With a new year approaching, the traditional is set goals and create new habits. What a wonderful time to start working toward sensational soccerista status. Soccer is the perfect sport for any athlete. Whether a girl is just starting out or is an experienced athlete, it is never too late to work on soccer skills.
There are many benefits to picking up a ball and joining the fun. Just like any goal, it will take research, planning, determination and hard work to succeed. Here is some advice for girls wanting to play soccer in 2018:
Set a big goal (then set mini goals)
A goal is not just at the end lines of the soccer field. It can also be a set plan to work toward. You'll need a realistic plan that you can measure progress with. An example of a goal could be to join a team. There are many levels of soccer based on competition and skill level. The reason you want to play soccer (whether recreational or to work toward college level soccer) will determine the type of team you try out for.
Be realistic though. The USWNT may not accept girls who just picked up a ball a month before practice starts. One measurable goal that you can set for yourself is to create a team of friends to play with this spring.
Take the time to find out more about soccer. Talk to friends and find out what other soccer players do at home to improve ball skills. Talk to the coaches of friends or call local programs to find out what is needed to start a team.
When first starting out, it may be easier to play in an indoor league or in a program that is set up for recreational fun and exercise. Fitness or community centers and schools may have intramural teams. This is an option for socceristas looking to get some exercise, practice skills and make new friends.
Don’t forget a fitness program. Regular running and exercise routines will get the body ready for playing in rigorous soccer games. The regular exercise conditions the body so there's less of a chance for serious injury. It will also aid in the recovery process if injuries do occur.
Most importantly, keep doctors and medical professionals informed of any changes in physical activity and habits. Find videos of players or coaches demonstrating various ball skills and dribbling activities. These types of exercises should be done daily. The more touches on the ball, the better.
Map out your training schedule
Assign times and days to work on specific skills and routines. Putting the plan in writing is essential. So create a to-do list.
Registration dates and commitments from friends should be given a due date so there is plenty of time to register a team. Also, commit to getting in so many touches and juggles each day. One goal can be to juggle the ball 10 times by the end of the first week. This will take daily practice. Be sure to fit it in.
Small goals will highlight your progress toward your ultimate goal. Make a point of getting them done.
Photo via Adobe Stock @ vallejo123