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Advice for New Soccer Players

Photo by Chaos Soccer Gear on Unsplash

Last updated on August 31, 2021

If you’re ever looking for a new hobby, soccer is a fun and easy one to pick up. All you need are friends and a ball!

Learn the Basics

There are three different things a soccer player can do with the ball: dribble, pass, and shoot. It is important to practice these fundamentals as they are essential to later parts of the game. You can practice these skills alone or with a partner, depending on who is available.

If you decide to practice alone, use cones for dribbling drills. Set them up in a line and practice weaving through them. As for passing, find a wall and focus on hitting the ball at an angle that will make it come straight back to you. For shooting, find a goal and start close. Once you are consistently hitting the ball hard back up and try to aim. This will improve both strength and accuracy. With a partner, there is more room for freedom in drills. Get creative!

Once you become familiar with these skills, you can move onto trapping and defending as well as gain a better understanding of the game itself and positioning. A great way to do this is by watching professional games and focusing on your position.

If you are unable to do any of these or just need a little more practice, do not get discouraged! Even professional soccer players practice the basics over and over again to get as good as they can. Although practicing may seem tedious and repetitive, it will pay off.

Find Your Position

In soccer, there are eleven players on the field. These translate to forwards, midfielders, defenders, and a goalie. Within these, there are further subsections, consisting of left, right, and center. 

The amount on the field can vary depending on the formation you choose to play. Most teams play either a 4-3-3 (meaning four defenders, three midfielders, and three forwards) or a 3-5-2 (three defenders, five midfielders, and two forwards). Find what works best for your team. This may also depend on your opposition. Sometimes you will have to react and adjust your formation as needed. (An example of this is if they have three very fast forwards. In this case, you would play with four defenders)

Do not be afraid to experiment with different positions. You may find yourself enjoying or excelling at two that are seemingly unrelated. Just play wherever you have the most fun and have the greatest opportunity to help your team.

Be A Team Player

Remember that you will be on the field with ten other players and be part of a team with even more members. For your team to function well, you need to ensure that there is a positive team environment. A big part of soccer relies on teamwork, communication, and cooperation. If you are not able to work well with one another and constantly bring one another down, then your team will not have a positive dynamic, and there will be tension on the field, which will reflect in your play.

This being said, you do not have to be best friends with your teammates (although it can’t hurt). If another member is annoying you, do not lash out. Instead, remain calm and collected because no one likes to be yelled at or feel out of place.

Have fun!

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