Just like any sport, soccer has technical aspects that will make or break a player’s abilities on the field. Every soccer team will have team practices and group runs, but players that truly want to succeed will often engage in multiple forms of technical training both with their team and without.
The Skills Included in Technical Soccer Training
According to a study on technical soccer skills performed by the University Medical Center Groningen and the Center for Human Movement Sciences, the technical aspects of soccer include “on-the-ball-performance actions and consist of: ball control, passes, crosses, dribbles, tackles, headers, shots, corners, free-kicks and throw-ins.”
The main reason for technical training is to improve the skills that help one maintain possession of the ball, control the ball’s direction, and ultimately score more goals. Being able to control the ball better than one’s opponents is going to help win games and have winning seasons. Having the ability to control the ball and the ability to dribble without looking down at the ball assists with moving the ball, its momentum toward the opponent’s goal, and keeping possession.
A Breakdown of Technical Soccer Skills
- Dribbling the ball - being able to apply foot touches to the ball with both dominant and non-dominant feet
- Dribbling the ball without looking at the ball
- Cut-backs - using one’s foot to change the direction of the ball in a swift movement
- Passing - getting the ball to other players on one’s team efficiently
- Trapping - when receiving a ball, ensuring maintained possession
- Shooting - various methods of shooting the ball at the opposite goal to try to score
- Headers - utilizing one’s head to pass the ball, change its direction, or knock it into the goal
- Corner kicks - taking a kick from the corner of the field - how to direct the ball, where to line up to receive the ball, and how to generate a scoring opportunity
- Crossing the ball - sending the ball from one side of the field to the other without losing possession
- Free-kicks - when given a penalty kick of any kind from the referee, how to kick it, where to direct it, and how to receive it or use it as a scoring opportunity
- Throw-ins - when the ball is knocked out of bounds by the other team, utilizing a throw-in to help one’s team move forward with attacking and attempting to score
How to Find Technical Soccer Training
The benefits of technical soccer training are vastly important and necessary for the thorough progression of any player looking to take their soccer skills to the collegiate or even professional level. According to the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), technical soccer training not only will help players to boost their individuality and technical skill on the field but will give them the “confidence and appropriate footballing skill set to broaden their technical vocabulary and horizons.” In support of this, FIFA offers access to their Technical Training Centre where soccer players can go through circuits that build upon one another to boost technical soccer skills.
In an article written for NCAA collegiate soccer players, it is recommended that players seek out individual technical soccer instruction from a personal soccer trainer. These personalized programs can give players technical skill practice and intensive practice to push a player to the next level.
Local Options for Technical Soccer Training
When it might not be feasible or affordable to seek out FIFA-sponsored technical training or a personal soccer trainer, a good option for technical soccer training is to find a local soccer camp or even look for professional video soccer training options. These can be more affordable for players and offer the benefit of completing the training in one’s own timeline.
Technical Soccer Training to Boost One’s Game
At any age or skill level, technical soccer training can be the best way to take one’s game from its current level to the next. Developing basic skills and honing them to where one doesn’t have to think in order to execute is the best way to progress and be successful in the game of soccer. Even at a young age, daily technical soccer practice can be beneficial in helping to develop these skills.
With continued work and access to technical training, one can move their way through their soccer career into high school, college, and even the professional realm.
“Technique is not being able to juggle a ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practicing. Then you can work in the circus. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate.” - John Cruyff, Dutch professional soccer player