basketball team stacking hands together

How to Motivate Kids to Practice Soccer? It Takes a Village

We all love soccer, because of passion and the history we have with it. We know it’s good and promotes teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness. However, we often have no idea how to motivate young kids to practice soccer, even when we see amazing soccer talent in plain sight. As parents, coaches, and fellow players, we have a responsibility to inspire and ignite their passion for the game. We often see a kid just standing there, doing nothing at all or something unrelated, like dancing or singing. Or sometimes a player is practicing only at practice, but not outside. Often times a player wants to play, but not practice. By collectively setting standards, reinforcing fun, providing healthy competition, and offering incentives, we can help young kids fall in love with soccer and develop their skills on and off the field.

Coordinated effort by parents, coaches, and other players

Motivating young kids to practice soccer requires a coordinated effort from parents, coaches, and other players. It is crucial to create a supportive and encouraging environment where everyone works towards a common goal. Imagine if a player gets mixed messages from the sides involved. For example, let’s say that the rule of the coach is to win the game as the only goal. The parents advise the player to make friends at soccer. The other players are here just to have fun. What conclusion should the player have in the end? At best, the player has already built their own mind and can navigate this conflicting signals. More likely, at young age the player will be confused and will likely not progress as well as they could. 

Coaches and parents should communicate regularly to align on the goals of the team. If the coach is coaching a teenage rec league team with equal playing time and only positive feedback, then the parent cannot hold the player to an expectation to play for the national team. Parents can attend practices and games, cheer for their children, and offer words of encouragement. Coaches should foster a positive team dynamic, focusing on building skills and teamwork rather than solely on winning. Fellow players should act as role models, helping and supporting each other both on and off the field. By working together, we can create an atmosphere that motivates young kids to practice soccer consistently.

Coaches set standards and keep soccer fun – ultimate way to motivate kids to practice soccer

Coaches play a vital role in motivating young kids to practice soccer. Even if they find and recruit the best players, they still need to add their expertise to the mix. They should set clear standards and expectations, helping children understand the importance of discipline and commitment. However, it is equally essential for coaches to keep soccer fun. Engaging training sessions that incorporate drills, friendly competitions, and small-sided games can make practice enjoyable for young kids. By creating a balance between structure and fun, coaches can inspire their players to eagerly attend each session and give their best effort.

Should coach play more games at practice instead of drills?

The goal of the practices is to develop the technical, physical and psychological aspects of the players and the team. So, if we see a great technique, but poor attitude in practice, then maybe the drill is great for technical development, but creates the bad habits. Sprint races can be great for physical and psychological development, but it provides very little new technical skill. The most important question to ask is if the players are engaged and doing their best. The main role of the coach is to keep the players at the optimal level of practice using any method they know. This means that sometimes they would create fun games that take little effort and other times have conditioning training that is not creative at all.

Trick for coaches

As gifts work for motivating soccer coaches, they work x 1 million for teh players. Find the cheapest reward that you can think of and give it as a prize once a month. I have given water bottles for prizes, which cost less than 3 dollars per bottle, to the player that did most juggles that practice. When players found out the rules, they started practicing for hours every day to win that water bottle at the next practice. For context, the player that practiced the most had an amazing hydro flask and his parents drive a Tesla – my point is that it’s not about the money, it’s about the competition.

Parents can motivate kids to practice soccer daily

While coaches have a significant impact, parents also have a crucial role in motivating young kids to practice soccer. First of all, they have to get the right gear in the sun and in the rain. Of course, kids needs to stay safe, but you want them to go with full effort through the heat and the snow during their soccer practices and games. Parents should reinforce the fun aspect of the sport by attending games, recording the soccer games of the players, showing enthusiasm, and celebrating their child’s achievements. Additionally, parents can create opportunities for practice at home and in the backyard. Setting up a mini soccer field, organizing friendly matches with siblings or neighborhood kids, and participating in drills together can further enhance a child’s interest in soccer. By actively engaging in their child’s soccer journey, parents can instill a sense of dedication and passion.

The chat in the car on the way to practices/games and after can be incredibly powerful for the psychological development of the person, not only the player. The best method for this is to ask guiding questions and to make sure to focus on the effort and not the outcome. Sometimes they are the poacher that scores tons of goals, but otherwise the team might be losing badly. Read about how to talk to a soccer player and encourage them. Parents know their kids the best, but often they don’t know themselves as well. It’s important to have no judgment and to create positive reinforcement to encourage the player to try their best. The parent has to create standards that the kid will aspire to even if they are on their own.

