One of the difficulties that soccer players face is realizing how coaches are assessing their talent and potential as a student-athlete. How you perform under game conditions sets the yardstick on how you will be measured. The game demands infinite variety technically, tactically, physically, and psychologically. The game features the excitement and power of two teams endurance supplements trying to score goals on the attacking side and defying that goals will be scored on the defending side.
Coaches will see in this competitive environment which players are totally committed on maintaining or regaining possession of the ball. Under the pressurizing challenge of opponents who are restricting the space and time for players to read and to assess a situation and to adapt themselves successfully. Can they collect a ball safely; initiate a pass, a run, a turn, and a feint, carryout some surprising unpredictable moves, in order to help them or a teammate score a goal?
Good defenders will be able to read and anticipate attacking methods, pursuing and chasing the ball immediately, closing down the attacking space, smothering the attacker’s reaction time, intercept passes, steal the ball back, and quickly initiate the attack. All successful coaches are looking for those players who have the skill and desire to attack and to defend.
Every good defender in possession knows how to switch from defending to attacking play. Their agility and skill allow them to run forward, dribble at opponents, play one-twos by using up front players, shield the ball, and to have the courage to shoot at goal and score.
Players are complete only when developed in all areas. Outstanding skill with a weakness in speed, strength, and power makes a player less desirable. The same holds true of players who are physical specimen only to have below average technique. And what of the player with good physical prowess and skill, yet who has no idea of the tactical elements of their team’s play? Even less desirable are those players who fall apart psychologically under pressure, “hiding” or lashing out at opponents, teammates, referees, coaches, or parents during the big game.
These elements are developed by exposure to highly challenging daily training sessions and frequent highly combative matches. This will insure the development of the following vital components of the highly recruitable player.
You must be able to bring a ball played to you under control instantly and smoothly. This is the ability to collect and move in a different direction without stopping the ball completely, yet still maintaining it securely. Develop the technique of receiving a pass at top speed. This means not slowing down to collect a ball coming on the ground, bouncing, or in the air. You must be able to protect the ball by shielding it and developing deception in order to get rid of your opponent.
You must be able to successfully complete short and long range passes. This incorporates all of your ball skills, including heading, bending, chipping, and the ability to drive the ball to a partner. You will find that at a high level, it is easier to control and make quick decisions with a ball that is driven to you, rather than weakly played. Develop the skill of one-touch passing.
This is the ability to feint, burst past opponents, change directions and speed at will, and break through packed defensive lines. Can you exhibit quick feet, combined with a sense of comfort under pressure, to penetrate into space to open opportunities for yourself or a partner?
The ability to head at goal after crosses, heading high, wide, and deep for defensive clearances, heading balls as a one-touch pass (both into space or to a partner’s feet) in order to create shooting chances. Can you effectively demonstrate the ability to do this under the duress of the game?
Nothing makes more of an impression on people than the skill of goal scoring. This aspect takes in the correct technique of striking the ball in various ways; driving low balls, hitting volleys, half-volleys, half-chances, chipping, bending, heading, etc. Good goalscorers can also finish with their chest, heel, toe, and thigh. Coaches are looking for that player who can exhibit composed aggressiveness, swift and secure decision taking at the opportune times. The successful goalscorer has the mentality of a great used-car salesman, very aggressive and not afraid of failure.