**Real Soccer Advice**

Discussion in 'Tradition Soccer' started by The Richuation, Jun 24, 2011.

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  1. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    So, my obsession with the world cup, MLS, Barclays, Champs League, and FIFA10/FIFA11 has lead me to try playing actual football. I bought my boots today. There is an open run Friday nights here in Toledo. Any advice?

    I play in a basketball league, played college football, and am generally active. But for a 30+ year old with no skills... what position should I play? what should I expect?

    Blaza
    hedache

    I know you play... any advice?
     
  2. Blaza

    Blaza In Arsene Wenger I Trust

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    Nice man! As you know, soccer is a game of touches. Touch and movement are more important than any physical skill. I have played with some of the slowest, least athletic slugs that were a pleasure to play with because they could pass, move, and shoot. A few general tips.

    1) JUGGLE. This is something you can do on your own obviously and it is one of the best ways to learn the ball and will help soften your touch. Go out to a field and just try to keep the ball up. At first it will be difficult and frustrating, but dont worry--keep at it. I like turf for practicing unless there are any really nice grass fields in your area. Each time you go out make sure you are 'practicing with a purpose'. What I mean by that is, dont just go out there and fool around--really challenge yourself and try to make sure you juggle it 1 or 2 times more than the last time you came out. Start with a goal of 10 and try to work your way up to 100. It seems like alot but you will be surprised how much it will help if you really work at it.

    2) Stay on your toes. This seems like a no-brainer, but ever wonder why soccer players usually have huge calves? Its because the game is played on your toes. Look at Messi or CR7---if the ball is anywhere around them they are 'hopping' around preparing to receive the ball. It is a small thing, but not easy as you will naturally want to 'rest' when the ball is not at your feet in a game. Resist this urge. When someone passes you a ball, you want to be on your does, and do a hop right as you receive it with your instep. Watch a real game and pay attention to a wenger or centermid receiving the ball....right before they get it, pay close attention you will notice them hopping and hop to a stop right when the ball gets to their feet.

    3) Get in shape. This is one of the things that can help tremendously. Being able to run longer then the other guy will make things so much easier for you. In shape is different for everyone. My game is more about power and speed than endurance, but you will be shocked to see how poor your touch is when you are tired. Go to the gym, run, stretch, etc. Also, make sure you warm up alot before you play.

    4) Until you get comfortable, make trapping and passing the basis of your game. So when a ball is coming to you, get on your toes and think about what your next move. You dont have to be Messi out there, just try to keep possession for your team and work hard defensively and you can be valuable to any squad. When you pass the ball, try to stay low and compact, make sure your plant foot is pointed in the direction you want to pass. Make sure your body is not leaning backwards or you will put the ball in the air. Get your chest almost over the ball and it will stay on the ground. Use your instep and make sure you follow through, but that you aren't 'pushing' the ball. That will cause it to hook. Hit solid with your instep and follow through. When you make a pass, back on your toes and move. Even if you just move 5 yards, move. It will give your teammates an option and make it harder for defenders to keep track of you. I cant stress how important passing is. Find a wall and just pass into the wall with your instep over and over.

    5) Invest in some cones. They are a few bucks and they will help you man I promise. Watch this video and slowly try to work on the stuff this kid is doing in the drills. Obviously you wont be able to do them as fast, but focus on starting slow and eventually (will take months) speed up. But remember, form is way more important then speed. Also, try setting up 4 cones in a square next to a wall, hit it with a little power against the wall and work on controlling the rebound inside the square.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx1XW00UP2o

    I played on a pretty high level and have TONS of summer workouts, drills, pdf's for you if you are interested, just email me. A few of my close friends play pro-ball as well so I have the summer workout requirements for the Whitecaps and a few USL teams. Hit me up if you have questions. Good luck!
     
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  3. jnewcomer5

    jnewcomer5 Walk On

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    I played for over 12-14 years growing up through High School. Be prepared to find out how HARD the sport is. Keep it simple, touch the ball around the house as much as you can! Have fun! It's a great game!
     
