Easy Basic Drills to Get You Started with Football.

All right, First of all you should know the secrets to getting your body into shape or being physically fit, so that it is not hard to do these stuffs. Now let’s touch upon some basic skills that you are going to need to have when you step out onto the field. Most of these skills will be “formally” taught to you when you begin to practice with your team; however, most of these are fundamental components of the game and therefore will require your skills to be as finely honed as possible.

Lesson #1: Dribbling

Dribbling is the fundamental method of moving the soccer ball from one end of the field to the other, and you will spend more time on the field dribbling the ball than you will doing virtually anything else. Obviously, this is a skill you are going to need to develop very carefully. Dribbling a soccer ball is much more difficult than dribbling a basketball by simple virtue of the fact that you are not allowed to use your hands. You are therefore going to need to maintain perfect control of the ball using only your feet while running as quickly as possible, keeping an eye out for members of the opposing team and scouting for your own teammates so that you know where to pass the ball to should you need to do so. Obviously, this means that you are not going to have a great deal of attention to spare for your dribbling technique!

Fortunately, dribbling competently is an easy skill to master. All you need is a regulation sized soccer ball, an open field and a little bit of time. The trick is to tap the ball from one foot to the other using your instep so that you essentially are keeping the ball in between your legs as you travel down the field; pushing the ball too far ahead of you will result in the ball being free and available for any member of the opposing team that happens to feel like picking it up, while not pushing it far enough of you will inevitably trip you up and cause the ball to drop back behind you. Attempt to only push the ball as far forward as your running stride; this will prepare you for when you are stuck in a pack of players. If you happen to be moving down a relatively free field you are going to be able to send the ball a little farther forward; however, kicking the ball out in front of you is the easy part.

Again, be sure to focus on only allowing your instep to touch the ball while you are dribbling. It is often very tempting to allow the front of your foot to connect, as this is the part that is most readily available when you are running; however, kicking the ball with the front or top of your foot will only serve to push it out of your reach. You will have virtually no control over where it goes or what it does. As learning to run while dribbling a ball between your insteps can be an interesting and generally undignified event, it is best if you initially practice this skill when you do not have an audience; that way, when you are in front of your peers you will be able to display at least a little bit of competence and save yourself from the inevitable ribbing that comes along with displaying any lack of proficiency on the playing field.

Lesson #2-Drop Kicking

Okay, this is probably not a skill you are going to have to spend a great deal of time learning to master. Chances are that at some point in your misspent youth you managed to drop-kick a ball off of your front porch onto the roof of your house (or through the neighbor’s back window) and therefore have already had some experience. If you have not, this skill is also a relatively easy one to master; however, if you should ever find yourself in the position of guarding the goal it is going to be vital that you know how to properly place your drop kick to ensure that it is in prime position for your team to pick it up and carry it back down the field.

The single most important thing you need to know about drop kicking is that you need to ensure that the ball connects with the top of your foot, near the toes but not on top of the toes. That will enable it to have the strongest forward momentum while at the same time attaining some height. Precisely how much height is directly relevant to where the ball is when it meets your foot; kicking the ball closer to the ground will result in more forward momentum but not as much height, while kicking the ball nearer to the waist will give you plenty of height but not a great deal of momentum. The trick is to learn to place your kicks, so you are going to want to give this a try at several angles to determine precisely how much distance you can get from each connecting position. That said, as a general rule you are going to want to make your drop kick at an approximate 45 degree angle from the ground, approximately level with your knee. That allows you to get a fairly decent forward thrust on the ball while at the same time controlling its height and trajectory. If the two paragraphs you just read make you feel as though you are reading Greek don’t worry; once you actually start putting some of these basic skills into practice it will all make perfect sense.

Lesson 3: The Throw In

If you are familiar with the game of soccer in any way, shape or form then you are fully aware that much like basketball or football the game must be played within the designated playing field. If the ball should happen to go out of the playing field it will automatically go to the other team, who will have to right to throw the ball back into play. This is one of very few exceptions to the “no-hands” rule of soccer, and it is a very valuable asset because it allows the team that has control of the ball to determine exactly where it is going to go; they can completely change the direction of the game by gaining custody of the ball and sending it back into their territory.

