In football, we say that as a striker, you have to ‘want the ball’. Because if you never get the ball, you’ll never score. Period.
To want the ball, you have to make a move. You gotta make runs to create space and make yourself available.
Most importantly, you need to be thinking and reacting quicker than your opponent.
If you want to see how quickly the players at the elite level think and react, you should see this video right now. One of the ultimate how to play as a striker tips: This is the must-have skill of any world class striker:
Intelligence on the pitch isn’t something that comes naturally to all players. Many will make good passes or strong tackles, but won’t think about what follows that. This kind of mentality is really common outside of Europe, like in the US and Asia.
Smart players are those who learn there is more than one part to a move – they must link, support and anticipate.
Of course, it’s not completely up to you. Your teammates have to see that run from you and the space. They also need to have the quality to make a good pass. Football is a team sport after all and you need to have that communication and understanding to make it work. But all-in-all, anticipation – the best players have it. The ones that struggle do not.
Two lessons you can take away from this video:
1. For strikers: look for the space, away from both opponents and teammates.
2. For defenders: scan the field for opponents and watch the guy your marking. Now keep your eye on the opponent so you don’t lose them, and let their eyes tell you where they are going or where the ball is. If you feel a ball is going to come your way, be ready, drop a few steps back if needed and prepare to intercept.
In both cases, ball-watching or keeping your eyes fixed on the ball, will kill the clues you get for anticipating play. That’s the difference!
Take that into your next game.
By the way, you can now download our FREE APP with over 150 performance-boosting drills created by professional coaches and Premier League analysts to get you faster to your goals!
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.