  4. Blaza

    Blaza In Arsene Wenger I Trust

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    The technique is tough to grasp at first, but overall it is a very simple game. Figure out what you do well and build off that. Keep it simple!
     
  5. JFace907

    JFace907 Ron F'n Swanson

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    I played catcher for years and baseball and found Keeper to be the spot for me! Its great if you love to dive around and USE YOUR HANDS :p But beware, its definitely a thinking man's position and you definitely have to be ready at a moments notice to use your feet. I'm a terrible ballhandler so my teammates know to not backpass it all that often.
     
  6. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Um, maybe I shouldnt bother haha.
     
  7. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Great advice though. I will probably look to play in the back at first and just play some D and maintain possesion.
     
  8. hedache

    hedache Walk On

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    I've played for over 30 years at this point and still figuring out stuff. Since you're already 30+ you won't be making the mistakes I made. Before I get into advices, here are some stuff I've experienced. At 38 years old, I've just recently started running just to accompany my wife when my soccer/hockey schedule lets me. God just in the short time you wouldn't believe what kind of a difference it made, all the frustrations that I've been experiencing lately are disappearing cos it's making me stronger every day. Lately my legs haven't been executing what my mind had planned, especially competing with these 20 something college players. With all the skill you have, if you're not strong enough, it's all useless. I look back and think, if I had run a day or two a week starting 10-15 years ago, I'd be an unstoppable beast right about now. Sad.

    In my prime around like between 25 to 32ish, I relied mostly on my skills and strength, and not my brain. Basically played for my own pleasure. I was the guy that dribbled around 4-5 people, then go back and do it again. As you get weaker, you get forced to play smarter :) And today, again I look back and say, I wish I had the mindset I have today back then. Sad.

    Dribbling at home: Growing up, I did my travels in the house with a ball, literally. If I'm going to the kitchen from my bedroom, or to the living room, I'd be dribbling with my little ball. Dinner table was the goal and the chairs were the goalie, I'd take a shot if that was on my way :) I developed great ball control (which led me to being a complete idiot at times) with that. Ofcourse at this point you won't have that chance. Sad.

    If you're interested, you can do it. When I came to the US, I strongly rejected watching MLS, and back then there was no fox soccer and all the fanciness. I got into hockey. I learned the rules thanks to EA. Then just like you are, I was like I gotta do this. Patiently I first learned how to roller blade around the parking lot for a while (which may be something you may want to consider with the soccer ball). Went on outdoor rinks and started skating with a stick and a ball. Then one day I jumped in a league. And from there ice was next and today I'm a decent skater. Along the way, when I was satisfied with my skating enough, I switched to goalie position, which I wanted to play from day 1. Another thing you may want to consider about the position you may want to play. Sometimes, to be able to play the position you like, you may have to go through some process in another position to improve necessary skills.

    Now back to you. If you showed up in my pick up and I had no choice but to let you play (yea there'll be dicks in pick up), I'd tell you to stay in defense. With smart positioning, even without a lot of skill at first, you may look good and gain some respect, which can be very important in soccer. With respect comes more touches. If you look like a fool (don't be scared to, and if you do post it on youtube so I can enjoy it), people may start avoiding to pass you even when you're the only choice. But don't let this to discourage you from trying things in the game, yea I know it's a tricky balance. Try to keep yourself between the ball and your net. If the guy infront of you is skilled, when you think you got the ball, he will be past you. Watch the ball not his legs.

    I'd tell you to keep it simple. Don't panic, when you win the ball, first control it with a touch, and then send it, preferably to a team mate, most likely the closest guy. Don't be shy about passing backwards. I play with a lot of retards that are not aware that there's a whole world behind them. Only if they had eyes behind them, or a brain. Do not panic, always think you have more time than you think. You may give up the ball, you may do it again, but at some point you'll start keeping it and doing what you mean to do with it.

