This is the world's best daily soccer routine or pre-game warm-up.
The following activity will improve your skills and help you get ready for the season. It is imperative that we not lose sight of the most important skill of soccer. And that is TOUCH. Touch determines what happens when the ball finally gets to YOUR FOOT.
The other important thing about TOUCH is that players can develop this skill and ability on their own away from team practice! And that is what you should be doing. That way, we can incorporate these growing skills INTO team sessions and make team sessions far more interesting (i.e. FUN) rather than spending 30-45 minutes of valuable team time learning the very basics.
You need to MASTER at least 3 different moves. And I mean MASTER. That means on both the left AND right foot, or in both directions. That means at game speed. And that means as a reflex – without having to think to yourself “ok, I want to do such & such move now, so the 1st step is”…etc. That also means including the exploding acceleration into the space you just created
for yourself every time you use (or even practice) the move. Of course, the more moves beyond 3 that you master, the more dangerous you will be to opponents because they will not know how to defend you. There are over 20 skills, feints, turns, and moves in our basic warm-up for you to learn. Just imagine how deadly a player you can be.
1000 TOUCH WORKOUT. The footwork activity here is designed to give you about 1000 touches in seven minutes. And I know that everyone can find seven minutes a day to work on their soccer skills. This warm-up should be done daily as a regular part of exercise and training preparation. Ideally, on practice days and match days, I would love to see everybody arrive 15 minutes early and get this warm-up in before we even begin the regular training session or match preparation.
SEVEN MINUTE DRILL
50 BALL TAPS (Toe touches)
BASIC ROLLS (10 each foot)
1) Inside Roll
2) Outside roll
BELL TOUCHES (50 touches)
FOUNDATION SKILLS (10 each)
PULL-BACK SKILLS Do sequence with one foot then switch (4 times each foot )
1) Pull, Instep Push
2) Pull a Vee
3) Pull & Take with Outside of foot
4) Pull & Roll Behind
TURNS: from moderate speed turn 180 degrees and explode/accelerate for 3 touches. Then bring it back down to moderate pace for the next turn (4 times each foot)
1) Pull Turn
3) Inside Chop
6) Stepover Turn
7) Step-On Shield & Turn
TAKE-ON MOVES, explode/accelerate after the move for 3 touches. Then bring it back down to moderate pace for the next move (4 times each foot)
1) Hip Swivel
4) Inside-Outside (Mathews)
7) Body Swerve (Scissor Behind the ball)
9) Double Scissor
10) Ba-Dink (Cap)
Complete as indicated in the summer program. Recommended 6 days a week (6000 touches/week).
FULL 1000 TOUCH WORKOUT
To continue with the FULL 1000 TOUCH WORKOUT, add the following cycles:
BALL & A WALL
Spend another ten minutes passing against a wall. Use both feet. Use onetouch, two-touch, and three-touch pass backs. Pass back with both the instep and inside of feet. Include fake kicks. Keep feet moving and your weight on the balls of your feet. Receive balls with your body square behind the ball and work on accuracy with your passes.
Spend ten minutes juggling the ball trying to get 100 consecutive juggles or, if you are not yet proficient enough a juggler, work the Touch Ladder.
Pattern Dribble for 10-15 minutes.
(IR=inside right; OR=outside right; IL=inside left; OL=outside left)
Begin with easy 1 foot patterns:
Progress to more complex patterns. For example:
IR-OL-IL-OR - IR-OL-IL-OR - IR-OL-IL-OR - IR-OL-IL-OR
IR-OL-IL-IR-IL-OR - IR-OL-IL-IR-IL-OR - IR-OL-IL-IR-IL-OR
IR-OL-IL-stepover-OL-IL-OR-IR-stepover-OR - IR-OL-IL-stepover-OL-ILOR-
Make up your own patterns. Be Creative. Have fun with it.
RUNNING, SPRINTING & SLOWING WITH THE BALL
Accelerate & Decelerate under full control of the ball. This is different from dribbling. Dribbling is about change of direction. This is about pace and change of pace. The ability to change you pace - explode or come to a dead stop with the ball under full control - is as important as any take-on move you can ever learn. The direction is roughly straight ahead. Start from a
moderate pace and then explode for 10-20 yards then bring the ball back down to moderate pace all the while not breaking stride. 10-15 minutes.
Below are descriptions of many of the moves learned over the years. The names applied to them are not the end all and be all. The point is not to learn the names as you would a list of the state capitols – but to learn the moves. The names just help to keep track of what you’ve learned and what you have done in the warm-up. Of course, the more moves beyond 3 that you master, the more dangerous you will be to opponents because they will not know how to defend you. There are over 20 skills, feints, turns, and moves in our basic warm-up for you to learn. Just imagine how deadly a player you can be.