Trick for parents

Support a moderate amount of soccer media to be consumed in order to motivate kids to practice soccer. There are various books to be read, from soccer biographical stories for various ages, to tactical analysis and stories about other supporting roles of the soccer world. There are soccer movies or even sports movies in general, that can be very motivational. Finally, there are video games – we are against unlimited time, but a moderate amount can be beneficial. One game that we recommend is FIFA or Pro Evolution Soccer, but what we would recommend is to play in the career mode, where the player controls one player only. They will learn much better how to be positioned correctly but also increase their patience when they don’t have the ball.

Soccer Competition Makes Sense Only With Other Competitors

“You are the average of the 5 people you interact most with” – we have all heard this rule before. If that is true for the personality a human develops, it is even more true for the soccer player. As soccer is not played in the kitchen, classroom, or music recitals, it is even more vital to get the right teammates. The right teammates are those that can exchange skills, passion, and team spirit. That doesn’t mean that they will be model citizens, although it would be great if they were. The character of exceptional competitiveness and fighting spirit does not always accompany modest behavior. However, it is often when the biggest fighters against opponents are the biggest supporters and protectors of their teammates. Be that kind of player and find like-minded teammates.

Mentorship, leadership and captaincy

Soccer is a great way to become a mentor for your teammates and younger players, too. Every player on the team is on a learning journey and there is always more to discover. The mentor-mentee relationship is beneficial for both sides. After all, being a captain of the soccer team is nothing else than being a mentor to each player on that team. Each player on the team is there to support, encourage and challenge the other players on the team. Finding healthy ways to motivate kids to practice soccer will transcend soccer and if the player develops leadership skills, they will keep them in any profession they end up pursuing a career in.

Tricks for teammates

The rule is very simple – be a true friend! High-five them when do a good job, and tell them when they don’t do their best. If somebody is insecure, say loudly that you want to play with them during scrimmage. If somebody is being not serious, tell them that they owe you and the team to get better. Maybe somebody is being arrogant, so you have to address that, too. Playing outside of practice and games is common, so make sure you invite your teammates to play with you. True friendship is the cornerstone of a happy team and great players.

Motivating young kids to practice soccer requires a collective effort from parents, coaches, and other players. By fostering a supportive and encouraging environment, setting standards, keeping soccer fun, providing healthy competition, and offering incentives, we can inspire kids to love soccer. Let us nurture their enthusiasm and ignite the flame of passion, so that they may not only excel on the soccer field but also develop valuable life skills that will stay with them forever.

Young soccer player in front of flags

Coach my own kid? How to succeed as a soccer parent!

No, you should not – that is the short answer. The longer answer is that it depends. Before we start getting into that, don’t expect rewards if you are the soccer coach, in the common way of thinking. One of the most fulfilling experiences a parent can have is to coach their own child in soccer. However, this also entails a lot of responsibilities and challenges. As a parent, you should weigh the pros and cons of taking on such a role. Here are some things to consider before making the decision to coach your own kid in soccer. We’ll look into it to see the pros and cons you might have as a coach, but also the kid and the team. These are all separate aspects and they require a full examination.

Pros of coaching your own kid

One of the biggest advantages of coaching your own child is the opportunity to spend quality time with them while teaching them something they love. Say that you like the sport and you are driving your kid to practice and back. Well, you might as well spend that extra hour or two on the field, being useful to society instead of just scrolling through this site. You can also film the soccer games and contribute to building an archive for all players on the team. This assumes you are actually a coach and you have a genuine desire for soccer. You can do the same by gifting them great books and reading with them, but this is extra.

Secondly, coaching allows you to keep an eye on your child’s progress and development, which can increase your bond with them. Moreover, coaching your child in soccer can boost their confidence and self-esteem, as well as help them develop important social skills. If you know your kid is shy, it might be great for them to feel more comfortable when you are the coach.

Finally, you know what works for your kid to learn better. Presumably, you already have a passion for coaching soccer and impacting lives. Furthermore, you get to know the friends from soccer, so you know what works for them to learn faster. It is likely that this works better when the soccer players are very young, playing on small soccer fields, and not in their teenage years. That doesn’t mean that at some point you end up being completely hands-off as they get older. However, you might want to let professionals do the work.

Negative sides of your kid being on the team you coach

Well, you need to discipline them sometimes and everybody knows they are yours. That’s definitely not an easy dilemma to have. It can be messy and handling it in public is difficult. Furthermore, you might need to discipline their teammates. On top of the regular challenges, you need to think about the interaction between your kid and that other kid. You don’t want your kid to feel excluded because you had to handle their misbehaving friend.  

