Seven things to do away from organized soccer to improve your game.

What can my son do after club season ends and before high school season begins to improve his game?

One of the best questions a parent has ever asked me!

I was tempted to include soccer camps in my answer, but knowing the family's financial situation I didn't think this the most appropriate answer. The thought they were looking for me to work with the player through the summer also occurred to me, but I would need to charge a bit to cover gas money if nothing else.  In those few frantic seconds of silence as I contemplated my response a second question was asked, What does Lance do to prepare for high school?

Ahhhh, truly great questions.  Here was my response.

1) Always have a ball at your feet. Lance always has a ball at his feet - walking through the house maneuvering around furniture and people, bouncing it off the basement walls, doing foot skills in front of the TV.  Outside a ball is at his feet in the yard, walking to the mailbox, taking the dog for a walk. He stands around juggling the ball. Everywhere he goes, a soccer ball goes with him.

2) Eat, Drink, Sleep Soccer.  Proper diet is not an option.  Eliminate refined sugars and caffeine. Lot's of carbs and proteins. Steady diet of fruits and vegetables.  Lots of water.  Sports drinks after workouts.  Sleep / rest is a weapon so don't cheat yourself on sleep.

3) Watch soccer on TV. I am amazed by Lance's knowledge of the professional game, the teams, its players and coaches. When he sees a great individual move, he's out the door to practice it.  He's observant of tactics as well. Watch players in the position you play - what are their roles, their responsibilities?  What runs / movements do they make in support of teammates?

4) Physical training.  Soccer players need to be incredibly fit. You can hire a physical trainer or simply go for a jog, do wind sprints, do plyometrics, lift weights, sit ups/ crunches and push ups.  Search the Internet for "work at home" workouts.

5) Utilize the Internet.  There are quite literally hundreds of thousands of videos, ebooks, emagazines, articles and the like dealing with soccer on the Internet. Read, and watch then practice and apply what you have learned.

6) Play soccer video games.   Yep, I just said that.  Today's video games are amazingly life-like. They incorporate actual techniques and tactics used by the world's greatest players and coaches. Use video games as a learning tool. Be observant of how players move without the ball to support / help one another.

7) Learn to coach yourself.  This is an extremely valuable tool and a wonderful gift to give yourself. Watch TV, video and read books, then practice what you have seen and read about. Learn to distinguish between when you have done it exactly right and when something is amiss. Seek technical perfection. In fact, demand it of yourself.

One other thing to remember: Despite the appearance of advocating a life built around soccer 24 / 7 / 365 it is vitally important to step away from soccer once in awhile. Soccer should not define you, it is not who you are. Soccer is something you do.  Take time to enjoy other things in life. Go a couple of days without touching a ball. Do physical exercise not related to soccer - swim, play basketball, tennis. Pursue other interests so you return to soccer refreshed and invigorated to go at it anew.


  1. I was curious if you ever considered changing the page layout of your site?
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  2. Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated. I find time is an issue so I keep it simple here. I will look into it as time allows.... whch will probably be next winter the way my schedule current looks. lol.