There are many skills that are very important when it comes to being a pro soccer player. However, if you’re a beginner, then you’ll need to learn the most fundamental soccer skills that will get you started as soon as possible.
The following is a list of the essential soccer skills that you need to learn before you play any soccer match.
1- Ability to run long distances without quickly getting tired.
If there is one thing that you will be doing in every second during a soccer match, it is to keep moving.
As mentioned in a previous article, soccer is a great workout because you will be running a lot during a soccer match, and you will be engaging your body in physical activities that require you to have a long breath.
However, in order to be able to finish a soccer match, you’ll have to practice running for long distances. No matter how good you are at doing any soccer skill, if you can’t run during the whole soccer match, then these skills won’t help you.
The soccer field is big and it’ll require that you run a lot when you’re playing the game. So the first thing that you should do if you want to play soccer regularly is to start running.
If you are a hobbyist or you just want to play soccer for fun like I do, then you don’t have to wait until you gain the skill of running long distances without losing your breath. Start playing soccer immediately with your friends, and take small breaks whenever you feel you can’t run anymore.
However, if you want to play in a professional soccer match, then it’s a great idea to first learn how to survive running through the whole game and then participate in a soccer match.
This business insider article states that in one of the World Cup matches, most of the players had to run over 5 miles (8.04 kilometers) during the soccer game.
A 5 miles distance is a very long distance if you are a person that gets tired quickly from running.
2- Learn how to pass and receive the soccer ball
If you don’t know how to pass a ball or receive it, then you don’t know how to play soccer. Soccer is a team sport. Which means that in order to win the game, you will have to collaborate with your team players.
Collaborating with your soccer teammates means that you have to know how to pass the ball to them and receive it from them when they pass it to you.
To do that, you should start practicing short passes first because these are the easiest.
Ask a friend to join you in order to practice soccer together. Stand facing each other, and keep kicking the ball to each other in all sorts of ways.
First try short and ground passes, then try short air passes, then try head passes and so on. Keep practicing with your friend until you feel confident that you’ll be able to pass and receive the ball perfectly.
Then practice long passes. Usually, long passes will require that you kick the ball in the air to make sure that none of the opponent’s players who are standing between you and your teammate can block the ball from reaching your teammate.
3- Learn how to kick the ball with strength.
If you want to score goals, then you should be able to kick the ball with enough strength or the goalkeeper will be able to easily block your kicks.
Doing some leg exercises can help you strengthen your soccer kicks. Once you feel that your legs have what it takes to kick a soccer ball with a strong force, then you’ll need to learn how to hit your target.
This is the tricky part. Hitting the goal requires accuracy and precision. This article about how to kick the soccer ball in the air can be a perfect start. Once you learn the method that you should use to kick the ball, all you need to do next is practice the method a lot until it becomes your second nature.
4- Learn how to control the ball
Controlling the soccer ball is an essential skill to have whenever you play soccer. When you have the ball with you, you’ll need to be able to control it instead of letting it control you.
To practice controlling the ball, try running while keeping the ball with you. While you’re doing that, try to make sudden changes in the direction you’re running towards and see if you can change the direction of the ball with you.
Learning how to juggle the ball can also help you gain more control over the ball.
So, before you join a soccer match, try and learn the most basic ways of how to control the ball just to make sure that you don’t lose the ball immediately after a friend passes it to you.
5- Learn the soccer header.
It might sound to you that learning how to hit the ball with your head is an advanced skill that you should learn in a later stage of your soccer journey, but this is not the case at all.
Chances are you will have to hit the ball with your head during every single soccer match that you play.
The reason behind that is because the ball will be flying in the air a lot during the match. At some point in the match, you will encounter a flying ball that is coming towards you.
Running away from the ball in this scenario isn’t the best option. For that reason, it’s good to learn the basics of how to hit the soccer ball with your head before you play any soccer match.
In case you’re interested in learning how to do that, you can check this guide here.
With that said, I’ll conclude my list of the soccer fundamentals that every soccer player needs to learn before they play professional soccer matches.
One last note. If you are playing soccer for fun, then you shouldn’t wait until you learn each of the above skills. Just play soccer immediately and you’ll learn these skills while you play.
However, you’ll definitely need to learn each of these skills if you want to join a soccer competition or play a professional soccer match.
I wish you best of luck in your next soccer match.