Soccer is the word’s most popular sport and it’s quickly gaining popularity in the United States. Among the reasons for soccer’s popularity are its safety, it’s equally suited for both boys and girls, it doesn’t require expensive equipment and everyone gets plenty of play time. Here are some things you should know if your kids are interested the playing soccer.
Even though soccer equipment is very expensive, you need it in order to be completely safe while you play. If you buy sub-par equipment, or if you fail to buy something that you need, you may get injured. Hospital bills will cost a lot more than the cost of decent equipment.
It is against the rules to use any part of your hands or arms, from shoulder to fingertips, to control a soccer ball that is in play. You can use your feet, knees, thighs, stomach, chest and head. Be careful though. A head shot can hurt and you cannot control the ball well with your knees.
Shielding is an important soccer skill. Practice with another person, and try dribbling the ball around in a square. Encourage the other person to try and take the ball away. To be successful, make sure that your body stays between your opponent and the ball. The more you practice, the better you will be in the game.
Learn how to anticipate where the ball is going during a game. You need to know when the ball is going towards you. You also need to know what to do when you do get the ball. Anticipating when you’re defending is important, too. If you can foresee the opponent’s next move, it increases your chances of stopping the movements.
Try using the element of surprise on your opponents. Try not to make your moves so obvious. For example, try putting the ball near the back of the previous defending line while your teammate runs to receive your assistance. Then, try changing your running rhythm, starting quick until your opponent comes at you, then stopping. They’ll stop too, which gives you time to increase your pace again, so that they’re left anchored.
When taking a penalty kick, make sure you use the inside of your foot. This is because you have more control on the inside of your foot. When taking your penalty kick take your time to line up and then kick with controlled force toward the outside of the goal.
Maintaining your ultimate level of fitness will allow you to play your best. It will be harder to play the game if you’re overweight. Watch the types of foods you’re eating as well as the amounts you’re consuming.
When passing the ball make sure that your heel is down and your toes are pointed upward. This allows you to use your foot like a putter. By practicing this technique often, it will soon come naturally when it is time to pass the ball to a teammate during an actual game.
Whenever you practice playing soccer, aim to do your entire practice without stopping. That is because during an actual game, you will not be stopping very often. Therefore, soccer is a very exhausting game that requires you to be in top shape. By practicing long periods of time without stopping, you will get yourself in better shape so that you can improve your games.
Never act selfish on the soccer field. If you are very far away from the goal, it may be a good idea for you to pass the ball to someone that is closer. It may seem like an easy shot, but it may be a bit easier for a teammate to make the shot.
Soccer is a fun but methodical sport. You cannot expect to score every few minutes like in basketball. One mistake many teams make is several players flocking towards the ball. Provide space to your teammates if they have the ball. The best strategy is to triangulate and also keep a player behind the person who has the ball.
Great soccer players are not born – they’re made. Being a good soccer player will require hours upon hours of practice on your part. Remind yourself of this when you get discouraged – most people will need to practice for a total of several hundred hours at least before they achieve a high level of competency.
It is very important for you to stay well hydrated before and after you play a game. While most coaches provide water for the team, you should always bring some along. You don’t want to take a chance on not getting any water and your body starts to become totally dehydrated.
Always warm up your muscles and stretch before a game. This helps prevent injury and keeps you fresh and agile. One of the most common injuries is a hamstring strain. The hamstring is located right above the knee on the back of your leg. You would be surprised at how easy an injury can occur if you don’t stretch your muscles prior to a game.
Set the ground rules before your first practice. By informing your players what is expected of them and what the consequences for not following directions are, you can help set boundaries that your team must follow. This allows your players to understand what is expected from them at each practice.
Blocking the ball can be done in a variety of ways, and you must be okay with placing yourself in front of the ball. Sure, you might take some hits from time to time, but you cannot be scared. Block the ball with your chest, back, or foot. And, use your foot against an opponent to help block and jockey the ball away from the goal. This gets your opponent moving the ball in a different direction.
As you can see, getting kids started playing soccer is quite easy. All that is really needed is a pair of soccer cleats and a set of shin guards. This makes it accessible to virtually everyone, regardless of financial status. Soccer can be the beginning to a lifetime of fitness and will give kids an excellent understanding of teamwork.