Getting better at football? It’s not always about training with a ball. In fact, there’s a lot of attributes that every football player should work on, and most don’t involve a ball at all, but that will make you a better player and allow you to overcome your current obstacles whether that’s being on the bench on wanting to find a new club. In this blog we are focusing on the top 5 attributes that every football player should work on.
If you are looking for something more basic to improve in football, we do also have guides around how to become better at football by yourself and other similar content designed to make you a better player, on our blog.
This is something that we discussed in our blog post about how to become a better Sunday League player.
Positioning is what often separates the pros from the amateurs.
Most people can get fit, and after all, players in the Sunday League are still capable of scoring beautiful goals, but positioning and how you overall think on the pitch is one of the attributes that separates players.
Unless you are Usain Bolt, if you are in the wrong position and facing a great player, chances are you lost that battle, or that you won’t get an opportunity to score.
It also means that you are exhausting your body far more than needed to, in almost all situations.
“There is no need to run all the time. I know what to do, and I wait for my moment.” – Lionel Messi
How do you improve your positioning?
- You analyze how players play. Next time there’s a match on, instead of just watching for pleasure, spend some time analyzing how the players in your position move and react.
- Search for positioning tutorials on YouTube or Google. We live in a world where we have all the information we need to become better footballers whether it’s on this blog or on a Google search, and it’s all free.
- Take an online course on positioning. There are some dedicated football courses that you can take on the internet. And sure, they do cost, but they often provide information in the most practical step-by-step matter, which makes it far easier for you to learn.
This is one of the attributes that every football player should work, and whether you have money to spend on a course or not, better positioning will make the most difference out of all the top 5 attributes that every football player should work on, and considering you can work on this aspect even when in bed, there’s no excuse not to learn about it.
Being at the position at the right time is great, but if the opponent is stronger than you, he or she will still have a major advantage over you.
If you want to improve your throw-ins, win more battles in the air, jump higher, sprint faster, be able to hold on the ball more, or simply make your rivals respect you more, that’s where working on your strength goes in. And that’s something you often need to do by yourself.
How do you improve your strength? It’s probably best to ask a coach at the gym by telling him or her your goals, or otherwise, search on YouTube. There’s a lot of YouTube videos dedicated to strength in football. And don’t worry, if you aren’t able to go to the gym, you’ll also find videos that allow you to do bodyweight work that will still help you improve a lot.
What not to do when working on strength?
Do not focus on super heavyweights. Lifting heavy weight isn’t going to produce the type of strength you should be seeking as an athlete. You need to build strength, but you also need to have mobility.
Aim for 2-3 sessions per week. Considering you have training already with a bunch of matches, doing more isn’t going to benefit you as much as you will most likely be over exhausting yourself.
3. Weak Foot
This is one of the biggest mistakes coaches make when training young players. They don’t empathize on the importance of training both of your feet. As a result, years later, your weaker foot is practically unusable.
Being able to use both of your feet effectively during a game, not just for shots or passes but mostly for dribbling or dispossessing players will open up new horizons for you.
A lot of players don’t have a great weak foot, and that’s why working on that aspect will give you such a big advantage as a player whether defending or attacking, and not just for shots or passes, but also for dribbling and dispossessing players.
And the best thing about improving your weak foot? That it’s actually far easier to improve it than it looks. Our 5-step guide about how to improve your weak foot that we shared on our blog covers all the essentials of improving your weak foot in the most time-efficient way.
Ultimately it goes down to consistency though. Your better foot knows exactly how to kick a ball, which is the main difference between your weaker foot and your better foot. And it knows that because you have trained it for thousands of hours.
When it comes to things like your weak foot, it’s very important to keep track of your progress though. Otherwise, even though we are improving, we will often struggle to see that progress, and as a result, give up. Our Xampion insoles are able to track your foot usage as you play football. Whether it’s the strength of your weak foot or what part of your foot you touch the ball with. That allows you to track your progress and see that you are actually improving.
This is something you should work on, especially if you play on the wing but is one of the attributes that every football player will benefit from if they work on it.
You might have noticed in the past that a lot of players may not necessarily be the fastest, but they still find a way to catch up. That goes down to explosiveness.
Explosiveness is responsible for your acceleration, jumps, or how quick you can change your direction, and by implementing some simple strategies into your workouts, even though you might not be the fastest player on the pitch, you will be able to catch up with the fastest and will fool the best.
The easiest exercise for explosiveness? Jumping. Jump up and down. Perhaps add a squat to it make a jump squat to help with explosiveness while also helping build strength.
Once again, you’ll find some great videos around explosiveness for athletes or football players with some quick searches on YouTube.
Are you outpassing everyone at training but for some reason can’t demonstrate what you demonstrate at training on the pitch? That used to be me, and it goes down to your mindset.
If you are scared of making mistakes, you will avoid the ball, and when somebody does pass you the ball, you will most likely make a mistake.
If you aren’t feeling confident on the pitch, you won’t be able to play to your full abilities. Mindset is what kills potential. It’s also something that affects a lot of athletes in many different ways, and if you don’t tackle it, all the improvements you make by working on these top 5 attributes that every football player should work on will be of no value to you.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford.
Mindest isn’t just about how you feel on the pitch; it’s also about what you are thinking. If you have issues that are on your mind while playing, you just won’t be at the concentration level you should be on.
Karim Benzema said that sometimes you’ll be up and sometimes you’ll be down, but that having the right mindset will allow you to stay in a straight line.
What can you do about your mindset?
- Meditate. Meditation isn’t just a trend, and that’s why some of the top players like Lionel Messi meditate both before and after a match. Meditation allows for the removal of stress and allows you to concentrate on what’s ahead. Which is why it’s one of the top practices before a match. Services like Headspace even offer special meditation programs for athletes that focus on things such as concentration and motivation.
- Avoid using your phone. (It’s a place of distraction.)
- Watch a motivational YouTube video. Motivation doesn’t work in the long-term but it is a great way to get yourself mentally ready for your game ahead.
- Create a pre-game ritual. Your pre-game ritual could consist of anything. Watching a motivational YouTube video or mediation. Having a set of actions that you carry out before a match will help you focus more on your match.
- Educate yourself about how to improve your mindset. Whether it’s through YouTube or a book, whatever issues you have, somebody most likely already experienced it in the past.
Everyone has different issues, and therefore, we cannot provide an exact solution that will work for you. What we can do is to show you where to look, and then it’s up to you to do the extra research to help yourself. But remember, there’s no right or wrong. It’s just whatever works.
And if you feel like you need to go to a psychologist, then do. A psychologist will be able to help you deal with your specific problems that are blocking you like no guide on the internet can.
These are Top 5 Attributes That Every Football Player Should Work On
All these top 5 attributes, while not all of equal importance, all compliment each other. Without the right mindset, none of these top 5 attributes that every football player should work on will benefit you. Without strength, your explosiveness won’t be as great, and vice versa, and even if you worked on all that, if you can only play with one foot, you are still very limited.
That’s why all of these top 5 attributes that every football player should work on are all as equally important.
Of course, football doesn’t just consist of these 5 elements, and if you’d like to dive into how to improve as a football player even more, whether you want to be a better Sunday league player or sign a pro contract, our blog just like our Xampion insole trackers is all about making you a better football player and helping you with your football goals.