Don’t get me wrong, improving your skills in any sport including soccer takes time! So putting in the right amount of time is, obviously, a necessity …
… However, this doesn’t mean that you cannot fasten the learning process quite a bit!
In this article you will find:
- General tips to make your progress fast.
- Specific tips per position where I will provide my favorite guidelines for fast improvement for each soccer position.
Let’s dive in!
General Tips to improve in soccer fast!
1. Don’t sleep on playing without the ball
The important thing to have in mind for improving technical abilities, is that you have to work on improving both abilities with, and without the ball simultaneously!
Ball technique includes ball control, reception, short and long passing play, shots, dribbling.
And the technique without the ball includes running, jumping, walking, turning, stopping, changing direction.
What has made transformed a team like Barcelona from an average team in the early 2000s to a super team couple of years later is that they’ve turned most of their attention to teaching how to be efficient with or without the ball!
2. Receiving the ball is more important than what you’ve might think
When it come to receiving the ball a special attention should be paid to the position of your body.
This technical attribute is an extremely important part of the game and it is crucial to receive the ball from the teammates in an adequate way, so your team’s action can continue and your team can build up the attacking sequence without any interruption.
It is especially important to practice receiving the ball in motion because today’s soccer is characterized by a high level of game and rhythm!
Receiving the ball in motion should be as fast as possible, so you don’t slow down the play of your team and lose attacking momentum.
Adequate reception of the ball allows the player to continue the action of his team or to position himself for a shot on the opponent’s goal.
Important thing to have in mind is that you should practice receiving the ball both when the ball is in the air and when it is on the ground, so you can enhance your agility in the play.
Even something as simple as throwing the ball up into the air and trying to calm it down is something that can improve this ability surprisingly fast.
3. Everything starts with ball control!
Ball control refers to a technical ability after receiving the ball, which represents the level of ease you can handle the ball at your feet.
Learning this type of technique never stops and represents the basis for other skills like dribbling and positioning with the ball.
The trick here is to have as much contact with the ball as you can. Even when at your home, leave some balls lying around the floor, so you can move it around a little every time you pass by.
This will increase your ball awareness level quite fast and enhance your ball control skill.
4. Passing efficiently
You need to constantly practice your pass precision, as this allows the team to create a play and prevents the opponent intercepting the ball and taking possession.
Pass game play is equally important for defense, midfielders and attackers in the team.
Besides precision, attention should be paid to body position and balance, as well as your foot work.
You should be able pass the ball with different parts of the foot, as this will make you a more versatile player.
Also, in order to increase the variety of your game, you should pay attention to improving both short, medium and long passes.
Give yourself regular challenges, like passing the ball between two cones, or into the bucket. Play one pass games with your teammates. All this will improve your passing accuracy.
5. Create opportunities by dribbling …
A soccer match is characterized by a constant duel game and battle for the ball possession. Working on improving your dribbling can help you with moving the ball away from the opponents.
Dribbling should be perfected both when the opponent is behind and when he is in front of you.
Improving dribbling is very important because it is one of the strongest weapons of attacking movements. Dribbling can be practiced with the help of cones in training.
Arrange the cones in a line or scattered around and move around them or between them. When working on perfecting dribbling, move from a slower to a faster rhythm.
Move the ball quickly as you can, keeping your head raised for a better overview of the game. This is something you can practice even at your home.
6. Solidify every skill with your endurance!
Do not forget that soccer requires high intensity training and competitiveness!
In order to accomplish all the drills and to handle all the 90 minutes of the game, you have to work on improving your endurance level.
Without adequate endurance and stamina, you will not be able to stand the high tempo of sessions, and you will definitely slow down your progress.
Endurance is the most important physical aspect that a soccer player should possess and is a precondition for skill improvement.
Always have some aerobic or fitness exercises as a part of your training schedule, as this will raise your fitness level and make you more endurable.
Make a plan that includes at least fast walking as a regular exercise, and this will enhance your endurance and stamina level greatly.