    If you can be patient about jumping into a game, I'd say first practice by yourself. Get comfortable with the ball, so you are not learning what to do with it in the game. Cos that may be very few chances and little time. Satisfy yourself with the ball by yourself, and focus on the fundamentals of the game in pick up. A wall can be your best friend. Unlike Blaza, instead of wasting your time with juggling at first (in my opinion) pass at the wall, shoot at the wall and learn how to control those balls coming back at you. Treat it like real game, control with first touch, send it back with the second. You will experience this kind of action a lot more in a game than juggling. Pass the ball on the ground and see how it comes back at you. Pass it up high to see what you can do with a ball that's coming back to you bouncing like a mofo.

    Read this stuff for now. I'll add other stuff if I think about anything reading some posts on this thread.

    * Some charges may apply in return for this information.
     
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  9. hedache

    hedache Walk On

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    Looking at this video, I'd say don't bother with the cone dribbles. I'm not saying they're not useful, that's just not feasible options for you. To get you somewhat ready for a pick up, I think the wall practices that the kid is doing makes more sense, just like I had advised above. It'll let you experiment in both kicking the ball and controlling it. Experiment with the distance from the wall as well to give yourself more time or less time depending on your comfort level.
     
  10. Krebstar425

    Krebstar425 Thee Mighty DFB

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    Myself and a friend are attempting to find a league, but we're having issues finding one that isn't really competitive and loaded with former college players. It's amazing how we haven't been able to find a "recreational" league. They say they're that, but all we hear about is how competitive they are and how skilled the players are.

    I really want to play and get my Patrick Vieira on. Patrol the midfield
     
  11. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Ok... Just left the field... Omg
     
  12. Krebstar425

    Krebstar425 Thee Mighty DFB

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    After being red carded? Come on, Rich! I hope it was worth it. ;)
     
  13. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Wrap up tomorrow...

    Football is no joke
     
  14. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    I red carded myself after an hour and a half
     
  15. Colemanchu

    Colemanchu GOAT SPLITTER

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  16. Ant0nTheGreat

    Ant0nTheGreat Walk On

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    Tip. Always keep your head up. Whether it's passing dribbling, trapping always look up to see what your next move will be. Also your first touch will setup where you go. So focus on trapping the ball and pushing the ball ahead quickly so you can dribble or pass. Third always attack the space. That's where you will play that first touch to give you time to setup a solid pass or dribble up a bit. Lastly, always know that you can go backwards if you don't see openings.
     
  17. MaxATX34

    MaxATX34 Texas Football

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    The advice on passing and trapping is good. That is what you concentrate on. Make sure you put yourself in positions to receive the ball, or "show" for your teammates, dont just stand around and wait for the ball. On defense, I wouldnt look at the ball or their feet. I would keep your eyes right where their belt buckle would be and try to square up that way (you should still be able to see the ball and their feet). Be ready to defend the pass too though. Remember, if you and an opponent are chasing a loose ball you can shoulder charge them. If you end up playing defense make sure to challenge for any balls in the air that come your way. Sometimes even just jumping near the ball helps haha. I dont have a lot of time to write anything else, but keep some of this "lingo" in mind.

    "through" -to call for a through ball
    "square" -to call for a parallel pass
    "split" -to call for a pass between 2 defenders
    "drop/leave" -pass the ball backward or leave the ball alone
    "line" -to either call for a pass down the line, or to call for a run down the line
    "switch" - to call for the ball to switch sides of the field (either from left or right to the other side if youre looking at the goal)
     
  18. hedache

    hedache Walk On

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    Haha there are no recreational leagues. Infact those people that join recreational think that this is the most important thing in their life and play like it's the fucking world cup. I've been in recreational leagues where it's nothing less than the competitive leagues. And unfortunately you get these people that have no clue about safety as well. Leave 50-50 balls aside, I've been kicked badly so many times where it was so obvious that I would get to the ball before my opponent. Good luck finding something you can have fun. Usually recreational league is more promising than pickup.

