Have you ever wondered how English premier league players like David Silva, Jordan Henderson and Juan Mata are able to launch such precise passes with so little time to make a decision?
Sure, their technique is sublime, but on closer inspection there’s a supreme level of intelligence which makes the difference between them and the others. It’s all about the decisions they make seconds before they launch that pinpoint cross or rocket shot.
Their superb decision making skills come from two areas of their game:
Vision + Movement
Good Vision: The ability to spot teammates and opportunities and making intelligent decisions with or without possession of the ball.
Good Movement: The ability to make runs on and off the ball which create space and/or provide support to teammates.
These are two essential attributes for central midfielders. Even if you’re reading this and you’re not a midfielder, the principles that apply here relate to every position on the pitch. For example, as a striker you can benefit from having an understanding with your midfield partner (like Henderson/Sturridge). As a defender, you can gain an understanding of how dangerous space can be exploited at the very top level.
In the video below, you’ll see 8 examples of superb vision and movement by the players best at this. This video moves quick and fast, so stay concentrated, don’t skip and pause if need be. Lets go!
There are a few key points to take away from this video. These points demonstrate how you can improve your soccer vision and movement:
- All players demonstrate that they think two (sometimes three) passes ahead, so when they receive the ball they know exactly who and where they’ll pass the ball to.
- Quick ‘give and go’, 1-2 movement gets you away from your marker and frees up space so you can switch play, make a pass and even get in a goal scoring/chance creating situation.
- Sturridge and Henderson have an excellent midfield-striker partnership. If you want to score more as a striker, or assist more as a midfielder, communicate with your teammates before a match, even show them these clips so they can see what can be achieved when you have an understanding.
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.