Are you desperate to be the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? Think you’ve got the raw talent to make it big in the game you love? Then what follows are some basic guidelines to help you succeed in soccer. Follow them, and you just might find yourself scoring the winning goal for your country in a future world cup final, or lifting up a league trophy in celebration whilst wearing the colours of your favourite team.
Tip 1 – Work, work, and work some more!
This guideline essentially underpins all of the others. Hard work is the cornerstone of achievement – ask any soccer great and that’s what they’ll tell you. It isn’t a coincidence that the world’s finest players are most often those who can be found out on the training pitch first thing in the morning before anyone else, and whose cars are the last to leave the club car park at the end of the day.
Practice makes perfect – it really is as simple as that. So make sure you get out there and rehearse your skills at every opportunity (without, of course, compromising on your studies, as these are equally important), and never, ever rest on your laurels – no matter how good you get or think you are, there is always room for improvement!
Tip 2 – Get some Good Coaching
Practicing by yourself can only get you so far. There’s no substitute for joining a team and getting some good, regular coaching advice and match experience. Doing so also provides a platform for getting scouted by professional clubs. Check out your local teams or enquire into joining your school team. Before making your choice, go to see some teams train or play and try to identify one that practises a style of football that you think would suit your game.
If you’re already a member of a team and think you need more exposure to the talent scouts, you could visit the UK Football Trials website and book a training session that will get you in front of as many scouts as possible. Click here for more information.
Tip 3 – Study the Game
Learn from the masters by carefully studying the soccer matches you watch. A good thing to do is to pay specific attention to a certain player that you would like to model your own game on. Watch how they move on and off the ball, observe the positions they take up and the runs they make, and see how they implement their technique. Then, the next time you’re in a game, try to imitate the things you have seen.
Doing this will make you a more effective player and improve your overall understanding of the game.
Tip 4 – Stay fit and Healthy
The modern game is fast and unrelenting, and professional footballers have to keep themselves at peak physical condition to ensure they can compete. This means adhering to a strict diet and avoiding smoking or drinking, as well as putting in hard hours out on the training field and in the gym to keep up stamina and strength.
Keeping your body agile and fit allows you to get the very best out of your skills and gives you the competitive edge needed to succeed in elite-level soccer, so ensure you stay healthy by eating the right foods and taking regular exercise.
Wendy Lin is an entrepreneur and a mother to three young boys. She is a proud “soccer mum” and enjoys taking her family on many travelling adventures with her company.