    The Richuation
    I have one word for you, actually two (quoted from one of my favorite movies): Baby Steps!!!
    There is a lot of good advice here, but guys remember that you are giving advice for a newcomer. Some of the advice here requires a certain level of skill, I think you need to focus on the simpler and more basic things as a start and then advance as you get better in different departments.

    I'm curious to hear about your thoughts, tomorrow I guess.

    MaxATX34 I am not opposed to your watching the belt buckle level, but I know so many players that if you start watching the body they will send you to LA while they're headed for NYC, well maybe not that bad but you get the idea. For Rich as starters, I think he should stick with where the balls going. If he's where the ball is, it doesn't matter where the player is. But I also acknowledge that the ball may be at one place one second and totally somewhere else next second, so like I said, I'm not totally opposed but it's just a matter of choice. I guess focus on the ball would be a better phrase than watch the ball. So in other words look where you can see most of things but focus on the ball movement instead of the guy's movement would be my advice.
     
  19. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Ok, I woke up today and my groin hurts, I had 4 blisters on my feet, and legs were tender. Feeling good.

    So, here was my experience last night...

    According to the website the Toledo area pickup game starts at 6:30. I arrive 15 minutes early and there is one dude in his car. So, i wait. Another guy shows up and they know each other. They get out to warm up and so do I. I immediately explain that this is my first time. They say their first time was last week playing here. I clarify that I have NEVER played soccer, pickup or otherwise. I don't go into the fact that I really have never even kicked the ball around. They were like, whoa, then what brought you here? I said to mixup my exercise routine, which isn't entirely untrue, but its more my obsession with learning more about the game. That may sound creepy for soccer lifers, so explaining its for exercise is simple enough. They guys were friendly enough and we kicked the ball around to warm up... which i cant tell you how much better just those 15 minutes made me feel. I guess its the same as shooting around before open gym basketball. For a lifelong basketball player, i dont think much of it, but i guess for a newbie, just goofing around and shooting before the game can make you feel more comfortable in your surroundings.

    Anyway, more people showed... we got to 8v8 by the time I left. Everyone was cool, with the exception of one or two. I played in the back and pushed up once we started to build.

    But here are the bullet points.

    1. I was THE worst player on the field. Everyone knew this quickly. The worst player does not get many touches, which was fine by me.
    2. I was in the worst shape of anyone on the field. Keep in mind, I workout 3 days a week and appear to be an active, in shape person. I ran my last 5K in 23:07.
    3. I have no touch.
    4. I do not fully understand the defensive responsibilities in terms of matching up, funneling, rolling off, etc.
    5. When you are gassed on the field, you are totally worthless.

    Some embarrassing moments...

    The ball was kick toward my face, and my reaction was that my hands went up, like I was playing basketball. I pulled them down, but it garnered a few snickers. I just said, "Sorry, Im new at this haha." One dude was very cool like, This is your first time? Your doing great.

    After trying to remind myself to keep my hands down, I switched to goalie... The ball was shot and I kept my hands down (i have no idea why) the ball bounched off my chest and into the goal. The was the low point.

    Some encouraging moments...

    My size and strength showed flashes of not being a complete liability once I get my wind and understand the defense tactics better. I played inside linebacker in college, so closing down on people in kinda natural.

    I had the sense to pass backwards a few times, which I was given props for maintaining possesion.

    I had a couple tackles that disrupted the flow and sent a through ball up the sideline that led to a shot.

    We played for about an hour straight, and I was dead. DEAD. In open gym backetball, you play to 11, winners stay, rinse and repeat. But, you get breaks to get water and chill for a min. Soccer = no breaks. So once we got to an hour and I was clearly a liability I pulled myself off. Got a few claps and nice games, which was cool.

