When you are dribbling the ball, it is extremely important that the ball stays very close to your foot at all times. Your foot should act as a velcro to the ball. But why is this? Whats the benefit of dribbling this way?
Professional athletes at large are overpaid and overpriced. No athlete is worth $2 million dollars a year, $20 million dollars a year or $200 million dollars a year. With the marketplace having such an influential role in sports nowadays, the possibilities are endless for professional athletes’ contracts.
You can tap into the contract of any athlete in any sport and make a case for the absurdity of the figures involved (i.e. David Beckham signed a contract with the LA Galaxy for $250 million dollars over 5 years).
Ignoring the fact that the cheques these athletes are getting is disturbing, every now and then we come across a case where an athlete is being mis-treated and under-paid relative to the contracts of some of the other players involved.
I have been following the MLS team Toronto FC quite closely this season. Watching this franchise game in and game out has unfortunately developed some frustrations rather than joys. Aside from the fact that they were not strong enough to make the playoffs this year, there was one other thing that really bothered me: Julian De Guzman.
Everyone, at one point or another, has been introduced to the magical skill of some of the best soccer players ever to grace the game. The 1986 World Cup saw Maradona take on an entire team from half field and score a goal for the ages. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi essentially copy & pasted Maradona’s effort and went through an entire team to score an almost identical goal. Ronaldinho has pranced through so many players and teams that its difficult to pinpoint just one effort. But where my girls at?
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.
Zinedine Zidane is a legend. He has proved over and over that he is one of the best players of his generation, and potentially of all time. Zidane’s resume consists of two Serie A titles with Italy’s Juventus, and two La Liga titles and a Champions League with Real Madrid. Maybe most importantly he was part of a French national squad that won the 1998 World Cup. As if all this was not enough to include him among the greats, he was voted FIFA World Player of the Year four times in 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
You’re a good dribbler, you have an accurate shot, your conditioning is top notch. You are a great team player and do whatever the coach asks of you. However, in games there are situations you fall short in certain areas. Perfecting these areas of skill will ultimately separate you as one of the better players. It is important to educate yourself in these areas so that you become a complete player. Below are some of the skills individual players perform very poorly. I have shared some tips on how you can improve in these areas.
When I was a little kid each summer all I wanted to do was play soccer. And every summer my parents sent me several hours away for a couple weeks to camp sites where I could have new experiences in life. We did a number of camping activities including swimming, kayaking, hiking, and probably all the other camping activities you can think of. But one day there was a big soccer tournament for all the boys. Not only were we playing a soccer tournament but it was being played on the beach. I was only ten at the time and was playing against boys my own age and several years older.
Some teams and players become predictable in how they play, move the ball and options they chose on the field. Whether you have a scouting report or not try to learn as much about how your opposition plays when the game starts. I always like to take the first few minutes of the game and watch exactly what the opposition is doing. Analyze and study then.
More than ever, you can watch soccer games on tv and see the excessive diving and acting involved in the game. With slow motion replays and hundreds of camera angles, every instant is caught and replayed over and over. For the people live at a game, it might not be as apparent as events unravel very quickly and do not allow for much observation to occur. However, the tv allows people to dissect a situation ten times over. With the internet, plays can be cut out and made into a video for the whole world to see and process (i.e. YouTube).
A player’s mindset and a team’s mindset is very important. There are different mindsets that are necessary for different situations. During a practice, one needs to be ready to work just as hard, if not harder, than he should would in a game. Prior to a game, there has to be focus and motivation. Prior to a big game, however, there has to be determination.