March 2nd, 2013The Importance of Repetitions in Soccer
Soccer requires a number of technical skills such as dribbling, chipping, dodging and defensive blocking, and many coaches encourage players to master these skills through drills that require repetition. While many players might prefer to jump into a game and play, coaches will encourage players to learn and practice technical skills in controlled situations prior to engaging them in open play.
While many younger soccer players enjoy the excitement of playing and competing with other teams, a player’s skill development relies heavily on the repetition of keys skills such as dribbling, kicking and moving with the ball. Speed, endurance and strength are also critical in soccer, but a player should develop solid technical skills from a young age, and he can often do this best through continuous repetition of skills during drill sets.
Repetition of Technical Skills
Skills such as trapping a ball, dribbling and passing a ball while moving are all acquired skills. While the ability to run and develop stamina is more natural to us, these skills often require players to train their feet to move and work in a specific manner. The motor skills, coordination and balance required for effective passing and receiving is also a physical skill that players perfect through continuous repetition so that the movements and reaction speed become second nature.
Repetition skills are critical to effective soccer practice, but coaches also note that players often want to have more playing time, and a balance of these activities is necessary to keep players engaged and motivated. Practices that emphasize drills without any opportunities for open play will often leave players disengaged, and this does not motivate them to compete at their best level.
Coaches should make an active effort to create engaging technical repetition drills. Add a sense of competition into repetition drills for dribbling or shooting by timing the players for speed or scoring their accuracy. A sense of competition provides the same motivation as play, because the players enjoy the opportunity to compete and score. Players can also be prompted to complete repetition drills during practice scrimmages by repeating tasks such as penalty kicks and throw-ins in sets rather than engaging in continuous play.