Becoming an elite soccer player does not happen overnight. It takes dedication and hard work over several years to build up the skills and mastery required. Younger soccer players will learn the basic skills and movements and will slowly be introduced over the years to more advanced skills. Here we look at the five areas that players will need to master in order to become and elite player.
Young players introduced to the sport at about six to eight years’ old will be introduced to basic ball handling skills. They will progress with more and more complex movements up until around 14 to the 19-year mark, at which point they will need to have mastered ball skills and match application of those skills. Beyond that absolute mastery will need to be achieved and maintained.
As with the above, it starts out with basic decision making and combinations and moves on to the more advanced tactics. Ultimately at the highest level complete knowledge of team and opponent tactics will be required. Elite players are always aware of where they are in the game and what the opposition looks to be doing.
At the start, it all about fun and getting some general activity in for the younger kids. As they grow older the game becomes more serious and they start to train with advanced aerobic training and glycolytic work. Once they move on to play professionally the training becomes much more position specific and individualized.