"How To Become A More Effective Player" FUNdamental Question: I'm trying to become a better forward/striker, and I need some advice on how I can gain more control over the ball and how to become more effective with my non-dominant leg. If you have any training tips or web pages that could help me please let me know of them. I appreciate the help

Fundamental Response:

Begin a daily routine that is aimed at improving those skills. You can begin by making your soccer ball your 'best' friends. The daily routine should include juggling your ball with the instep, thigh, and head. Keep a chart in your room on which to mark your highest number of juggles. Then, each day try to beat that score don't give up until you have set another 'new' record. I recommend that you, double the number of touches, with your left foot when you juggle.

Find a wall or bench, to be your partner. Pass the ball into the bench from many different angles and bring the rebound under your control. Shoot the ball into the wall, be sure to 'follow each shot' and again bring the rebound under your immediate control with left foot as much as possible. Pretend that there is a goalkeeper protecting the wall so aim at specific areas on the wall that the keeper has no chance of saving the shot!

Combine passing the ball into the bench with a shot at the wall follow your shot and bring the ball under control with a turn and then do a dribbling move. Use your imagination to keep the ball happy, that is...keep the ball moving. Get to the point where you can control every action of the ball.

Most importantly, find a friend and set up a 'small field' with goals about 10 yd. apart...No you don't need regulation goals, shirts and hats will do. Now, play one against one games. Play 1v1 games as often as possible. Challenge your parents to play 1v1 against you. Dare everyone in your neighbourhood to play against you! If you have a dog, teach 'it' to play against you...Create a 1v1 'World Cup' in your neighbourhood. Play as many 1v1 games as your time and energy allow! One vs. One games allow you to work on all aspects of your game...attack, defence, fitness, confidence, etc...Other small sided games in your backyard will also do wonders!

Find a book or video tape and focus on the forwards actions, movement, technique and attitude. Then try to emulate them during the 1v1 games. Take your confidence and apply them in small sided games and eventually you will be able to apply (same) in a regulation game.

Whenever you play with your team against an opposing team -pretend it is the most important game of your life. Play every game as if it was for the World Cup. In other words, play every game as if it was the last game you will ever play. Give it more than 100%! Show everyone that you are interested in 'being the best you can be'

Always remember there is no coach on earth who knows how great of a player you can become. The key in your playing future lies with you and the effort you are willing to make to improve. Remember the difference between a champ and a chump is U!

The solutions are easy for me to write down and the work on your part can be just as simple. You already have the drive and you probably know the answers. Practice, practice and practice some more ...play, play and play some more.

Good luck in your playing career and don't let others tell you how good you can be! You and you alone can keep you from being the best forward in your community. You and you alone can decide how good your left foot can be! You and you alone!!!

Good luck in your playing future and if I can be of further assistance. Please let me know...!

Your Fundamental coach at fundamental soccer,

Karl Dewazien

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