Exercises For Developing The Weaker Foot

It is normal for a person to be more efficient with just the left or right appendage. But you are at an advantage if you can demonstrate ambidexterity in both feet during a soccer game to have better control over the ball.

Image source: teachpe.com
Image source: teachpe.com

First, note the form your body takes and the ease in executing a drill with the strong foot. Imagine this when you switch and try the same with the weaker foot. Try to keep the foot relaxed in practicing the following drills:

Juggling. Using only your weaker foot, bounce the ball up and catch and kick it up using the lace section of the foot. Try to keep it up for five minutes. Gradually increase the time as you get more comfortable, until you can alternate between both feet and knees with confidence.

Image source: myactivesg.com
Image source: myactivesg.com

Trapping and passing. Throw the ball up high and use the toes of the weaker foot to cushion the ball down to a halt on the ground. As you get used to it, alternate with passing drills and use the wall as a rebounder.

Shooting. Use a small target and focus on technique over power in kicking the ball. Be conscious of the direction of the ball and how your body takes shape until you can mimic the ease in body movement when shooting with your strong foot.

Naman Wakil here, a bona fide soccer fan. Subscribe to myblog for more tips on soccer.

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Work-Out Hard, Play Hard: Conditioning For Your Best Soccer Game Yet

Image source: blogs.ft.com
Image source: blogs.ft.com

The greatest athletes understand that any sport isn’t just about talent, it’s also about discipline. Athletes clock-in a lot of time in training and conditioning, even more so during the off-season. Sport-specific training accounts for the most relevant and useful aspects of fitness; in soccer, that would be strength and cardiovascular endurance, speed and agility, balance, and flexibility.

Strength training can reduce the risk of injury. Overall body strength is important, but for obvious reasons, focus is given especially to lower body strength and core stability to improve balance. Some key exercises are squats (try the squat thrust, Saigon Spassov squat, or split squat), lunges, single-leg Romanian deadlifts, mountain climbers, tuck jumps, and planks.

Soccer is a rigorous, high-intensity game and players cover about 10 to 14 kilometers of running, jumping, turning, and tackling. Some exercises for enhancing speed, increasing cardio resistance, and improving agility are:

Image source: Stack.com
Image source: Stack.com

Speed running. Do intervals of walking, jogging, running, and then sprinting. Focus on maximum speed during the sprint. Sprint in one direction for about 60 to 100 meters, and then head back walking or jogging.

Get-ups Lie on the floor, and on the count of five get up as fast as possible and then sprint for five meters. Do three repetitions and eight sets.

Naman Wakil is a sports science student and is an avid fan of soccer. For more blogs about the sport, subscribe to this here.

Lee Dong-Gook: South Korea’s Power Striker

Lee Dong-gook is, undeniably, one of South Korea’s best soccer players. Currently playing for the Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Dong-gook is well-celebrated player and an unbelievable striker on field. He has played in two FIFA World Cups, two AFC Asian Cups, the 2000 Olympics, and two CONCACAF Gold Cups.

Lee was born in Pohang, South Korea on 29 April 1979. He made his professional debut with the Pohang Steelers in 1998 at 19 years old. His outstanding performance for the Steelers earned him a spot for the South Korean national soccer team.

Image source: oneworldsports.com
Image source: oneworldsports.com

Aside from playing for the national soccer team, the young Lee Dong-gook was also sent on loan for Germany’s Bundesliga in 2001. He served as a striker for Werder Bremen for six months. He went on a hiatus from professional soccer to fulfill his military duties from 2002 to 2004. Lee returned to the Pohang Steelers in 2004. But in 2006, after suffering from knee injuries, Lee missed the World Cup.

In 2007, Lee was granted a work permit and signed for Premier League’s Middlesbrough on an 18-month contract. After his stint with Middlesbrough, he received various offers from teams in Germany and Japan. He signed for Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma in 2008, but moved to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors—his current team—after a year.

Image source: thekleaguekilt.com
Image source: thekleaguekilt.com

Lee is an all-time leading scorer in the K-League. Previously known as a “lazy genius” in his early years, Lee has proved that he can indeed reach the top with hard work and dedication. While Lee is best known for his soccer career, he and his family are currently part of a Sunday variety show called “The Return of Superman,” which features his life as a father to his five children.

