It makes sense that most soccer players look forward to games far more than they look forward to their practices. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it becomes a problem when players aren’t getting the most out of their time on the practice field.
The truth is that without good practices, teams can’t develop good chemistry and they usually won't do very well come game time. Practice is when everyone should be working hard to become good players and teammates.
Below are just a few of the ways that players can get the most out of their practices.
Work Harder Than Everyone Else
When every player has the mentality that they are going to work harder than everyone else on the field, they develop their skills faster and become more confident in their abilities. This is one of the most underrated parts of soccer practices since practice is all about development.
Players who work hard in practice will usually push their teammates to work harder, as well. For example, if a winger on the team is able to make a strong move to beat the full back, that full back will often use that as motivation to get better. If players are just goofing around, then there is no incentive for them to develop their skills.
Something that many players don’t realize is that it’s pretty much inevitable that they will get better if they put 100 percent effort into their practice time. That is especially important for lesser-skilled players since they will be able to see the most improvement in their play over the course of a season.
Master the Fundamentals
One of the main reasons why players don’t work as hard in practice is because they will usually have to do drills that don’t seem to be very important. For example, some players may look at simple passing drills as a waste of time, but the truth is that without those drills, they could give the ball away when attempting one of those “simple” passes. You have to take those drills seriously if you want to become a great passer.
Mastering the fundamentals during practice is an excellent way to develop as a soccer player. When you go into the practice knowing how important those drills are, then you will take them more seriously and know that you will benefit from them down the road.
Don’t Get Frustrated By Repetition
It’s not uncommon for players to dislike practices for the sole reason that they are going to be doing a lot of the same things that they did in previous practices. As was pointed out above, it’s very important to see the benefits of this repetition.
The easiest way to get over these frustrations is to recognize the significance of those drills. If you aren’t sure why you are doing a particular drill during practice, don’t hesitate to ask your coach.
As soon as you know why you are doing a drill and how it can help you, use that information to get the most out of the drills. Soon enough, you will notice that those drills will become easier and your skill level will begin to rise.
It’s also important to realize that the best players in the world are the ones who recognize how much all of that repetition has helped them over the years. The best dribblers needed to put in a lot of work to become the best. If you need more motivation to become the best player that you can be, then just think of your favorite player and realize that he or she has did those same repetitive drills that you are doing at practice.
Enjoy Your Time at Practice
Yes, you should take practice seriously, but you should also have fun. There’s nothing wrong with working hard and enjoying the experience. Soccer, after all, is a fun game, so it’s a good thing if you are a positive player on the practice field.