Although you may have images dancing in your head of grabbing the ball in one hand and hurling it down the field like an ancient Greek Olympian, the proper method of throwing a soccer ball back into play is vastly different from the way you would throw any other ball. You hold the ball in both hands, fingertips in the middle and palms facing out, draw it back behind your head and then give it a two handed toss to your nearest available teammate. Be aware that, much like in basketball, you are going to have a member of the opposing team directly in your face while you are attempting to throw the ball; however, as they are not allowed to use their hands (and will actually earn a penalty if one of their hands happens to come into contact with the ball while attempting to block your throw) you stand a very good chance of making contact with one of your own.

The key element to a successful throw in is power. Although they cannot use their hands the opposing team has no other limitations on the methods they can use to gain control of the ball, and so you are going to have to make sure that the ball goes up in the air, yet too high to successfully block it with their chest and too low to make a reasonable attempt at blocking it with their head. You are also going to want to put some “oomph” on it; throwing a soccer ball is not as easy as you would think, and if you are attempting to get it to travel long distances you’re going to need to be able to put some muscle behind it (another reason to hit the gym to work on your arm muscles regularly).

Lesson 4: Chest and Head Blocks

As we mentioned before, using your hands is completely off limits when you’re playing soccer; however, that is quite literally the only part of your body that you are not allowed to use. With that in mind we’ll give you a brief introduction to the use of your chest and head when you are playing the game.

Using your chest to block the ball is a simple matter. As you might imagine, you use your chest to block balls that are coming at you at too great a height to get a hold of with your knees but not quite high enough to hit with your head, and it is a great way to divert what would otherwise be a penalty for touching the ball with your hands (every once in a while the ball comes at you at just such an angle that you virtually have no choice). Simply spread your arms wide to the sides in the same manner as you would if you were being searched by a police officer to ensure that they are safely out of the way and center your chest around the ball.

It is vitally important that when you are taking a ball to the chest you place it appropriately. The proper place to stop a soccer ball with your chest is smack dab in the middle of the breastbone. Ladies, this is approximately where the uppermost portion of your cleavage is, and if you want to prevent a great deal of discomfort you’ll be sure that you place the ball appropriately. This is equally important for both sexes, however; at the bottom of your breast bone you have a tiny extension of bone known as the xiphoid process, and although this bone has generally hardened by the time you reach adulthood it is still far more easily damaged that the rest of your sternum. A well placed ball or a poorly placed kick could result in this bone fracturing off and puncturing a lung, so it is essential that you ensure this is not the part of your body you are willingly offering up for target practice.

A chest block is precisely what it sounds like-a block. Its entire purpose is to stop the ball’s forward motion and restore it to your control (ideally the ball will drop down between your feet after it strikes your chest). A head block, on the other hand, serves to not only stop the forward motion of the ball but to send it on another trajectory as well. Ideally you would use your head to stop a ball that was flying through the air at a level even to or higher than your forehead-attempting to squat down to get your head under a ball is possible, but generally not very comfortable.

As with the chest block it is very important that you ensure that the ball connects with your head in just the right point. You want to hit it using the broad portion of your forehead between your eyes; any higher and you will not be able to use your neck muscles to connect with the ball and change its trajectory (the ball will simply bounce off the top of your head), any lower and you will find yourself sporting a bloody and possibly broken bone for the remainder of the day. The trick is to draw your neck back just slightly, then get your head moving forward before it meets the ball so that you can use the your forehead and the ball’s own momentum to change its course.

Lesson 5: Passing

Along with dribbling, passing is going to be the single most important skill you will need to master in order to succeed at soccer. Out on the field a team’s strength lies in its ability to present to the other team a single united front; the offense is nothing without the defense there to back them up if the other team breaks through their line, and the defense can’t do very much without the offense there to help them move the ball out of their territory as quickly as possible. Since teamwork is such a vital part of soccer success there is going to be no room for showboating out on the field; one single person is not going to be guaranteed to be able to take the ball into the goal at any given point in time. You are going to have to be able to work with your teammates.

