A question that every beginner asks whenever they’re planning to learn a new skill or sport is how long will it take to learn it. I had the same question in my mind when I started playing soccer at the age of 10.
I have attended several soccer training camps, played soccer as a hobby for over a decade, and in this article, I will be sharing my own experience with you of how long it takes to learn soccer rather than gathering data from all around the web to give you an answer.
For those who aren’t patient enough to go through the whole article, here’s your quick answer of how long it takes to learn soccer.
It takes a few months of practice to learn the basic soccer skills, one or two years to become a good soccer player on the field, and several more years of hard work and practice to get a small chance of becoming a professional soccer player and joining a big soccer league.
So that’s the long story short, but in case you’re interested in more details, here are some.
How long does it take to practice the basic soccer skills?
In soccer, as in many other sports, there is a set of essential skills that every soccer player should learn and practice in order to become an effective player on the field.
I have a dedicated article about some of these skills here, and here’s how long it will take you to learn each one of them:
1- Gain soccer stamina to survive till the end of the match
Gaining stamina for soccer is one of the most important things to do when practicing soccer. No matter how good you are, if you can’t survive a full soccer match, you won’t be a good soccer player.
The time it takes for you to gain stamina for soccer depends on your physical shape, but usually, if you are playing soccer on a regular basis for a few months, you’ll find yourself able to play a full soccer game without feeling exhausted.
It took me 3 to 4 months of playing 2 to 3 soccer matches every week to be able to reach the point where I do not feel completely exhausted during the end of the soccer match.
2- Pass and receive the ball
Passing the ball and receiving it isn’t a hard skill to learn, however it will take you a few soccer practice sessions to learn how to accurately pass the ball to your friends and a little bit more to learn how to properly receive the ball from your teammates.
What takes a little bit more time however is learning when to pass the ball and when to ask for it because soccer is all about proper timing. You’ll learn the timing skills gradually as you play soccer and watch other professionals play.
From my own experience, it shouldn’t take more than 3 to 6 months of weekly soccer matches for you to be able to improve your timing skills when it comes to passing the soccer ball and asking for it.
3- Learn how to kick the ball with enough strength and accuracy
The time it takes you to learn kicking the ball decently depends on your age. Kicking the ball with enough strength requires that you have strong legs.
Assuming that you can already kick a soccer ball with a decent strength, it will take you around 3 to 5 months of practice to be able to have good precision and accuracy when kicking the ball, assuming that you’re practicing weekly.
It could take a little bit longer or lesser depending on how much effort you’re puting when you’re practicing soccer.
4- Learn how to control the ball
Running while you’re controlling the ball with your legs is completely different than running while not having to worry about anything.
Controlling the ball on the soccer field while you have it takes a lot of time, however, you can learn the basic ball control skills in a few months if you’re playing and practicing soccer weekly.
Again, these numbers are from my own experience and from the experience of the friends whom I played soccer with.
5- Learn the soccer header
Learning the soccer header is essential for every soccer player. However, sometimes a soccer header can be dangerous especially for young soccer players.
If a soccer player is younger than 12, it’s better if they do not practice the soccer header at all.
When they’re older than 12, they should take practicing the soccer header slowly. It will take them a few months to be able to head the soccer ball in the direction that they want, and more if they want to head the soccer ball accurately under all scenarios.
But again, my advice here is that you should take heading the soccer ball slowly if you are young.
If you’re old enough, then heading the soccer ball decently shouldn’t take you more than a few months. As for heading the soccer ball like Cristiano Ronaldo, it will take you years to even come close.
Alright, that’s it for the essential soccer skills. To sum this section up, it will take you around 6 months to feel confident enough during a soccer match.
How long does it take to become a good soccer player?
Becoming good at soccer will require much more than 6 months of soccer practice. Being a good soccer player could take up to 2 years of consistent training.
A good soccer player is someone who knows how to juggle the soccer ball, how to dribble past opponent players, how to head the ball accurately, how to move on the field without the ball, how to perfectly control the ball, when to pass the ball and when to ask for it and so much more.
This set of skills will require a lot of patience and practice. The more you play, the better you become.
Basically, becoming a soccer player requires that you elevate the set of skills that we talked about in the previous section to the next level.
For example, you may be able to learn how to pass the ball accurately in your first few months of training, but passing the ball to the right player at the right time with full accuracy will take you much more than a few months to master.
The same thing applies for many other soccer skills. A period of 2 years of constant soccer practice can help you become a good soccer player.
How long does it take to become a professional soccer player?
Becoming a professional soccer player takes several years of hard work and practice. Professional soccer players practice for more than 3 hours a day 5 times a week for several years and follow some strict diet rules
If you’re planning to play soccer as a career option, then you’ll have to dedicate most of your time to soccer training, and you’ll have to have a lot of patience.
It takes several years (sometimes a full decade) to be noticed by major soccer teams around the world, and there’s a great chance that you might even not get noticed at all (unfortunately)
If you read more about the backstories of some of the top soccer players around the world, you’ll notice that soccer was part of their lives since they were less than 10 years old.
So in short, being a professional soccer player takes years of hard work and dedication.
With that said, I’ll end this article here. Here’s a quick summary of what you have read.
If your goal is to play soccer as a hobby, then it shouldn’t take you more than 6 months to feel confident about your soccer skills. It will take you around 2 years to become a great soccer player, and it might take you up to a decade to become a truly professional soccer player.