Inside Roll - Roll the ball across your body from outside to inside with the inside and sole of the foot and stop the ball with the inside of the other foot.
Outside Roll - Roll the ball across your body from inside to outside with the outside and sole of the foot and stop the ball with the inside of the same foot.
Bell Touches (tic-tocs) Step up and down to pass ball 4-6 inches between feet. Ball is passed between the feet with very soft, light touches. Be sure weight is forward on balls of feet. With each step you should be coming down on your toes first; then your heels. Knees stay bent at all times. Move the ball forward and backward. Be sure you are stepping up and down; not sideways.
Work at getting a comfortable rhythm.
Inside - Outside – Tap ball with the inside of the right foot across your body, tap with the outside of the left foot, then inside with the left foot and finish with outside of right.
Triangles – Tap forward with your right foot, pull back towards you with the sole of your left foot, then tap towards your right foot with the inside of your left. Repeat starting with opposite foot.
Vee – push ball forward and slightly to the outside right with inside of right,
pull back and across your body with sole of right foot, then push ball forward and slightly to the outside left with inside of left, and pull back and across your body with sole of left foot.
Pull Instep Push - Push ball forward and pull it back with the sole, then tap ball forward with the instep of the same foot.
Pull a Vee - Push the ball forward and pull it back with the sole of the foot while turning and then take the ball with the inside of the same foot.
Pull & Take with Outside of foot - Push the ball forward and pull the ball back with the sole then push the ball diagonally forward with the outside of the foot.
Pull & Roll Behind - Push the ball forward and pull the ball back with the sole of the foot then pass the ball behind the standing leg with the inside of the foot. Control the ball with the sole of the other foot.
Pull Turn -Push ball forward with one foot and pull it back with the other while turning toward ball and take the ball in the opposite direction with the outside of the first foot.
Drag Back - Push ball forward with one foot and pull it back with the same foot while turning toward (and with) the ball. As you complete your turn, drop your foot from the top of the ball and take the ball in the opposite direction with the inside of the drag-back foot.
Inside Chop - Push ball forward, move past ball and turn toward ball and take it with the inside of the foot in the opposite direction.
Outside Cut - Push ball forward, move past ball and turn toward ball while taking it with the outside of the foot in the opposite direction.
Cruyff - Push the ball forward, fake kick with inside of foot, but instead pull ball behind the standing leg and change directions.
Stepover Turn – Push ball forward, step over ball with one foot in the following manner:
The step begins from the outside and moves across the body (Close the Gate fashion). The stepover foot plants alongside the ball with the outside of the stepover foot facing the ball and your legs are sort of crossed. Next: Bring the back (non-stepover) foot all the way around to the back of the ball whilst pivoting on the stepover foot and turning 180 degrees in the direction toward the ball… Continue the flow of the motion and carry the ball away with the nonstepover foot. Accelerate to space.
Step-on Turn – While dribbling forward, Stop the ball with the sole of your foot (“stepping” on it) and allow your body’s momentum to carry you over to the back side of the ball. Stop your own forward progress once on the other side of the ball with your body should now be in a sideways-on relation to the ball. With you now positioned between the ball and the (real or imagined) defender you have effectively shielded the ball. With the outside of the foot which is now next to the ball, push accelerate and carry the ball back to the direction you came from and away from the defender.
Hip Swivel - Fake with inside of one foot by swiveling hips toward ball, then reverse direction and take the ball with the inside of the other foot. Accelerate to space.
Roll-Touch- While moving forward, pull ball across body with sole and touch in into space behind the defender with the inside of opposite foot. Accelerate to space.
Roll-Push - While moving forward, pull ball across body with sole and take with outside of opposite foot. Accelerate to space.
Inside-Outside (Mathews) - Fake with inside of foot nudging ball by dipping shoulder, then take ball in the opposite direction with the outside of same foot. (explode)
Stepover – As covered above - With ball moving, stepover ball so ball is outside of stepover foot, turn and take the ball with the other foot.
Rivolino – Begin as with the Stepover: The step begins from the outside and moves across the body (Close the Gate fashion). The stepover foot plants alongside the ball with the outside of the stepover foot facing the ball and your legs are sort of crossed. Next: Bring the back (non-stepover) foot up from behind and plant it next to the stepover foot. Next: With the outside of the stepover foot which is still next to the ball, push accelerate and carry to space.
Body Swerve - Fake with outside of one foot, step behind and take with outside of opposite foot. Accelerate to space.
