I am not referring to the actual game of soccer, but I mean the players playing the game.
The game is becoming more athletic because of the improvement and understanding of sports science.
Players that are bigger (taller), stronger, and/or faster can have a significant advantage over smaller players with less physical abilities.
However, not if the bigger, faster or stronger players have not mastered the ball.
Here is an incredible, mind-blowing example.
My good friend Coach Walter Bartolotti, who is a professional futsal coach in Belgium knows a player that gets significant minutes in the MLS (mostly as a starter).
He plays for one of the best MLS teams. But get this…..
He was not good enough to play professionally at Division 1 or Division 2 level in Belgium….
No, and it gets worse. This player was not even a starter at the Division 3 level. He could not get out of the reserves.
Honestly, he was not good enough.
His major weakness? Maybe you can guess.
His technical ability. He was not good enough to start at the Belgian Division 3 professional level, but he can start in the MLS?
Oh wait, I forgot one last detail...
He is a strong, physical presence and Americans LOVE that.
But wait... Have you read the same thing I have?
He is not good enough to even start Division 3 in Belgium, but he can play at the highest level of professional soccer in America?
And you're telling me this is acceptable? Why are we (as a country) ok with this?
I'll tell you why, because we are 20 years+ behind the rest of the world.
This true story proves that we (apart of the American Soccer System) rely on physical nature compared to soccer playing ability.
You could have an immense physical presence, but without putting in the 100's of hours to master the ball, you rely on your speed, your strength, your size.
The best players in the world do not rely on these physical traits.
They use their incredible physical abilities as a compliment.
They rely on their incredible technical skill, their visual awareness (ability to scan the field for information), and game IQ.
This is a major shift.
Years ago, many of the most physically gifted players did not have the same technical skill as many of the smaller players and America is still playing catch up….
Did you notice how we missed out on the 2018 World Cup?
It is because the US team is NOT good enough in all levels of the game, but starting with the fundamentals...
The technical ability.
Now, players that are able to master the ball, and combine their immense physical abilities almost become unplayable.
Let's examine this idea:
Let's start with Ronaldo.
When he first arrived at Manchester United as a 17-year-old, he was a small and “fragile” player, but with an incredible wizard like feet.
Ronaldo though, spent years (and countless hours) mastering his technical skill.
He is (and has been) arguably the world's best because he worked very hard to improve his physical qualities that are combining with deadly effect with his technical ability.
After mastering his technical ability, Ronaldo spent hours mastering his physical to deadly effect.
Now let's look at Paul Pogba.
One of the most naturally physically gifted players in the world. He has it all, size, strength and decent speed.
However, the reason he has excelled is not because of his physical attributes. No, far from it.
It is because of his incredible technical ability. When you watch him play, it is amazing. I want you to analysis his dribbling, his turning, his skill-moves, his movements, his shooting technique, and his passing.
He has combined his abilities to make him become almost unplayable. Every time he plays, he takes over games.
And it is all because he started his training by mastering the ball and becoming technically sound.
If you are a player with immense physical abilities (either speed, size or strength), you need to harness your potential and focus on developing your technique.
If you do, you will have an immense advantage over anyone else.
I will give you a real scenario:
Imagine playing now as a 10-year-old, you are a striker and for the most part, you rely on your physical speed to beat players to the ball, in 1v1s battles (by kicking passed the defender and running) or long passes in behind to run on to score.
You are getting roughly 100 or so touches a game because you are never involved in the play.
You are just waiting for the ball to come.
Why have I brought this up?
I see it all the time around the country. Players that have great physical attributes like speed, waiting to play, waiting for the ball, instead of making something happen.
However, that will not work forever.
As you get older and begin to play at a higher level, defenders will become better, smarter and be able to take you out of a game easily because they will be able to eliminate your threat.
Game IQ and speed of thought will beat physical ability every single day.
You can only hide behind your physical abilities for so long.
If you want to become a next level soccer player, you need to become a complete player.
You need to develop and master your technical ability and start now:
✔ First Touch
✔ Dribbling Ability
✔ 1v1 Game
✔ Fakes and Feints
✔ Changes of Direction
✔ Stops and Starts
✔ Pulls and Taps
✔ Shooting Technique
✔ Passing Technique
✔ Tight Space Play
Technique is just the foundation, and we have not even touched on the tactical or mental qualities.
If you have not at least started with getting thousands of touches a day (at least 2000), you need to take control now.
Here is the brutally honest truth:
I believe you need a minimum (and this still is not enough) of 2 million right technical touches by the age of 18 that improve, challenge and develop all parts of the foot and body even to be remotely ready for the next level.
The good news?
You can take control of your development by working with North America's #1 Technical Soccer Trainers that have developed countless players to play at the next level including:
1) Development Academy (DA) Players - the DA is the highest level of youth soccer in America
2) Collegiate Players
3) Developed two players who were given the opportunity for a Training Experience with one of the world’s biggest clubs in Lyon, France
One of our players even featured on Goal.com after his incredible rise from D3 to DA.
Train with North America's #1 Technical Soccer Trainers. Set up your first session by visiting or calling:
(321) 430 - 1767