Tips, Drills and Techniques per Soccer Position to Improve Fast …
Goalkeeper’s role in today’s soccer is a lot more active and diversified than before!
His task is to not only save the goal, but also actively to encourage teammates, send instructions to the defensive line, and he is involved in the opening stages of the attack.
There are key areas you should work on, in order to improve your goalkeeping abilities.
Communicate with your teammates all the time. It is an important attribute for you to work on and a goalkeeper’s ability to organize his own defense by constantly talking about where the opposing player is free and which player should be guarded.
This role is very important for the stability and reliability of the last line of the team.
Follow the game all the time and warn if there is danger in front of you. Encourage yourself to constantly give instructions to your teammates during training drills.
Work actively on your ball handling. This one refers to the ability of catching the ball.
One of the main attributes of a goalkeeper, where he should tame strong and difficult shots of opponents’.
When this attribute is at a high level, the goalkeeper will not drop the ball but keep it in his possession.
Best way to practice this is with shooting drills with your goalkeeping coach and teammates.
Practice rushing out on the opponents. Work on the ability to run for the ball in front of the goal. Your job is to rush in front of your area and clear the situation.
Today, goalkeepers have the role of third stopper and they must be prepared to run out of their penalty area and react proactively and stop the opponent’s attack. Practice 1 on 1 situations on training, as well as 2 on 1 situations.
This will make you train positioning in front of the goal, close the attacker’s approach to the goal, and increase your agility level (You can also learn how you can effectively improve your positioning for soccer) …
Develop a tendency to punch the ball. You should use this technique when the opponent’s shot is extremely strong, when it is coming from a difficult angle, or when the game is played in rainy weather.
If the goalkeeper is not sure that he can catch the ball, this is the most acceptable solution as it will clear the danger in front of the goal quickly.
2. Central Defense
The main task of a defensive player is to prevent the attacker from scoring a goal. In order for defensive players to be successful in this task and duel game in front of their own goal area, they must have a high level of physical and motor skills.
Constant work on speed, jump, and strength is a prerequisite for a successful play against opposing attackers.
Improve your motor skills. You are able to use many different pieces of equipment, such as cones, ladder, hoops… There are many different runs you can make, for example with working with ladders:
one leg per field run, both legs in one field, work sideway run on both sides, two steps forward with one step back, enter one field from the left and exit to the right, etc.
Be sure to work your legs quickly and your knees as high as possible. Repeat 5 sets for each of these exercises.
Work on your heading. A defensive player must have a good heading game. This allows them to easily clear out the danger in front of the goal.
Also, heading game can be quite useful when it comes to attacking set pieces. Practice this at training. Place one player on a shortened corner and inside the penalty area two stoppers with two strikers.
The task of the stopper is to throw the ball with his head and eliminate the danger.
Appropriate tackling. Taking away the ball from your opponents must be the main feature of any defensive player.
Here the important part is to stay focused on the movement of the opponent and the ball itself, so you can react accordingly.
Practice game-like situations such as 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 situations in training, as this will prepare you for competitive matches.
Some other important attributes of a defensive player are concentration, anticipation or reading of the opponent’s game, as well as passing play because of an active role in the opening stage of the attack of his team.
3. Full Backs & Wingers
Full Backs and wingers play on both sides of the field.
Their main task in defense is to prevent penetration of the opposing team and center shots and breakthroughs through the flanks in the opponent’s offensive actions.
Improve physical fitness level. Fitness level of these players must be at the maximum possible level.
They are constantly running on their side, have a large radius of movement and therefore must be impeccably prepared. You should include fitness and strength exercises as a part of your training sessions and daily routine.
Speed, agility and explosiveness. Key attributes for these positions. Time of reaction is very important for the success of resolving defensive tasks and situations on the side.
The strongest attacking weapon of the wingers should be dribbling and running by the side of the field. Include running around and dribbling around the cones as an essential part of your training.
A double pass move. This move is essential for the circulation of the ball on the side and the opening of the game.
