10 Basic Soccer Tips For Any Age
Sometimes as soccer coaches and parents, we overcomplicate the sport of soccer. We are all guilty of it especially when you mix in the emotions and adrenaline.
As parents, you want the best out of your children and that’s usually seeing them succeed.
As coaches, you want to bring the best out of your players, which sometimes means pushing them to the limits.
If we take a GIANT step back, here are my ten soccer tips to put young players in a position to succeed!
My Top Soccer Tips (Practical & Timeless)
Master 3 Skills (That’s All)
To be an effective soccer player at any age, you should master passing, dribbling, and shooting…in this order. Keep working on the basics. This is what 70% of the game is all about. The other 30% is your mentality and work rate.
You Can Be a Great Defender By Working Hard
To be a great defender, you really don’t need too many skills. Sure, you should be able to run and turn quickly. But, if you have a high work rate, you could become a very good defender.
Some of the best defenders are always near the ball. They aren’t the strongest or the fastest but they just get a toe on the ball twenty times a game.
Reps Over New
I would rather see a player make 100 passes off the wall every day than try new individual drills that they see on YouTube. I think we are sometimes drawn to the flashy stuff on social media but when you stick to the basics and you do them many times over, you’ll naturally become a better player.
Run With Purpose
Don’t run around the soccer field for the sake of running. Instead, make sure every run is with intention and purpose. Otherwise, you’ll be better off walking and conserving your energy.
Look Good, Feel Good
It may sound a bit superficial but I think when you wear cleats and a uniform that makes you feel good, you play better.
For us adults, I know you can relate. When you put nicer clothes on, you feel good and your mood is typically brighter. When you’re in your sweats, you just end up watching Dateline on the couch.
Have some drip and become a better soccer player.
Work On Your Body
Your body is your biggest asset. It can also be your biggest liability.
Luckily, you can improve your body every day. Eating healthy, stretching, sleeping, and exercising contribute to a healthier body.
For kids under 12, work on developing good habits. You can also work on your speed, quickness, agility, and other body movements.
For teens and older, you can work on strengthening your upper and lower body. As you play more competitive soccer, this will matter more.
Learn to Love Losing & Winning
It’s okay to lose. It’s also okay to win. If you want to become a better soccer player, it will take time. With time comes a lot of games. You’ll lose many of them. You might even lose ten in a row. This is okay…love it…learn from it.
If you win, learn to love it no matter what society tells us. It’s also okay to love winning. It can naturally fuel us to keep going.
Get Off Your Phone
Your phone can be the biggest obstacle to your development. The dopamine that you get on the soccer field won’t compare to what you get from your phone. Our phones are designed to give us quick, easy wins. How can soccer drills outshine that?
I see too many young kids constantly scrolling through TikTok and Instagram way too much. By the time they get to practice or a game, their brain is fried. This is when decisions become slower and your motivation to play well suffers.
Limit your screen time dramatically if you want to become a better soccer player.
As a young athlete, sometimes you just need to watch a motivational video. Other times, you need to take five minutes to yourself and think about what you can do to be better. Sometimes, you need to miss soccer in order to appreciate it.
Whatever the case may be for you. Figure out what motivates you and do more of it. You want to get into peak state as much as you can.
(Don’t get it from your phone)
Compete Against Yourself
Your opponents will come and go. If you are serious about continuing to play soccer for many more years, you need to become a better version of yourself. It’s that simple.
There’s no point in looking left or right when the person in the mirror is who you are. From ages 5 to 16, development should be your priority. Develop your game at your own pace with coaches and trainers to push you through what you should strive for.