You are probably sitting there thinking, “What’s so hard about kicking a ball to someone else?” The difficulty with proper passing is not getting it to the other person, it’s maintaining control of the ball so that it goes precisely where you want it to go. Picture this: You are standing on the field, you have control of the ball and you are headed for your goal. The next thing you know you are rushed by four members of the opposing team. You need to get rid of the ball and you need to do it quickly; however, you can barely make out the other players on your team. You hear a shout, and a quick glance to the diagonal off of your shoulder reveals one of your own open and ready to receive the pass. The only problem with this picture is that you are going to have to slide it past two of their defense.

In this situation, which is going to be all too common when you get out on the field, you are going to have to hit a very small target while ensuring that the ball is traveling along a clean, smooth path at a speed high enough to ensure that it will be out of your custody before the other team has time to register what you have done-and you are going to have to do all of this while simultaneously running down the field, dribbling the ball and
dodging your opponents.

Fortunately, the fact that you are already dribbling means that you are in the perfect position to pass the ball. Since you are already dribbling the ball off of your instep anyway, you always want to pass using your instep as well. Again, using the top of your foot will give you a little more distance, but your instep provides you with more control. You will be able to target your teammate and pass the ball without ever having to relinquish control.

When you practice passing at home be sure that you are practicing using the proper form. Choose a target off of any angle of your body and use the instep of the opposite foot to propel the ball. For example, if you were attempting to make a pass to a teammate who was at an immediate diagonal to your right as you were in the example above you would use the instep of your left foot to make the pass. If your teammate is directly to your left you would use the instep of your right foot to slide the ball on over. Using the opposing foot allows you to maintain your balance and your forward propulsion while making the pass, which will allow you to keep control of the ball at all times until it leaves your possession and may temporarily disorient the opposition focusing on you.

Lesson 6: The Heel Kick

Of course, all of this is fine if you happen to be passing to someone who is ahead of you or directly even with you, but what do you do when you need to pass behind you? This situation will happen quite frequently on the field, particularly if you happen to be charging into a solid wall of opposition with your teammates flanking out behind you. Passing in this situation is considerably more difficult than its more straightforward counterpart; however, it can be done.

To pass a ball backwards, simply step over the ball and kick it using the heel of your foot to drop it back behind you. This is going to be a move that you are going to need to practice a great deal, because keeping you balance while performing the short stop and reverse kick that you are going to need is very difficult. If you are not careful you will wind up sitting crosslegged in the middle of the field with absolutely no idea how you got there. Prior to making your kick be sure that all of your weight has been shifted and balanced onto your other foot, which should be positioned in front of its side of the ball in order to help you maintain control and protect the ball from your opposition; it may help to practice sprinting down the field (or across your lawn) and then making a sudden stop and performing a reverse kick. Once you get the hang of it, performing this move at high velocities will be a piece of cake.

Lesson 7: The Outside Kick

All right, obviously you can’t learn all that you need to know about playing soccer here; we would be here all day! So we’ll make this your last lesson in elementary soccer maneuvers. Sometimes you will need to make a pass or change direction and there will be no easy way to do so using the instep of your foot; you will have to leave the ball exposed and vulnerable this way, opening the door for the other team to come in and take control. Since the name of the game in soccer is to keep control of your ball at all costs this is obviously something you want to avoid; therefore, what you are going to want to do is what is known as a cross-over move.

This move is precisely what it sounds like. What you are going to do is stop your forward momentum, bring the foot on the side of the direction that you want the ball to go across your other foot and give the ball a tap with the outside of your foot. Now, instead of using your instep to push the ball forward you are using the exterior portion of your foot to push the ball sideways, and since your leg will be directly in front of it the ball will be protected from your competition. Again, the major risk in this move is losing your balance and falling (in a most undignified manner) on the field at your opponents’ feet and getting a cleat ,to the nose for your trouble, so it would be a very good idea to be sure that you have perfected this move before you take it out onto the field.

Lesson 8: Perseverance

Lastly, you will never learn all these stuffs if you don’t have dedication and perseverance to learn and excel in the world of soccer. We idolized superstar football players, but we don’t totally see what are their sacrifices to achieve that goals.

So, to be able to achieve that dream you have. Be sure to start it with your self. Because no matter what big is your dream, if you don’t do something. It will always stay as a dream.

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