All of us are basically stuck inside for the next few weeks (or maybe longer!) and as a soccer athlete, there is still plenty of activities you can be doing at home in a very small space. These activities can help you keep up your touch on the ball, your touch quantity and your love for the sport.
A few things to consider before starting.
- Touches on the ball are SO important to becoming an elite soccer athlete. We have built into our curriculum how we get players to become technical wizards. One simple metric is contact time with the ball. And during the downtime, players should get in the touches! See our blog post about he we look at quantity based on age group.
- If you have a futsal ball, we recommend using one. They are great for getting controlled touches and work great in small areas. They are a heavier and typically run around a size 3 or 4. If you don’t have one, here is a link to good deal on Amazon (Prime shipping too!): https://www.amazon.com/Baden-Bounce-Futsal-Practice-Yellow/dp/B00Q815MT4
- We recommend using a carpeted area because the ball won’t roll as much, keeping it closer to you, yielding more touches
- Try to get the family involved! Whether you have a parent time you for an exercise or you directly compete, getting the fam to participate can make it more fun!
- Use your best judgement and avoid family pets and breakable items. We are not responsible for any damaged lamps 😊
At Next Generation Soccer Academy, we will be working with all our player’s to be technical wizards. This is possible without expertly taught fast footwork exercises. One easy one to do at home is knocking the ball back and forth with the inside of the feet. Do this for 5 – 10 times for 30 seconds.
- Make it more challenging: Have a family member toss a tennis ball to your hands while doing the soccer ball exercises.
- Make it even more challenging: Have a family member ask you simple math questions while catching a tennis ball with your hands and pushing the soccer ball back and forth between your feet.
Cute a piece of paper up into 4 squares. Mark them #1 – 4. Put the squares down randomly on the floor in a space where you can dribble (hallway or living room). Use a sock to mark your starting position. Start doing toe touches (sole of the feet), alternating with very little movement on the ball. Every 5 or 10 seconds, have a family member call out a number. Dribble to that number and do toe touches backwards to the starting point.
- Make it more challenging: Perform a stepover or scissor during each dribble.
- Make it even more challenging: Put your back to the numbers and have a family member mix them up after 3 reps.
This one requires access to a couch and a few feet of space in front but remember to ask permission! Pass the ball off the couch gently and be sure to focus on proper passing technique (there are a lot of elements but make sure you focus on toe pointed up, ankle locked and toe of the plant foot facing the target).
- Make it more challenging: Make sure the ball does not stop moving!
- Make it even more challenging: Have a family member ask you simple math questions!
This is a reaction drill that is very easy to do. Stand up and hold the soccer ball with both hands behind your back. We suggest starting just above the lower back. When you let go of the ball, see if you can spin your body around 180 degrees and stall the ball with the top (laces section) of your foot. The end result should be a dead ball right at your feet. Try this as many times as you can!
- Make it more challenging: Lower the point from where you drop the ball! This requires an you to really engage your fast-twitch muscles.
- Make it even more challenging? Do all the above but replace the soccer ball with a tennis ball!
We love stretching and are fond supporters of Arron Mattes’ Active Isolated Stretching. The Active Isolated Stretching technique involves holding each stretch for only two seconds, for 10 reps. Hamstrings are important for soccer athletes because of the movements required as a player. While we can’t explicitly define the exercise here, please lookup videos of Aaron Mattes and his amazing techniques!