A question that we all ask ourselves constantly is: How good are we at something? But the answer differs depending on what that thing is. What if it is soccer? How do you know how good are you at soccer?
The following article will guide you on knowing how good of a soccer player you are. But first, we need to address something really quickly.
Whether you think you are good at soccer or not depends on who you are comparing yourself with. After all, if you want to know how good something is, you need to compare it to the other similar options. That’s how most things work.
For example, if you are 20 years old, then you are definitely a good soccer player when compared to 5 year-old kids.
With that said, I always advise you to compare yourself to the professional soccer players when you want to learn how good you are, or at least compare yourself with the people of your age that also play soccer.
But more importantly, you should compare your today’s performance in soccer with your yesterday’s performance. In other words, compare yourself with your previous self and if you find yourself improving, then you definitely are a good soccer player or at least one day you will be.
But keep in mind that this type of comparison is just to keep you pushing yourself forward and not to let you feel that you aren’t good enough at soccer.
With this out of the way, the following are a few things that you can do in order to tell how good you are at soccer compared to professional soccer players, compared to your peers and compared to yourself.
1- Participate in local matches and seek criticism
If you are in a country that loves soccer (like in Brazil for example), then there is no way you won’t be able to find a local soccer match played somewhere near your home. Most of the countries around the world are interested in soccer and you will be able to find local matches to participate in.
After all, there is no way you can tell how good you are at something without trying it first. Go play with other soccer players and see how well you are performing.
After the match, go ask people for criticism and ask them about your performance. Just make sure that you ask the right people though. For example, you can ask coaches if there are any, or you can ask the audience in general.
When you ask other people about how good of a soccer player you are, make sure that you do not take the things that they say personally. Just discard the nonsense criticism and work on the criticism that is actually correct and that makes sense.
But the point here is that you need to ask other people’s objective opinion about your performance in order to know if you are good at soccer or not yet.
2- Measure your performance during a match.
There are several ways you can measure your performance during a game. For example, to measure things like the distance that you ran, your accelerations, your decelerations, and the area that you covered, you can use the tracking vest that professional soccer players use during their training sessions.
I have a dedicated article that discusses the tracking vests (aka sports bras), in detail in case you want to learn more about them.
But basically, this vest will help you measure a few variables when it comes to your performance of the field.
For example, to know if you are a good soccer player in terms of endurance and stamina, you can compare the distance you covered with the distance other professional soccer players cover on average.
A side note that I want to mention here is that you should always make sure that you are comparing your stats with the stats of players who play in the same position that you play at and not other positions.
This is simply because different positions require different sets of skills so it only makes sense that you compare your performance with the performance of players that play in the same position as yours.
The running distance and the area covered are not the only things that you can measure in your performance to know if you are a good soccer player or not. There are many other things too.
For example, you can ask your friend to watch your game to calculate a few things like how many passes you made, how many balls you lost and so on. If none of your friends can do that, you can just record the game and watch it later to do the calculations yourself.
If you don’t know what are the things that you can/should measure, then here is a list of what things you should measure (per position) to be able to know if you are a good soccer player or not.
- How many saves did you make
- How many shots on target did your opponent make
- How many goals did you receive
These are a few things that you can measure your performance with as a goalkeeper. For example, you can calculate the ratio of how many of the shots on target were you able to save and then you can compare these numbers that you collected (or calculated) with other professional goalkeepers in soccer.
In order to do this properly, you need to collect data from multiple games and not just one game because your opponent’s strength might differ from game to game
For example, you should give more significance to the games that are against a better opponent than the games that are against an easy opponent. This applies to the data that you are collecting about your performance in all other positions as well and not just as a goalkeeper.
- How many successful tackles did you make
- How many good crosses did you make (if you are a fullback / winger)
- How many goals did your team receive
If you want to learn more about what defenders do in soccer, you can check this article.
- How many successful passes did you make
- How many unsuccessful passes did you make
- How many assists did you make
- How many times did you lose the ball
- How many successful tackles did you make (if you are a defensive midfielder)
If you want to learn more about what midfielders do in soccer, you can check this article.
4- Forward Player
- How many goals did you score
- How many chances did you miss
- How many assists did you make
If you want to learn more about the striker position in detail and what they generally do during a soccer game, then check this article.
