Whatís the best way to get better at soccer?
Is there a short cut to success? Yeah, everyone says there are NO short cuts in life. However, there is actually one short cut to getting better at soccer: play with older and, more importantly, play with players who are better than you are. Here is a step by step guide as to why!
If you play with players who are better than you are you can suck up all the knowledge theyíve gained over the years, from feints, to runs, to the way they cut or the way they shield the ball. By playing with players who are better than you itís like compound interest, your money, meaning your skills, will start to compound and grow. Your skills will improve at a faster rate. Itís like money in the bank, gaining more interest over time and earning more money off of that interest.
Speed of Play
And one thing youíll find is the speed of play picks up when you play with players who are better and more experienced than you are. They play faster and simpler which will force you to do the same.
Interestingly though, the game slows down in a way, it becomes more chess like. Where the ball moves at a faster clip but players around you arenít running around wildly. Instead, runs are timed and gauged at just the right moment as players check back to receive the ball, lay it off, and then make another run. The game becomes one and two touch, with all the dribbling taking place at those rare moments where a player is one versus one and thereís space behind the defender to attack. Think Barcelona. Think Arsenal.
Next, and perhaps one of the things youíll find the most different from when youíre playing with younger players, is the way top-level players communicate. Players demand the ball at a higher level, and players always want the ball Ė calling for it because that went to contribute and make something happen. Players shout turn, man on, hold it, take them on, youíve got time. Overall, thereís just much more vocal direction going on with experienced players. But donít let this intimidate you, jut take it in stride as players around you trying to help you and learn to give direction when you make a pass yourself.
But again, the key is to play with players who are better than you are and to find a mentor. Someone whose style of play and skills you admire. At Barcelona, when Guardiola was playing, he was a mentor to Xavi. When Ronaldinho played at Barcelona, he was a mentor to the Lionel Messi. Sure, we all canít have mentors like Ronaldinho or Guardiola, but we can play with players who are better than us and went to pass along their knowledge.
While many players might not think they can learn anything from a soccer coaching DVD, there is one training DVD thatís received a lot of positive feedback, and thatís the Coerver Coaching series, and specifically, the Make Your Move DVDs.