccer. You’ll also be able to track your progress more accurately.
Do you think you’re in good shape? Good enough shape to run 12km in a 90 minute soccer game if you play center midfield? If you play the wing, are you ready to make fifty 35-yard sprints up and down the field? These are some of the distances and speeds professional soccer players will run.
Each of us have thought of quitting the game of soccer for a variety of reasons. If not quitting, taking some time off. This blog is to encourage you not to quit or take that time off the game you enjoy playing so much. Instead, I’ll share a few ideas that will encourage you to continue playing and make more lasting memories.
I recently watched a video by the famous life coach Anthony “Tony” Robbins and couldn’t help but think that this is exactly what soccer players need to watch and hear. Many people incorrectly label Tony as a motivational speaker. Tony is not a motivation speaker, Tony is a life coach. What’s the difference? A motivational speaker can be anybody; it is someone who understands all the trends that lead to success and then tells others about these theories. Life coaches like Tony, on the other hand, are proven professionals. He has actually taken his message, gone out into the world and challenged people to change their lives. He has proven over and over that when you align your life goals with your life practices – or as Tony refers to it as “standards” and “rituals” – you can become better than ever at whatever it is you want.
I recently came across this goal from Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes. Many soccer players in North America haven’t even heard of this club. When I heard Manchester United signed one of their strikers, Bebé, I had to look them up. Scoring a goal like the one below is extremely difficult and requires much practice but there are a few things one can learn from watching it over and over again that will help you perfect scoring a goal like this.
When we talk about the best goals in soccer, every person on this planet will have a different opinion as to what that goal is and who scored it. There are amazing displays of skill where players take on an entire team and there are instances where a player scores a goal that requires great skill i.e. a bicycle kick. These types of goals make you jump out of your chair and cheer. But what about those goals that happen every now and then that leave you stunned. You have no words and you try to pick your jaw off the ground. These are the goals that are scored by soccer greats who have tricks up their sleeves some of us could only dream of. One of the best players of all time, Zico, scored a goal that only he can explain best:
When you ask someone who they think the best players of all time are you will often get answers like Pele, Zinedine Zidane, Diego Maradona, or from the modern crowd you will get answers like Ronaldinho, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – and rightfully so! But what about players like Marco Van Basten and Johan Cruyff? Do you even know who these players are? Unfortunately, the modern day soccer player does not have these players on their radar. These soccer legends had just as much skill and talent as did Pele, Maradona, Zidane and etc. The soccer legends of today had to look up to someone as we look up to them, and it is these players that they looked up to. These are the players they mimicked; these are the players they learned from.
Free-kicks in soccer have been discussed in previous blogs on Goalden but after recently coming across a new video that breaks down how David Beckham takes a free-kick I felt it was worth re-visiting this and sharing a few key points that stood out for me. Some of the point are listed below. They are also routinely missed, if not completely ignored by many players. Watch the video of David Beckham below and look for the following bullet points. Then in training try to apply them to your own free-kick.