Arrange the cones alternately and play one-two pass between them with your teammate. Try to keep the play with maximum of two, and then one touch.
This is an important move to practice as it is an important aspect of the cooperation between defenders and wingers in the game.
Work on your passing game. Practicing this attribute must be constant and routine activity at training drills.
Especially when it comes to passing the ball into an empty space. The exercise you can apply is the following: place the defender and the winger in their position.
The ball should be into defender’s possession, he plays the pass to the wing and goes around his back. Winger sends the ball into the empty space in the front, the defender collects the ball and directs the pass towards the attackers.
Midfielders have a key task to connect the plays of the team and defensive and attacking lines.
In order to be successful at this task, you can improve several skills.
Improve your ball control. This represents the ease of handling the ball and moving it around. The player must have enough confidence when the ball is in his possession in order to keep the ball and continue the actions of the team.
Practice dribbling drills such as figure eight or the minefield exercise.
Work on your creativity. As a midfielder, you must be a visionary. This is an essential part of their game, especially when playing the role of playmaker.
Practice finding original solutions and try different alternatives for a play. Training drill that can help you is practicing passing with multiple players in the field.
Their job is to position themselves in a way to receive the pass, whether around defensive players, or stationery mannequins. You need to assess all the options available to you and find the best alternative.
This “try and error” approach will help you feel more comfortable later in the game, and you will feel free to try new solutions.
Passing the ball around. Midfielders must be able to combine defensive with attacking returns and are in charge of organizing their team’s plays and tactics implementation.
Passing game is the crucial part of their activities and they must move the ball around with precision and power.
Advanced ball reception. Good ball reception allows the team to continue their play. Midfielder must receive the ball and pass it further accordingly.
You need to constantly practice the directed reception of the ball in a certain, empty space.
Game overview. Players in the midfield should have a good visual perception of the game. Before the ball comes into their possession they need to know what to do with it.
Fast handover of the ball is a feature of a modern midfielder. The ball should be directed where the grouping of opposing players is the smallest.
Practice receiving the ball with a turn, and playing in a limited area.
In exercises for midfielders, it is necessary to practice keeping the ball in a small space area in a 5 v 5 or 6 v 6 game. Also, these games can have auxiliary players on the side who help the teams that are inside.
They are expected to score goals and realize chances. Every striker would have to possess several important attributes for this position.
Work on your finishing attribute. This represents the ability of turning chances into a goal. The attacker must be concentrated and realize the chances and opportunities in which he finds himself.
Practicing kicks from different angles as well as kicks with a stronger and weaker foot are the need of every attacker.
Stay with the goalkeeper after training, let the assistant coach send the balls to you and shoot as many shots on goal as possible. This way you practice hitting the ball and taking your chances.
Always keep your calmness. Especially important in 1 v 1 situations. Usually attackers who did not invest a lot of time in improving this segment of the game will not be confident in these situations and will miss their chances.
You have to remain calm, so you can evaluate your options with a cool head.
Remember to move around when off the ball. The striker should always offer solutions to midfielders where to send the ball to him. He must run around and always scan the field for potential openings.
Dribbling is your best friend. Attackers should have the ability of running past the opposing defensive player with the ball in his feet. Practice 1 v 1 or 2 v 2 situations in a limited area in training to practice this segment of the game.
This is a key element for creating additional space for you up front.
You must be an agile player. It shows how the player uses a small and limited space. Exercise you can apply here to improve this ability is to arrange 4 cones of different colors in a small space.
The striker is in the middle of that space and at the sign of the coach’s color, he runs to the cone of appropriate color and back.
Final Thoughts …
Really hope this article was not too long for your liking, but I really had to go through all the positions out there to see what each one of them requires to ensure a fast improvement …
… However, I really don’t advice you to focus on that! That’s not my style anyway. I generally prefer to take my time so I will make sure that I master every skill there is and apply that to my actual games.
Finaly, for more info, you definitely should have check these important soccer skills for adults … you will find them really useful!