As the ultimate team sport, football (soccer) demands more from its players. It forces you to be part of a team, to trust one another, and to always give your best on the field. However, the problem with playing soccer – for a lot of players – is that they don’t play like a team member. Remember, the end result is always what matters. If you score two goals but don’t help your team avoid conceding three, you haven’t done the job that you think you have!
So, what are some essential rules to play football to?
Always keep your head up
As a golden rule for any footballer, make sure you never let your head drop. Yes, you have to keep your eye on the ball. But, more important than anything else is knowing where you are on the field and what options are open to you. If you just play blindly, you make it much easier for the opposition to crowd you out.
Keep an eye on what is open at all times, and what is happening in your own team.
Don’t try and be the hero
For many fans of the beautiful game, the joy comes from moments of heroism. Don’t try and be the hero, however. The moment where you save the day often comes from instinct; it’s not something that you consciously decide upon. The moment you try and take on the role of team saviour, the moment you stop playing for the team.
This is important to keep in mind: be a team-player, not a one-person riot squad.
Always play to your instruction
As a player, it’s easy to discount the opinion of a coach and just go for what feels right. Do that for long enough, though, and you won’t be playing for any team enough. Football is often built on teamwork and togetherness; trying to break free from that mould is not the positive you may think it is. You might not agree, but always play to the coaches instruction. Your coach is often with his or her job on the line; so the least you can do is let them take the team further/backwards on their own terms.
Remember to never lean back
In football, there is just about no time for leaning back. The moment you lean back, a simple shot will be spooned over the bar. A pass will be overhit. You will find it harder to tackle or to keep pace with an opponent. Avoid leaning back at all costs. Leaning back is the biggest mistake that you can make on the field.
Play for the badge, not yourself
Lastly, make sure that every decision that you make is for the team, not yourself. Your own advancement as a player will come from working as part of the team, not taking everything into your own hands. If you are serious about making a meaningful improvement, then play for the badge. Scouts, coaches, and opponents will fear you far more if you play for the team, rather than yourself. Soloists are easily beaten in football; make sure you are the ultimate team player.
If you keep these simple rules in mind, your performance and overall enjoyment of the sport is almost certain to increase. Why let football become a chore? With the above tips and tricks, you’ll be much more likely to play and find success. Football is a sport that is built on the team, so make sure your every decision is with the team in mind. It’s the only way to play well, to make it, and to enjoy success