- Regular practice
- Get the fundamentals nailed down
- Train smarter - Be Your Best VR football training
- Fitness is key
- Play against players who are better than you
- Join a team with a good coach
- Find a wall
- Analyse the game
- Improve your weaker foot at soon as possible
- Work on you communication skills
So you want to improve your football skills? First off, congrats on taking your development as a player into your own hands. The fact that you’re researching ways to improve and better yourself as a player is already a positive, putting you ahead of most.
Like any skill, learning to play football will require time and effort, but believe me, it’s well worth it. Whether you intend to make it as a professional, impress your friends, or just improve for the fun of it, football is a skill that will enhance your life in so many ways.
If you want to get better at anything, you need a certain amount of dedication. Don’t let this put you off, we’re not talking about hours of commitment. Just a few minutes a few times a week. 20 minutes here and there doesn’t sound like a lot, but over the course of a year, that’s multiple hours spent improving your game.
Try to set aside a block of time a few times a week where you commit to practicing. If you want a few simple drills to start off with, take a look on youtube for a good introduction.
PRO TIP: Get yourself a ball for inside your house, dribble with it everywhere inside to get those extra touches in. The more comfortable on the ball the easier it will be to improve.
2.Get the Fundamentals Nailed Down
There’s a few fundamentals in football that really matter when first starting out. Your first touch, passing and dribbling are probably the most important things to focus on when beginning.
After that, other skills such as shooting, turning, positioning.
Make sure you build a solid skill level for your core skills. Pros don’t have some sort of magical footballing ability, they simply do the basics exceptionally well.
For advanced players who’ve already got the basics nailed down, we suggest working on skills that are much harder to train, your vision, decision making, scanning and movement. Here’s a recent guide that we wrote that all advanced players should take a look at.
For players who already have a lot of experience, it’s all about finding those extra few percent that will get you ahead. What can you do that other players aren’t. Maybe that’s getting an extra few hours of training in each day, or finding a new piece of technology that’s going to give you a boost.
At Be Your Best, this is exactly what we specalise in. As a team of football and tech experts, we’ve developed a way for players to improve their vision and decision making in virtual reality. We’re working with some of the best clubs and players around the world who want to improve the finer margins of their game.
If you keep doing the same, you’ll get the same results. Be smarter in your training, and take a chance on something that just might give you an extra edge. Visit this page if you’d like to learn more about how Be Your best can improve your game
4. Fitness is Key
You could be the best player on the pitch technically, but if you don’t have the fitness to back it up, your performance will suffer. In many games, the team with the best ability doesn't always come out on top. It’s often the harder working team that triumphs.
Try to stay active throughout the week, improving both your anaerobic and aerobic fitness. The video above is a great example of a football specific workout that will get you ready for the pitch.
While fitness is important, please don’t prioritise it over your technical practice. For younger players, if you have the choice between an hour of fitness and an hour of practice with the ball - choose the ball every time. Your fitness will improve the more you play, but your dribbling, first touch and control won’t improve the more fitness you do. To get better at football, prioritise the ball.
5. Play against players who are better than you
We know that playing against good players can be a scary experience. Even if you’re a great player, coming up against players from a higher division or team can sometimes knock your confidence and stop you from playing at your best.
But if you want to improve, you need to let go of this right away. It’s only by playing against those who are better than you that you’ll improve your own game.
First off, know one really cares about mistakes you make while playing. Everyone is far too wrapped up thinking about their own game than yours. Secondly, if you do make a mistake, who cares? Will you be thinking about that mistake in 2 months time? Probably not. Will it help you to become a better player right away? Definitely. So play with better players, make all the mistakes you need, and watch your game improve in no time.
6. Join a team with a good coach
For a young player starting out, it’s essential that you get high quality, professional coaching as soon as possible. The difference between a good coach can make a huge difference for a young player trying to learn the game.
Find a coach who’s well qualified and who wants to support your development as a player. But most importantly, find a coach who makes it enjoyable to play. We all play football because we love it. It brings us excitement, enjoyment. Nothing will ruin that joy quicker than a terrible coach.
Don’t settle for the first team you find. If you’re not convinced that the team or coach is right for you, then keep on looking.
7. Find a wall
While training in games and against good opponents is essential to your development, you can only play so many matches. For those moments where you need to practice your technical skills, but have no one to play with, a wall is your best friend.
A wall provides you with an almost unlimited amount of ways to practice. From passing and receiving, practicing your first touch, to improving your close control. Take a look at the video below for some great ways to use a wall to improve your game.
Take a look at this article on how to train alone, for more tips on this
8. Analyse the Game
The best players don’t just focus on improving on the football field, they look to enhance their knowledge of the game by studying it. As a young player who wants to improve you should be studying the game as much as possible, taking tips from those who’ve already made it.
Watching matches is great, but with so much going on it’s often hard to know what to pay attention to. Instead of this, when watching a game, focus on a single player in your position. What do they do at certain moments in the game that you could learn from? Focus on their positioning, body shape, movement.
Here at Be Your Best, we analyse and break down passages of play, and moments from games constantly on our social media channels. Give us a follow on Instagram & Tiktok for regular content to help you improve.
9. Improve your weaker foot at soon as possible
There’s no doubt that improving your weaker foot is hard. Compared to your dominant foot, playing with it will often feel strange and you’ll likely find yourself getting frustrated at your inability to do fairly simple things.
But please don’t give up. If you want to level up your game this is one of the fundamental skills that you need to work on. First, focus on getting as many touches and repetitions as possible to build up your ability. Try some simple passes against a wall and various ball manipulation exercises.
After you’ve developed a base level of skill you can progress onto other exercises that require a bit more power and coordination. Here’s one simple exercise that’s great for developing this. First, find a wall or a fence with a large open space in front of it. Kick the ball with your weaker foot so it hits the wall without bouncing. Every time you hit it, move the ball back a few feet further.
You’ll eventually reach a point where hitting the wall becomes a challenge, forcing you to focus on your technique and power.
10. Work on you communication skills
Football is a game of communication. Working together as a team is vital to achieving any form of success on the football pitch. As well as enabling you to play better, good communication is a skill that’s often looked for by scouts and coaches looking to build an effective team.
The basic terms such as ‘man on’, ‘one two’, ‘set’ etc. are things that should be learned as early as possible.
Communication isn’t always about being the loudest player on the field. It’s more about how you can best help those around you. What information can you see and provide from your viewpoint that will help them make the best decision.
So there you have it, 10 easy ways to become a better footballer. Time to get out there and start putting in the work.