After you measure these statistics and any other statistics based on your position, you can compare your performance with the performance of the professional soccer players that play in your position and this way you can tell how good you are as a soccer player.
3- Compare your current stats with your previous stats
During your training sessions, see if you are improving as a player by comparing your performance to your previous performances. Also compare your current game performances with your previous performances
If you find yourself improving, then you are indeed a good soccer player since being able to improve your skills is a good trait by itself and it means that you are a valuable soccer player for the future even if you aren’t performing great at the moment.
With that said, I conclude my list of the few things that you can do in order to tell if you are a good soccer player or not.
However we are not done yet. I have one final list of some soccer skills that every good soccer player should have.
If you have most of the traits that will be mentioned in the following list, then you can definitely consider yourself a good player. If you don’t have many of them, then you should consider working on these skills as they are considered essential for every good soccer player.
What makes a good soccer player in general?
1- Good control over the ball
Controlling the ball properly is one of the most fundamental skills that every soccer player should have. For example, you need to be able to comfortably run with the ball and direct it as you wish.
2- High endurance and stamina
Soccer games are usually very physically demanding and a good soccer player is one that is able to survive till the rest of the game without any performance declines.
If you think your stamina isn’t good, you can check these home exercises that can help you increase your stamina as a soccer player.
3- Accurate passes and kicks
Accuracy and strength are extremely important traits to have as a soccer player. You should know how to pass the ball correctly and accurately to your teammates, and you should be able to kick the ball with enough strength if you want to score goals.
4- Good heading skills
Goalkeepers might not really need great heading skills (it’s still important for them though), but all of the other players on the field should know how to head the soccer ball properly to be considered a good soccer player.
For example, a striker will get a lot of chances to score with a header, a midfielder will find themselves fighting against their opponent to win the ball that is flying in the air a lot, and a defender will have to head the ball away from their team’s net a lot during a soccer game.
In simple words, knowing how to head the soccer ball is an essential soccer skill that good soccer players should have.
5- Great agility
As a soccer player, you will find yourself changing your running direction a lot. For this reason, you need good agility skills. For example, a goalkeeper needs their agility to make instant jumps towards the ball, and the defenders need good agility in order to adjust to their opponent’s moves very quickly and so on.
6- Great mental toughness
Mental toughness might not seem as an essential skill to have at first, but if you really think about it, it is one of the most important soccer skills to have.
If you as a player aren’t motivated to play against your opponent, then you will not be able to push yourself to give your all to your team and use all of your skills wisely and effectively.
However, if you are fully motivated all the time, then you’ll find yourself fighting for your team and playing much better than you would do if you weren’t motivated.
And always remember that the exact same team can deliver a much better performance if they are motivated enough. So make sure to work on your mental toughness in order to be a good soccer player.
7- Great tackling skills
As a soccer player, you should be able to tackle your opponent successfully without hurting them. A tackle in soccer is an essential part of the game and you have to know how to tackle the ball if you want to be a good soccer player.
8- Chemistry with your team
A good soccer player is one that can play well with their team instead of just focusing on themselves only. After all, soccer is a group sport and it requires a lot of coordination among the team players.
Being able to blend well with your teammates and have a good chemistry with them can make you a good soccer player. You can learn more about how to build good chemistry with your teammates in this article
Having confidence as a soccer player is needed, especially if you are playing in front of an audience. The more confident a soccer player is, the better they will be able to use their skills.
If a soccer player has only one good game and 5 bad ones, then they might not be really considered great players because consistency is key in soccer. A good soccer player is one that can remain consistent throughout a whole soccer season
11- Great vision.
Vision in soccer is the ability to know where your teammates are located and to be able to make passes that do not seem possible at first glance.
A good vision during a soccer game is one of the most important skills to have especially if you play as a playmaker or as a midfielder.
With that said, I will end my list here. Here is a quick summary of what you have just read
In order to know how good of a soccer player you are, you need to play in front of other people and ask for their criticism, you need to measure your current performance and compare it to the performance of professional soccer players and to your previous performances, and you need to check whether you have the basic soccer skills that every good soccer player should have.