A Complete Guide on How to Get Better at Football (2024)

If you are reading this blog then that means you are looking for tips on how to get better at soccer. I’ve been playing soccer ever since I can remember, and I’ve played at decent levels of the U.S soccer pyramid including UPSL and club university teams. I also recently graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Kinesiology: rehab science and I am a Certified Personal Trainer whose goal is to help soccer players unlock elite athleticism and stay injury free.

With my experience and knowledge that I want to share with you, I know that if you continue reading you will find training tips that you can start implementing today to improve your soccer skills, whether you are a youth, amateur, or professional player. 

The “red pill” concept is a metaphorical term originating from the movie “The Matrix” and in the film, the protagonist, Neo, is offered a choice between blue and red. The blue pill represents remaining in the simulated reality, a comfortable illusion, while the red pill represents facing the harsh truth of existence.

We live in a world where players are consuming so much information about various topics related to health and training that it is often hard to know what information works and what information does not. Most players are stuck in a “blue pill” meaning they have a false perception of what elite performance and proper health are because of all the information out there.

My goal with this blog is to give you the “red pill” that you need to really improve at the beautiful game. Long story short, the “red pill” is to play a lot of soccer, variations of soccer, other sports, and work with nature. Too many players focus on the wrong things and they waste valuable time, when in reality working with nature is the best and most logical option to improve health and performance, since we are part of nature.

How to Get Better at Football

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Play the Game

In soccer, the best way to become a good player is to train in a way that best resembles a real match and puts you in game realistic scenarios. This is best done by playing the game, and variations, consistently and learning through experience, whether that is through team training, pick-up games, small-sided games, futsal, beach soccer, soccer tennis, or soccer ping pong.

If you are serious about getting better, you should be in a team environment because that is absolutely the best way to improve since you will be competing consistently, you can learn from your teammates, and you can receive feedback from coaches.

Find the best team in your area, become the best player there, and aim to play for a better team every season. Competitive soccer matches are where you will learn the most, which is why it is essential to have a team so that you can participate in these types of games.

Playing games is much different from training because at this point you are no longer “training.” You are still playing the game, similar to how you would during training, but during a real game you are performing, competing, and acting out your life, which is the environment where you learn the most.

How to Get Better at Football

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Individual Soccer Training Tips

Apart from team trainings and playing other variations of the game, players should also be doing extra work individually when it’s appropriate and when it makes sense. For example, you should never sacrifice individual training for team training, however, if there is a week where you don’t train as much with your team, then an extra individual training session can be beneficial.

However, how you train during that individual training session is very important. You want to be training in a way that best replicates the unpredictability of an actual match and that allows you to get into a flow state by using these drills. The best way to train individually is to train barefoot, work your way up to being able to play barefoot on concrete, train with a wall or rebounder, and train at game speed with maximum effort.

The most important parts to remember about your individual soccer practices is that they should include a proper warm up followed by simple drills that work on the basics of the game, and they should be performed at game-speed, to best replicate a real match.

Cross-training, which means playing other sports, can also indirectly help you become a better soccer player because it can make you more athletic, coordinated, and familiarizes you with movement patterns that don’t occur in soccer. For example, playing basketball increases hand-eye coordination, playing tennis can help you track the ball with your eyes, and so on.

How to Get Better at Football

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Develop your Athleticism

The best way to develop your athleticism as a soccer player is to play the game a lot and many other sports, as previously mentioned. However, there are other aspects that you should be focusing on training.

As a soccer player, you want to focus on training the quality of your fascia, which is the connective tissue that covers your entire body and stores elastic energy required for running, as opposed to training how strongly you can contract muscles individually.

Your goal as a soccer player should be to become a more fascia-driven athlete, which simply means you are an athlete who is more parasympathetic and can move more with their fascia and tendons, which allows for effortless, springy, and elastic movements, as opposed to having to muscle through everything.

By improving the quality of your fascia, developing your athleticism, and applying many other tips on this list, you will also become more resistant to injury.

How to Get Better at Football

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Master the Basics

Soccer is a simple game that should be played simply, even at the highest level, but playing simple is not as easy as it sounds. Actually, playing simple but efficiently and consistently is one of the hardest things in soccer, but it can make all the difference.

To get better at playing simple you have to master the basics of soccer, which includes:

  • Knowing the rules of the game
  • Knowing common soccer terms
  • Understanding the different positions, formations, and tactics
  • Essential Skills
    • Technical Skills
      • ball control
      • being able to escape tight spaces
    • Passing skills
      • short-range passing, long-range passing, curving the ball
      • Be able to pass the ball properly with both feet, your dominant and non-dominant foot
    • Dribbling Skills
    • Shooting Skills
    • Other essential soccer skills

By improving the basics of soccer and the things you do the most during the game, which are the essential skills mentioned above, you will have a huge advantage over players who focus on training the wrong things and are wasting time.

How to Get Better at Football

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Analyze your Soccer Games and Professional Soccer Games

Learning from professional soccer players is one of the best ways to improve because these players have already done what you are trying to do, and they are elite athletes for a reason. These are some of the best ways that you can learn from your favorite players.

To learn more about the soccer industry, I highly recommend checking out this Youtube Playlist I have created of very valuable information that will take time to digest and understand. There are also other videos that you may not think are related to soccer, but getting real information about health and the strength and condition industry is also very important.

How to Get Better at Football

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“Train” Every Other Aspect of Life that Impacts Health and Performance

Most soccer players think that training only occurs when you are physically on the soccer field with the ball. However, that is not a good mindset to have, and you should always be “training” every aspects of life that impacts health and performance from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to sleep.

To get the most out of your valuable time, you have to train smarter, not necessarily harder, although working hard is already a given and something that all players should be doing. Training smarter means taking care of all other aspects of your life that impact your health and performance including:

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Write Down Your Goals and Track Progress

Setting goals in soccer is a great way to help you stay motivated and on track to meet those goals. As a player, you should have long-term and short-term goals and here is a video you can watch to help you start setting goals.

Also, a great way to monitor your development as a soccer player is by keeping a dedicated notebook or journal in which you can write about various things.

  • The date and duration of the session
  • Skill areas focused on (e.g., passing accuracy, shooting power)
  • Daily goal achievements (number of successful passes/shots)
  • New techniques learned or practiced
  • Things you need to improve on
  • Personal reflections on performance improvements/challenges faced
  • Your Goals

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training program and soccer app is Football Entangled. There is no other program like Football Entangled on the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality.

Can you Improve your football skills independently?

Yes, you can, but not to the extent you would if you played outside against real opponents. Nothing that happens on a football pitch, court for futsal, or indoors can be replicated with a drill. If you must train alone, use a wall, train barefoot, and use the max intent principle.

Conclusion

In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about how to get better at soccer fast. If you are a serious player and you want to improve your soccer skills, then your main form of training should be playing the game, or variations of the game as much as possible, and ideally you should attend team practice at least 2-3 times a week.

Playing the game as much as possible will allow you to learn through experience, learn from coaches, and will help you improve all of the essential soccer skills needed for the game. We also shared with you many tips on how to optimize your time off the field, to make sure you are training every aspect of your life that affects your athleticism, performance, recovery, and overall health.

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