The fun in soccer comes from being able to move the ball around and control where you want the ball to go. Players, even the newest ones, must start working on skills from day one and if they work on soccer skills, they will see great progress fast.
To make soccer skills as useful as possible, we must ensure any drill that we are doing targets the desired skill and is based off soccer fundamentals. Players need to start out doing easy soccer skills and start at the basics. Start by doing individual drills such as dribbling, and work on dribbling up and down the sideline using both feet. Then we can move on to using cones to add targets of where we are trying to go when we dribble and then add players or push the pace to increase the rigor of the drill. Of course these need to be individualized according to what the player needs to work on and according to their skill level.
When players need to have individualized drills to target certain skills that is taking into effect that players do not want to add too many elements too early. If we are targeting dribbling, then why are we having students pass and shoot at the end when they still lack the skills to dribble? If we are working on dribbling, let’s dribble, and when it is time to work on shooting we will work on that, another words take time to isolate skills you want to practice.
Keeping the fundamentals of soccer in mind we have to be sure when players are learning about moving the ball they also learn about how the ball can be moved with the top, bottom, inside, and outside of the foot. All these parts of the foot can be used differently and at different times depending on what the player is trying to do and it is important players learn about this at an early age. As players skill level increases with easy soccer skills like, basic dribbling, then they can move up to try out more complex maneuvers.
Fundamentals will always trump raw ability. What does that mean? Amazing speed and powerful players will always lose to good athletes who have a good set of fundamental skills. Running fast doesn’t matter if the player cannot dribble, or time a steal. Technique and a set of fundamentals are the most important in becoming a great soccer player.
As with developing any new skills, players will continue with basic skills until they have a mastery level for those basic level skills. Once they can master those basic skills they will increase their play and the game of soccer will get much more enjoyable. The more players work with the ball the greater their chances of improving. Easily said: get out there, work on developing solid basic skills and fundamentals, thus getting better at soccer.