Football Training – The 3 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid
Football training has changed dramatically, and what you think you know is probably not the most effective way to train. Take it from a recent former professional soccer player who understands behind the scenes that what you learn there is likely to be counterproductive. What do I mean by that?
Well, the best way to become the best football player you can, or if you are a coach, the best way to educate your football players is through effective football training. If you’re still doing exercises that have you standing in line for minutes waiting for your turn, you’re probably making your first mistake.
Drills are dead! First of all, I would like to clarify for the coaches what I mean by an “exercise.” If you have players waiting for their turn to play, you are simply wasting training time. If you’re working on offensive strategies, make sure your defense isn’t working on defensive strategies as well.
In addition, players should work on more individual skills simultaneously, each having a ball to work on touch exercises or passing with a partner, or they should work on personal improvements in their own time. This brings me to error number two.
While practice is great for team building and team chemistry if you want to take their skills to the next level, make sure you or your players practice individually. Think of football training as a time to use all your efforts and prepare them for the game situation. I saw my football skills explode during the off-season when I decided to train instead of joining another club team.
Did you know that the average time a player has the ball in a given game is only 9-15 seconds? So you have to understand that the time you have the ball is extremely important. It is equally important to know that the free time of the ball has to be even sharper, as that is the majority of the game.
How do you do that exactly? Moreso, what do you have to learn? These are both common questions I get.
There are a few things to think about to make you a game-changing player when you think of football. Individual skills, speed, fitness, and what I call your football IQ, which can outperform people on the field, are just a few aspects of comprehensive football training. You also need to know exactly where to be, your teammates, and where to get the ball. Great players have great football IQs, which doesn’t happen by accident. It comes through practice, understanding, and most importantly, great guidance from an expert coach.
The third mistake people make is, without a doubt, the biggest.
Now, this may come as a big shock to you, but let’s think about the 9 seconds you have on average per game on the ball. What do you do for the rest of the game? Your support helps other players to defend certain areas of the field, and you make runs in space. What do these all have in common?
Of course, while they need some physical running, which is easy to train, they are mostly mental.
Most people, especially in America, tend to play soccer physically. I was almost always the smallest but most effective player on the field because I was constantly outsmarting people. How do you know if you should go for a slide tackle or jockey the defender? Do you then have to push the attacking player to the sidelines, so he has no place to go, or do you have to turn him into another teammate who supports you?
These are all things that coaches don’t do when teaching kids. Please don’t make that mistake! I cannot emphasize that enough. There is a huge line between being a footballer and a great footballer. But there’s a super thin line between a great footballer and an epic footballer that people will remember, want to play with, and be afraid to play against.
This starts with the right guidance, the right mental mindset, and the right football training.
Football has been and will always be conceived as a sport of mistakes. It is who makes fewer mistakes and who can profit from other teams’ mistakes. You are a coach, a parent, or a footballer looking to become great; remember that it all starts with your football training.
If you want to visit us, if you’re going to learn the latest and most effective football training system you’re there, make sure to pick up the free Epic Soccer Training Guide.