I think we can all agree that the game of soccer is by no means an easy one. Before we even introduce the ball you need coordination, balance, and agility. Once the ball comes in you need composure, a soft first touch, good technique, and comfort with both feet. Then we add teammates and opponents and everything gets so much more complicated as game awareness and decision-making becomes so important. Lastly we add the competitive element and now there is the pressure to execute all of the above in the frenzy of the actual game.

So how does a youth player improve? How can a coach work on all of this with only 2 practice sessions a week and many players to look out for? 

The answer, in my humble opinion, can lie in the players themselves. Ten minutes a day spent with a ball getting quality touches will add up to over 3,500 minutes a year. 15 minutes will amount to almost 5,500 a year. Juggle a tennis ball while taking a break from school work; use only your weaker foot while striking a ball against a wall; juggle with a teammate before practice starts; watch some Coerver moves/skills on YouTube and try to replicate; even work on balance and coordination exercises while watching television. In short, spend time improving your body mastery and ball mastery skills and I promise you'll be astounded at how much you'll improve at this sport. No matter what your long-term plan for your soccer career may be, surely it is worth spending 10-15 minutes a day to become the best player you can be.  

In the spirit of my previous declaration of The Year of Individual Technical Improvement, we are going to have a little competition where players can send in a short video of them juggling with a ball, or demonstrating a move. The top three entrants will receive a nice prize.

XBOX vs Xtra Challenge

TYPE OF VIDEOS: you juggling a ball or demonstrating a move

INSTAGRAM - take a video on Instagram and tag @PennLegacySoccer

FACEBOOK - post your video or share your YouTube video link to our wall on Penn Legacy’s Facebook Page

EMAIL - send your video to seamus@pennlegacy.org

HASHTAG - #PennLegacy #XBOXvsXtra

Deadline: Feb 28th, 2017