    But i tell you what, after just that short experience, I have a greater respect for the game and the players. I think about a guy like Michael Bradley and the amount of ground he covers in a 90 min match and the effort he is putting out is ridiculous. Just staying back and playing defense against these little 5'7" dudes will wear you out. I'm 6'2", 188. But anyway, it was so much fun, and despite my groin feeling like crap and embarrassing myself last night, im going back Sunday.
     
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  20. hedache

    hedache Walk On

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    Sounds great Rich. That is awesome what you did there. And actually it sounds like you did great for your first time. For a while you will be doing great for what you are. It can't get worse from where you are :) (I'm serious, my each hockey game was a huge progress when I first started). Each game will feel like a great accomplishment and improvement for the next few times. At some point you will hit a high point where improvement will slow down, that's when you keep playing so it doesn't get backwards.

    Some of the low points you told, I have witnessed before, it happens. We had to use this huge huge guy as a goalie for my indoor team, that had no clue when he first came. Was a coworker of a teammate. He was basically a big mass that we hoped the ball would bounce off at first. He did improve but not much, probably around your age by then. He was a little more useful as he progressed. You learn by playing and experiencing embarrassments. And I told you, there will be dicks and there will be nice people. You do good things and gain respect and you may get a few more touches every game. Different people treat the same exact game differently. For some even the pick up is the most important game of his life at that minute. Some will be there to have fun (regardless of high skill level), and may even lean towards helping you out here and there as it goes. In pick up, I try to find guys like you when they're not under too much pressure so that they get a touch feel like they're part of the game. I'll pass, and then quickly move to an easy place for him to pass me back. What do I lose? Nothing. I still have the ball, and the guy is probably happy that he did something. And if he can't deliver it back to me, so what, next time he will. It's a pick up.

    You say it was tiring to play for an hour. Try that indoor. When there's no out of bounds, there is no walking around when the ball goes out for 10-20 seconds. Since I started running, I've been using Nike+ app to track my distance and speed on the iphone. I'm really interested in buying the Nike+ Sportsband watch that has the little GPS sensor to track my movement in outdoor soccer games. Normally runners tie it on their shoes, but that wouldn't happen in soccer, I'll probably have to use an armband or something.
     
  21. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    Yea there was one dick. Made a few comments... Whatever.

    Huge disparity of skill level last night... From me to some 6'4" nigerian dude that was freaking amazing.

    But at this point, it looks like my form, defensive effort, and back line touch probably have the biggest impact on my improvement.
     
  22. hedache

    hedache Walk On

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    At least there is some disparity. Sometimes I'll get called for open hockey where I play in leagues. There is no disparity of skill level, everyone is so amazing. I feel like I'm in the NHL, everyone is so skilled, it's a nice slap in the face just when I think "oh I've been doing so good lately".
     
  23. Timpegoose

    Timpegoose Walk On

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    Where do you play in Toledo?? I've been trying to find a place to play for a while actually, but haven't found enough to put together a team for one of the men's open leagues yet so I haven't been able to.
    The communication is big here. Communication is one of the biggest things in soccer that often go unnoticed watching on tv. Like hedache I only partially agree with watching the belt buckle defensively. I have always found it easier to focus on the ball but be weary of what the rest of the body is doing. One quote I heard from a coach about playing defense is "Either the ball gets by you, or the player gets by you. Never both." Just keep working at it and the touch will come around. The more comfortable you are out there the easier everything will be. When you play tense soccer gets even harder. It sounds like you have the tactics and possession ideas down pretty well from watching enough of it, which is a lot more than a lot of people I've played with can say.
     
  24. The Richuation

    The Richuation Walk On

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    http://toledoareasoccerassociation.com/

    Click on Pick Up Games. Sun, Tues, Fri @ 6:30. I am going back tonight. Maybe see you there?
     
  25. Timpegoose

    Timpegoose Walk On

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    Unfortunately I work tonight from 4-midnight. Nights I don't work I will definitely be trying to go though, we'll have to figure out a night that we're both out there. Tuesday is a definite possibility for me if I get off work early enough.
     
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