Grass Roots Soccer Academy is founded on the basis of focusing primarily on improving the soccer player’s individual technique. This is achieved through a variety of individual technical drills with “1 player & 1 ball” and small sided games.
Many of our exercise involve repetition. We believe that through repetition a player learns the technique quicker and it helps improve their muscle memory. For example the more they do a certain skill in practice the more it becomes second nature and they perform the skill in the game without even thinking.
There is an emphasis on teaching our soccer players to use both feet and all parts of the foot. Each technical exercise focuses on a specific skill (control, passing, dribbling, shooting) and is then broken down in to what part of the foot you would use for different situations (inside, outside, soul, laces). It is important that players understand that each situation is different and therefore deems a different response. They can’t use the same turn for every situation, the inside of the foot for every pass, the soul of their cleat every time they control the ball, it depends on the situation.
That is where decision making comes in. Our secondary goal after technique is to improve the player’s decision making skills. Once we teach them how to do a certain move or technique they then need to know when to use it. It is all about making the correct decision in a split second and that is why we use repetition because players get better at making decisions when they know a move so well they do not have to think about it.
All individual technical exercises have an emphasis on three key areas:
I will often show a move to players and they will reply “I can do that”. And they can to a certain degree. My response is “can you beat a player using it”? Something as simple as a step over is not done correctly by the majority of young players. Just because they can perform the move it does not mean you can beat a player with it. The technique needs speed, deception, and a good touch to be executed correctly. We encourage players to get better and not to be happy with just being able to do the move. We want quick, neater, and with more deception.
A competitive environment is necessary to improve. We like to create a competitive environment and often exercises will be timed or points will be given out. Sometimes players will compete with each other and other times they will compete with themselves trying to beat what they have achieved in the past. Players are put in to ability equivalent groups so they feel comfortable.
We strive to improve our players individual technique and decision making skills through using repetition and competition whilst trying to keep the exercises fun. We know repetition can be boring but it is the best way to improve technique. Players should expect to work hard on our clinics and they are designed for players who have ambitions of playing at a higher level (high school and college).