As an aspiring football player it is crucial to understand that your success depends on the countless hours spent improving yourself, especially when nobody else is. During off-season and the holidays the majority of players stop training due to family obligations and the cold weather. This is your time to shine and get ahead of the competition! Use these exercises to stay Effective this holiday.
#1 SELF SKILLS (A)
Everything here applies to a game, so maintain proper form and do this as fast as you can. By mastering control of body movement through this drill you will make the game look easy!
In Variation A, complete:
1. Inside taps
2. Toe taps
3. Short touches with the insides of both feet
Change every 20 seconds.
-Reps: 1 (1 rep = 1 min) (change every 20 secs)
-Recovery: 1.5 min
By mastering control and body movement through this drill, you’ll make your game look easy.
#2 NON-STOP STEPOVERS
Stepovers are one of the most basic skills moves in the game, but it’s also one of the most effective in deceiving your opponent and creating an opportunity. Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Götze, and some of the best dribblers you can think of use stepovers regularly to their advantage.
With the ball fixed to the spot, stepover as fast as you can, without losing your form.
Tip: If you accidentally hit the ball with any part of your foot (because of tiredness or not concentrating), punish yourself by adding +5 seconds.
Tip #2: See how many stepovers you can make in one rep, and try beat your record every time.
VARIATION A: INSIDE STEPOVERS
VARIATION B: REVERSE STEPOVERS
-Reps 1 (1 rep = 1 min)
-Recovery: 1.5 min
Alternate between A & B
Will make your legs and hips more flexible and you’ll obtain faster leg movement. Better at 1-on-1 situations.
#3 TOUCH & ROLL
To push the ball at high speed you need to dribble with your instep. The best players do a lot of short dribbling, pushing the ball with both the inside and outside of their feet.
Use lots of small, precise touches to bring the ball to the other marker. Once you reach the marker, drag the ball back with the soles of your feet and repeat.
Tip: To make it harder for yourself, scan left, right and in front of you while dribbling and raise your arms in line with your shoulders as if you were holding off an opponent.
-Reps 8 (up & down =1 rep)
-Recovery: 1.5 min
More time when you have the ball and will allow you to penetrate into your opponents territory through more precise dribbling and precise touches.
#4 STOP & GO
Former Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole was a player great at turning with and without the ball. Ashley was very quick, and he knew that if he can’t go one direction, he’ll put on the brakes and go the other way, this allowed him to be a formidable player who rarely lost possession. The idea behind this exercise is to replicate the same stop and go motion that’s used during games, with the 2 markers acting as opponents.
Use small, precise touches when dribbling to the marker, stop the ball firmly in place and explode in the other direction using lots of small steps when getting low around the cone.
-Recovery: 2 min
More time when you have the ball and will allow you to penetrate into your opponents territory through more precise dribbling and precise touches. Braking and sharp turning is what allows you to find space and play the ball to your teammate. This is what you’ll improve in this drill. You’ll keep possession and lose the ball less.
-Hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds.
-Make sure to stretch out any stiff and sore areas for an extended time.
1. 3 minute light jog
2. Calf stretch
4. Lower back stretch
5. Lying quadriceps stretch
6. Sitting groin stretch
7. Shoulder stretch
8. Stretch out any remaining sore or stiff areas
-Recovery: Not Applicable
Stretching helps remove lactic acid build up from your muscles and for relaxation, helping you feel fresh and ready for the next training.
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.