Soccer is a team sport, which means practicing with a team is indispensable. However, no player ever became extraordinary without practicing alone. Like any other endeavor, becoming excellent at soccer requires going the extra mile.
But getting the best results from personal training can be difficult without proper optimization. Not to worry, in this article, we will be covering all you need to know about getting the most out of your individual practice sessions. Let's dive right in:
Enroll in a one to one training program
You could spend hours training on your own, only to see little improvement. To avoid this, it’s essential that you enlist the help of professionals. This is where one to one coaching can be a huge help. With a training program, you can have your personal training overseen by people with more experience.
With a dedicated coach helping you, you’ll receive more feedback and training than you would in a typical team training session.
You should check out various training programs before enlisting with one. Importantly, you should look out for their reviews and training experience before making a decision. While one to one coaching can be a great investment, it won’t come cheap, with a typical session costing anything from $50-100.
Here at Be Your Best, we’ve developed a tool that can provide one to one coaching, from home. Using our VR training tool, you’re able to train your vision, decision making, and off the ball movement without any coach needed.
We’ll explain how Be Your Best works a bit more, later in the article, but if you want to learn more, take a look here
Get the appropriate equipment
It is important to get the necessary equipment and practice gear for effective personal training. This doesn't have to be anything super fancy.
You can get a couple of soccer balls, a dozen cones, octa rings, and a target net. With adequate equipment, your practice becomes more efficient and effective. For instance, you waste less time retrieving balls since you can rotate across multiple ones. Similarly, you can leverage your cones to make your drills more dynamic.
If equipment is too much of an investment then you’ll need to get inventive. Try using sticks or other everyday objects to dribble around for example.
Pay attention to your fitness
An essential part of soccer is fitness. Yet, this is one of the more underdeveloped aspects in team training practices, often taking a back seat to skills like passing, shooting, and dribbling. Training by yourself allows you to prioritize and improve your general fitness.
You can do this effectively by developing a fitness regimen that encompasses sprinting, jumping, stopping and starting, turning, and basically everything you'll have to do in an actual match. The ultimate goal is to improve your stamina and endurance. This way, you can last longer in games and manage exhaustion better.
Watch other players
While physically training to improve at soccer, it is also essential to develop your knowledge of the game. A great way to do this is by watching skilled players. Research shows that skills in soccer and other activities can be improved by watching other people play. This is because of a phenomenon known as "nonconscious behavioral mimicry." Essentially, we tend to imitate the behavioral of others, thanks to mirror neurons in our brains.
Thus, it is beneficial to pair physical practice with watching other players. This way, you can practice the skills you pick up. When watching, it is essential to pay attention to players' decision-making. In addition to obvious skills like passing and dribbling, you should also pay attention to the off-ball movements of players.
Technology is getting more powerful and can definitely be used to help improve your game.
Here at Be Your Best, we’ve developed a virtual reality training tool to help players improve their cognitive abilities. Most training sessions are generally focused on improving physical skill sets. However, the most extraordinary players have more than just physical skills. They also have excellent vision, awareness, and decision-making. Be Your Best allows you to improve all of this through simulated matches.
The best part? You barely have to exert yourself physically, which means you can improve your cognitive abilities with Be Your Best while recovering from your physical drills. You can sign up for Be Your Best here.
Practice various drills
There are several drills you can perform while practicing alone. Many of these drills train you for different skills. It is, therefore, important to understand the objective of each drill you are performing. Here are some standard drills for individual training.
Wall drills: This is a drill you can perform almost anywhere with minimal equipment. All you need is a solid wall, such as a fence. You then kick the ball against the wall at a decent pace, wait for it to bounce back and kick it back repeatedly without letting the ball pass by you. This is an excellent drill to improve your passing, first touch, and ball control. There are a number of variants to this drill. For instance, you can juggle the ball against the wall without letting it drop to the ground.
Long-range passing: To improve your passing precision, you can train by placing objects 10-20 yards away from you. The object can be anything as long as it is visible. You can also use a soccer ball if you have multiple balls. Once you've set the target, proceed to make a pass aiming at it. You can do this drill using rolled or lobbed passes.
Cone dribbling: This is a drill to improve ball control and dribbling. All you need is a soccer ball and a set of cones. Set the cones in a line or obstacle course and attempt to weave through this course using small taps from your foot. You can try doing this drill using the inside of your foot one time and the outside of your feet the next.
Classic shuttle run: This is a drill to improve your fitness and stamina. All you have to do is position 4 or 5 objects (like a cone) in a straight line with a 6 yards gap between each. Run to the first object, return to your starting point and run to the second object. Repeat this until you get to the last object. Try doing it with a ball to improve your control and turns.
Work on your weaknesses
You are not making the most of your private practice if you are not improving your weaknesses. You might not have the time or opportunity to address such weaknesses in a team soccer practice. As such, you should integrate training drills in your personal practice that help you mitigate these weaknesses.
Of course, the first step is identifying these weaknesses. For example, this might be an inability to use your weak foot optimally or head the ball. Once you’ve identified these weaknesses, you can proceed to perform drills that help improve them.
And that’s it, follow the above advice and you’ll soon see the benefits of training alone!