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Soccer Coach's Corner

Soccer Tip

Presented by Kyle Jones, Coach
Nike Soccer Camp in Lake Geneva

Nike Soccer Tip - How to Become a Confident Attacking Player

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People attend soccer matches to be entertained. Players like Christian Pulisic (Chelsea and USMNT) and Rose Lavelle (Man City and USWNT) are prime examples of excellent attacking soccer players and players who are able to entertain and make a difference in a game. They are comfortable with the ball at their feet because they have spent hours with it and have mastered the movements and the skills that the fans see today on their television screens and in the stadiums.

Young players today must spend these hours with the ball if they are to be the next Pulisic or Lavelle, however, it is not just the number of hours that is spent with a ball, but it is also what they do with those hours that will determine their success as an attacking soccer player.

Ball Mastery

Players must master the movements first. In soccer, we call this ball mastery. They must perform the movements over and over again so that they become automatic and so that it frees up mental space within the game to be thinking less about the movements and more about what is actually happening in the game.

Here are two examples of ball mastery exercises:

Stepovers: https://youtu.be/htpOpEeIKro

Inside Outsides: https://youtu.be/WUsfKQ8e6Qc


These ball mastery exercises are the movements that form the individual skills that you see confident attacking players perform in games. Think of the ball mastery skills as building blocks that when put together form a creation, i.e. a skill. There are many different individual skills and many different types. Here are two examples of attacking skills that are formed from the ball mastery skills you saw earlier:

Stepover: https://youtu.be/q9x3HoVo7Q8

Inside Outside: https://youtu.be/t_JPjBKuBAE


The ball mastery exercises and the skills are the how of individual skills. They teach players how to do the actual skill. It is also important that young players are taught the when and why they perform each skill. Players can learn this themselves through countless hours of free play; in the local park, on their street, with their friends, at the end of a practice, etc. However, players can also be taught this through good coaching programs and experienced coaches. They can learn the moments in the game, areas of the field, position of defenders, position of teammates, etc. when the individual skills are most effective.

You can learn all of this and over 150 ball mastery and individual skills at a Nike Soccer Camp with coach Kyle Jones of Illinois Skill School this Summer. The camps will be held at Lake Forest Academy, in Lake Forest IL, and at Big Foot H.S. in Lake Geneva, in WI.

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