Friday, 18 February 2011

Coaching 101

Football can easily be touted as the king of all sports. Almost every nation on this planet is associated with the football body, FIFA. Such a huge popularity of this sport carries with itself the intense competition at all levels.
Therefore, it becomes quite imperative that players are well trained to compete in this global arena. Thus, coach's role comes into play. It is very important that the coach devises a properly planned training program so that his players' efficiency and skills can be developed.
Coaches around the world employ various drilling exercises. Some of them are mentioned below:
1) Ball Control: Ball control is the first and foremost important thing that a budding soccer player has to develop if he/she wants to play at professional level. First touch is an integral part of keeping the ball in your possession. You must move towards the ball, reducing the chances of ball interception. Your body weight must be on the non kicking foot while getting behind the ball. As the ball comes to you, withdraw your kicking foot slightly on impact. Never rush. Repeat this exercise over and over again to gain control over the ball.
2) Passing: Using the inside of the foot is the best way to pass the ball, as it is the flattest part of the foot. Make sure that your knees are bent. Weighing, i.e. the force with which you kick the ball determines the accuracy of the pass. A well balanced movement and eyes on the ball till the very last moment would go a long way in improving your passing.

3) Heading: Heading is an important skill that you must develop to control the ball when it's air borne. Using your forehead is the best way to head the ball as it gives you a better control over the ball. Never take your eyes of the ball while heading as it would lead to inaccuracy. The key element is your positioning. Get in line with the ball while keeping your head, neck and back in straight line. Attack the ball rather than waiting for the ball to come to you.
4) Shooting: Combination of power and accuracy determines the effectiveness of your shot. Top part of the foot is the best place to hit the ball with power. The non kicking foot plays the anchor role while shooting. It is this foot which provides balance. Try standing on your non kicking foot for several seconds to improve the skill. Keep this foot as close to the ball as possible while taking a shot. Approach side on. Timing and control should be developed first as power will follow. Make sure that you practice shooting with both feet.
5) Dribbling: Dribbling is the most sought after skill among football players as it helps them to steer pass the defense. Body swerve is one such skill. While moving with ball inside of your foot, change your foot position in such a manner that it falls on the outside of your foot. Begin this exercise with standing position and then as you gain confidence, try this while running with ball. Develop the skill and you'll find it much easier to change direction leaving the defender of the opposite team confused.
Remember, you cannot develop these skills over a day's time. Practice, practice and more practice - that's the mantra to become a great football player.

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