Scissors - step in front of or over ball with one foot in the following manner: The step begins from the across the body and moves to the outside of the body (Open the Gate fashion). The motion is very similar to the Body Swerve motion – as though you were going to push it with the outside of the foot. The only real difference is that the fake comes over or in front of the ball
rather than behind it. The faking foot plants alongside the ball with the inside of the foot facing the ball and your legs wide open and you are rather straddling the ball. Next: Take the ball in the opposite direction with the outside of the other foot. Accelerate to space.
Ba-Dink (Cap) - Cut ball with inside of foot slightly backward and take ball ahead with the inside of the opposite foot. Accelerate to space. There are other moves. Some very fancy and flashy, but perhaps not so practical (like the rainbow for example). I don’t mind if you seek out and work on others – but only in addition to these more fundamental and functional moves (not in place of them). These are the ones I want you to work on the most because these are the ones which will serve you best.
Work hard. Commit yourself to your own soccer future. And have fun! (knowing all of these IS fun!)
5 Steps To Mastering Touch On The Ball
This is a progressive 5 step system of developing your juggling skills. It is important to understand that juggling is not a soccer skill, as it were. You don’t see professional players juggling the ball up and down the field during matches. However, what you DO see is spectacular 1st touch by most professional players. And that is something that juggling will help give you. Absolute mastery of the ball is the 1st step in soccer success. And juggling off any desired surface at will and from surface to surface at will IS mastery of the ball. So juggling is something beneficial and to master the skill WILL greatly enhance your game. Here is a straightforward 5 step system to get there.
LEVEL 1 -
(All players start here). The player drops the ball and touches it once with the foot he prefers. The ball then bounces onto the floor, only once, then the player touches with his foot again, then the ball bounces, the player touches with his foot, the ball bounces and so on. If the ball bounces more than once on the floor then the counting starts again. For Level 1, either foot may be used anywhere within the touch cycle. So that the pattern goes like this:
foot - bounce - foot - bounce - foot - bounce - foot - bounce - etc.
50 consecutive touches completes this level.
(Hints: visualize the “bottom flat” of the ball. keep the foot straight with the toes pointing down so that the foot presents a flat surface and the ball strikes cleanly. Strike flat level surface of your foot precisely to the “bottom flat” of the ball)
LEVEL 2 -
(For those who have completed Level 1). This exercise is very similar to the previous one but this time the player touches the ball 3 times with his stronger foot and lets the ball bounce on the ground and then touches once with his weaker foot and lets the ball bounce (this completes one round). So that the pattern goes like this (assuming your right foot is your strong foot):
- right foot - right foot - right foot - bounce - left foot - bounce (one round)
- right foot - right foot - right foot - bounce - left foot - bounce (two rounds)
- right foot - right foot - right foot - bounce - left foot - bounce (three rounds)
- right foot - right foot - right foot - bounce - left foot - bounce (four rounds) - etc.
(Remember that the sequence is always 3 touches with the stronger foot, bounce, 1 touch with the weaker foot, bounce (1 round), 3 touches with the stronger foot, bounce, 1 touch with the weaker foot, bounce (2 rounds) etc.)
25 rounds completes this level.
(For those who have mastered Level 2). The player starts with the ball in his hands. He throws it into the air and with his INSTEP (the INSTEP is the SHOELACE portion of your foot; not to be confused with the inside of your foot) returns it to his hands. He repeats this with his weaker foot, then with both thighs and lastly with his head and always returning it to his hands after each touch. The sequence then is:
hands - instep - hands - other instep - hands - thigh - hands - other thigh - hands - head – hands (one round)
25 rounds completes this level.
LEVEL 4 -
(for those who have completed Level 3). In principle, the exercise is the same as the one in Level 3 except this time there are 3 touches with the stronger foot, one with the weaker, 3 with each thigh and 2 with the head. The sequence then is:
hands - r. instep - r. instep - r. instep - hands - l. instep - hands - r. thigh - r. thigh - r. thigh - hands - l. thigh - l. thigh - l. thigh - hands - head - head - hands (one round)
25 consecutive rounds completes this level.
LEVEL 5 - EXCELLENCE
The same sequence that was started in Level 3 but this time we increase the number of touches for each round. Eg. -
Hands, instep, hands, other instep, hands, thigh, hands, other thigh, hands, head (one round);
hands, 2 touches with the instep, hands, 2 touches with the other instep, hands, 2 touches with thigh, hands, 2
touches with other thigh, hands, 2 touches with head (2 rounds);
3 touches with each surface for round 3 and so on up to 20 rounds.
If the sequence is broken or the ball falls to the ground you start again from the beginning. Congratulations! Your have now mastered quality touch on the ball! With this kind of touch quality, you are probably already better than 99% of players your age. And with this kind of touch quality, there is no other soccer skill you cannot learn. You have laid the foundation to every dribbling move, every kind of shot & pass, and every collection method this sport has to offer.