Best midfielder tips ever? SCANNING. Just like a Tarsier scans for potential prey or predators using their 360 degree vision, former NYCFC midfielder & Chelsea legend Frank Lampard does the same with his scanning ability.

Lampard has never been the fastest or quick footed player, in fact he’s even been taunted by fans for ‘eating what he wants’ and has been given the nickname ‘Fat Frank’. Whatever doubts you might have about his athleticism, he is certainly one of the most aware and intelligent footballers around!

Take a look at this clip below. How many times does Lamps turn his head to check his surroundings?

14 times. That’s roughly once a second.

And here’s another example, this time with Nigel De Jong

If the Dutch player De Jong didn’t check his shoulder (3 times), he may have lost the ball and the Mexicans would then be in a dangerous counter-attacking situation.

How to Adapt to Senior Level Soccer

When making the transition from youth (under 18) to senior level football (18-35), there is one major difference evident, the speed of play.

Of course there are other factors such as strength, but many players fail to adapt to this step up and consequently, fail to succeed.

Adapting to a faster speed of play requires you to think quicker and know what you’re going to do before you receive the ball, and even two passes ahead. This is why if you want to succeed at a higher level, you have to be a player that scans regularly throughout the match. Scanning is one of the most important midfielder tips we have for central players, and is relevant for all positions.

So now you understand the importance of scanning, how do you train it?

Midfielder Tips: How to train time and space on the ball

Unfortunately, in order for scanning to be effective, it must become a habit and habits are hard to learn. Fortunately, here are two tips on how you can train it:

Tip #1:

Every football training drill that you do, take 1 or 2 glances behind you before you receive the ball, or expect to receive it.

Tip #2:

It’s inevitable that you will forget to do that at times, so you have to remind yourself by writing on your hand or psychologically condition yourself by stepping on your toe each time you forget.

Tip #3:

Okay the title of the post is a little misleading.. of course everyone is going to lose the ball at some point. But when it happens, don’t put your head down! Don’t dwell on a mistake, keep wanting the ball and keep making scanning a habit.

If you’re patient and keep doing this consistently, within a few weeks you’ll notice the results! You should see the following in your game:

  • – You’ll lose the ball less.
  • – Feel more confident in receiving the ball under pressure.
  • – Feel you have more time on the ball.

Do you have any tips/hints for scanning or adapting to a faster pace of game? Tell us on snapchat and instagram!

Ready for the next tip on improving your intelligence in games? Check out the quick video below!

Nick Humphries, 25, is a footballer who played in England (Wimbledon), Scotland (Montrose), Holland (Volendam), Hungary (Vasas) as well as with the Australian U20 national team. At 16 years of age, he was just an average amateur player with limited skills. Only one year later he was offered $120k+ in scholarships. Two years later he received a contract to play professionally in Europe. How did he get better? He trained in his own way! Learn more about the training program he’s creating to help players improve on their own terms.