In earlier articles I wrote about why I love soccer, and how for me it is never about the flash and scoring goals. I love soccer because it is a game of complex thought. Just like soccer has high physical demands, the mental demands are just as high.
I think at times players arent willing to be students of the game. They want to go out there and just play the game (Keep doing this). Playing the game will always be a great teacher, but we now see players paying attention to the off the field and mental work, and making this a priority.
Whatever it is that you want to accomplish in the game, you need to have a plan and a way youre going to execute your plan! Here at Perfect Soccer, we will give you all the information you need to achieve success, but it is up to you to execute.
Soccer IQ will be a facet of the game that you want to be familiar early. You need to have good soccer IQ, so youll be able to read the game. Learning the game can mean the following:
- Understanding where you need to be, as well as your teammates
- Understanding your responsibility on the field.
- Understanding what to do when you have the ball.
- Understanding your teams formation.
Soccer is a situation game, the more you learn/play different scenarios, your brain will begin to build memory. The same way in which you listen to your favorite song on repeat and then know all the words, building soccer IQ works the same. The more you learn off and apply on the field, youll see yourself becoming more comfortable and more confident because youre thinking ahead and understand a lot of situations.
We want to teach you the game because Soccer is beautiful for everyone. You dont need to be the strongest or the fastest, what you can be is the smartest, and that alone can take you far in the game!
Before we dive in more, ask yourself, When it comes to soccer, how would you rate your Soccer IQ? Take some time with this question so you can get an honest answer. If youre struggling with giving a sensible answer, ask a coach. Coaches are there to provide feedback. Feedback is another essential tool to becoming a better player. Feedback will open your eyes to what you can improve on.
One thing I do want to emphasize is to make sure you dont get down on yourself and have negative thoughts. I have been guilty of this, and this will only hurt your game as a whole. Understand that know one is perfect and mistakes in the match will happen, so making habit of a positive, winning mentality, will help your through the tough time.
What coaches and scouts look for is how you can learn from tough times and bounce back. We believe in our Perfect Soccer family because you have grit, growth mindset, resilience, and most important, love, for the game!
So you might be asking, how do we learn to increase our soccer IQ?
Increasing your Soccer IQ can happen a few ways, and here are the four we will discuss in this article:
- Watching Pro Players
- Watching yourself play
- Asking coaches, teammates, etc. for feedback
- Playing the game.
1. I am a big advocate of building soccer IQ through watching as much soccer as you can. Whether that is watching other teams when youre at a tournament, going to pro soccer games, or watching on TV, this is an excellent way to pick up on different nuances in other people's games and apply it to yours. Your next question might be, what should I look for when Im watching Soccer?
The first thing you should look for is a player that it was playing your position. Remember, soccer is just as much a physical game as it is mental, so you need to build those mental notes and apply that to your game. For example, if youre a winger youll want to pay attention to how their first and second touch is. You want to see if they know when to get rid of the ball quickly, or when to hold on to it for a bit. Youll want to see if they have the ability to beat their defender in 1 on one situation, and after they beat their defender, what kind of service do they have. Do they have the mental capacity to pick out teammates or is he aimlessly putting the ball in the box? What is the wingers relationship with his outside back? Is he a good communicator? Does he mix up his game, so hes not predictable? How fit is this player? Are they being honest and defending? Does he know where his teammates should be during the game? How fast is he making decisions on the field? These are all facets of the game you need to pay attention to when youre watching other players. Now that you know what to look for when watching soccer, watch more soccer so you can apply it to your game.
2. Watching yourself is another helpful tool in increasing your Soccer IQ. It will give you a visual of your performance. When youre caught up in the game, so this will give you a chance to dive into the match. When youre watching yourself, have a pen and paper handy so that you can jot down notes. Your notes should consist of things you do well, and things you could improve on. If youre a center midfielder, you can look for things like positioning on the field, distributions, tackling, communication, etc.. If you have difficulty dissecting your game, get a coach, or someone you think knows soccer at a high-level watch with you. I still would encourage you to watch on your own and try your best to see what youve done well and what you could improve on.
3. The only way we improve in Soccer or anything in life is to ask for feedback. Feedback will allow you to get an objective point of view of your game. Ask a coach or someone you think knows a lot about soccer to give you an assessment of your game. After you receive this information, it is now up to you to do something about it. At Perfect Soccer, we have all the tools necessary to do something about improving your game. Check out our Perfect Soccer Skills Academy where we have laid out numerous drills you can do to improve your game. Remember, you can always improve on something in soccer, so never become complacent with where youre. Strive to be great, put in the work, and results will come.
4. Any Soccer player knows the game is the best. Everything else is just preparation for the match. Playing and learning from mistakes will be the best indicator of improvement. So play as much as you can so you are confronted with many obstacles. One thing to remember when youre playing a lot of soccer is to make sure you take care of yourself. This means you should properly warm up and cool down after everything soccer related activity. Taking care of your body will give you an advantage over your opponents, and will also have you feeling better in the long haul.
So go out there and try everything I talked about in this article. To improve you have to be consistent with your craft. Accountability and learning are imperative to getting you to being the soccer player you envision in your head, good luck!!