Hi there, I’m Naman Wakil, your future soccer superstar. Learn more about the sport and its best players when you visit this blog.

How To Be a Soccer Superstar: Training Program For Beginners

Soccer is a sport that requires players to run around a field, trying to kick the ball into a goal to score points. Obviously, it would be a lot harder than it sounds. Here are a few training tips for beginners who want to be star players someday:

why-is-a-soccer-field-called-a-pitch_760833b2-4bf6-42aa-bfe0-8beab1fe812aImage source: reference.com

Strength

Strength is vital in any sport and soccer is no different. It is the basis of power and speed, which are both important skills in the game. The focus of strength training for soccer players should be the lower body and the core, so exercises like planking and plyometric are good starters.

Why-Agility-is-Critical-for-Soccer-Players-STACK

Image source: stack.com

Endurance

Soccer involves instances where a quick burst of speed is necessary and being fit can help in such circumstances. Players should be prepared to run back and forth across the field at varying speeds. This is where endurance comes in, and a great way to level up endurance is by running off-season or doing moderate weight training.

Speed and agility

Speed and agility are both vital components to a soccer training program. In fact, it’s arguably more important than endurance or strength. A good test of speed is doing sprints. Combining speed and strength gives a player power, which makes him a more formidable player. Adding jump squats, push presses and other power movements into training can help develop speed and explosiveness.

Hi, I’m Naman Wakil and soccer is my game. Learn more about proper training and other soccer basics by following me on Facebook.

Work Out Like a Pro Soccer Player

Soccer players need to constantly work out so they can be in peak shape. But just like everyone else, there are times they’re unable to do so. Working out at home is an option for them, too. Here are alternative exercises that mirror soccer players’ training.

soccerImage source: manvelsoccer.org

Strength and conditioning

Some exercises rely only on body weight, so there’s no need to go to the gym to use special equipment. Drills like planks and pushups can strengthen many body parts—arms, shoulders, thighs, legs, and abs. Lunges and squats can be done in different ways (jumping lunges, side squats) to target different leg muscles. It only takes around 30 seconds to a minute to do these quick exercises.

hqdefaultImage source: youtube.com

Ball mastery

Ball control and mastery are skills that can be done at home. Dribbling and juggling drills as well as moving the ball with knees, chest, and head are useful exercises that can be taken to the field.

Plyometrics

Plyometrics consists of a lot of jumping, hopping, and kicking—which can be done at home. Though space is an issue, plyometrics can be improvised by putting empty boxes or steps as drill markers. Some even use kiddie tables for these.

The name’s Naman Wakil. I eat and breathe soccer. Learn more about it here.

New Soccer Game Teaches Children about Gender-based Violence

Soccer can be used for so many things. For the most part, it is a game that is played for the enjoyment of others. No words can fully describe the thrill – the almost animalistic pleasure – of being in a crowd of soccer fans. It’s a rush that makes even the most stoic individual excited. But what makes me more proud of soccer is how it is now being used for education. Again, it is used for so many things.

Image Source: shaqsy.com

Recently, a new online soccer game was launched to teach children about gender-based violence. The premise is very simple. The game shows a girl being abducted, forced into a locker, and being continually bullied and abused. It aims to teach children around the ages of 9 to 15 a healthy and equal attitude towards girls and women. It doesn’t mean to glamorize gangs of violence but really push the thought that there are still women and little girls that are being discriminated and hurt based on their gender.

So far, the game has been played in 185 countries and has received mostly positive feedback. Some parents are shocked by the method in which the violence is portrayed, but developers and soccer support groups say that the violence is equal to other available games. The point, what is constantly emphasized, is that every group – whether sports or health or multimedia – has an obligation to teach children how to be more accepting of others and to lessen prejudice. This is done through education and using all available tools, multimedia arts notwithstanding.

I am very happy being part of a sports group that supports other people’s rights. This really proves that soccer extends boundaries and I hope that other sports take up the helm so that we can create a more forgiving and accepting community.

Image Source: tctechcrunch2011.wordpress.com

My name is Naman Wakil and I am a soccer fan. Follow me on Twitter for soccer news.