Playing time is always a big issue in youth sports and the coach always needs to balance it. Now, if you give too much time to your kid, it can backfire for the team regardless of how good they are. If you give too little time to your kid, then your kid will be mad at you. I have seen kids being angry with their parent coaches for years. So, tread carefully there, or completely step out of it.

At some point, the player has to understand that having their parent as the coach is not “the real world”. Yes, it can happen, but it is not the default state where the parent will be their teacher, boss, or coach. Our recommendation is to make sure the player feels comfortable on the team, but at some point step away and let them experience what it is like when the coach is not their parent. You don’t want that to happen in college for the first time. There will be other first-time challenges to handle then.

Like a doctor – you nurse them at home when they have small soccer injuries, but you bring them to the doctor for serious ones. Or the education system as a whole – you help them with their homework but still send them to school. Why would it be different when it comes to quality soccer development?

How to make the most when you coach your own kid

If you decide to coach your own kid, there are ways to ensure that it is a positive and enjoyable experience for both of you. Start by setting clear boundaries and expectations for both you and your child. Establish rules and let your child know that they will be treated like any other player on the team. This is something that should be clear to the other players and the parents, too. Additionally, communicate with your child about their goals and aspirations, and work together to achieve them.

It is also important to maintain a positive attitude and focus on the process of learning and development, rather than just winning games. Encourage your child to have fun and enjoy the game, and don’t put too much pressure on them to perform well. That is the key to being a great soccer parent in general. Finally, be open and receptive to feedback from your child and other parents, and use it to improve your coaching skills and approach.

However, if your kid shows ambition to be more involved, put in extra effort, and requires more professional commitment, it is up to you to step away or move your child to a more professional environment. To make an analogy that you would understand. If a kid is sick, a parent should nurse them because they can provide extra personal and personalized care. But if there is a suggestion that it requires professional aid, then they should take them to the doctor. There is no reason for this to be different in soccer.

The joys of coaching your own little soccer star

Coaching your own child in soccer can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Seeing your child grow and develop their skills, and watching them enjoy the game, can be incredibly fulfilling. Coaching also allows you to be a positive role model for your child, and to build a strong relationship with them that will last a lifetime.

As we discussed before, ideally it would be done in the youngest groups and at the lower level. To be more explicit, if the age of the players is in single digits and the level is recreational. The moment the players transition to the premier level, it is less ideal for the parent to be a coach for more than one year. Remember, it is all about the development of the player.

Coaching your own child in soccer is a decision that requires careful consideration. While it can be challenging at times, it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience for both you and your child. By setting clear boundaries, maintaining a positive attitude, and focusing on the process of learning and development, you can make coaching your own little soccer star a joyful and fulfilling experience.

Laughing at funny story

Insane Soccer Stories of Professional Players You Must Read

Soccer is a crazy world and the mix of young players, lots of money, and a high level of competition result in stories that you can’t make up. Some of these personal stories are well-documented in biographical soccer books, while others are recorded in movies and interviews. Over time we found more and more characters that bring fun into the environment. They feel free to express themselves and the wages they get at a young age allow them to be exactly who they are. We can call them eccentric, unconventional, or just insane soccer stories. Let’s get into them – be ready for a fun ride!

Balotelli – the master of discipline

Well, probably everything in the history of Balotelli is somewhat controversial. One of the most insane soccer stories is when he caused the fire department to intervene. He invited everybody in Manchester City club to come to his house for a party. He planned to do fireworks, but instead, he caused a fire and evacuation. Not the best time he had at Man City.

This story is about his early years in Inter Milan at age 19. From Jose Mourinho interview:

“We went to Kazan in the Champions League. In that match, all my strikers were injured. No Milito, no Eto’o, I was really in trouble and Mario was the only one. Mario gets a yellow card in minute 42. So when I go to the dressing room at half-time, I spend 14 minutes of the 15 speaking only for Mario.

‘Mario I cannot change you. I cannot make a change. I don’t have a striker on the bench. Don’t touch anybody. Play only with the ball. When we lose the ball, no reaction. If somebody provokes you, no reaction. If the referee makes a mistake, no reaction. Mario, please.’

“Minute 46, red card!”

Redknapp – his recruitment of the new Bulgarian striker

Harry Redknapp is a masterful storyteller and soccer manager of multiple teams in England, and this is from his time at West Ham. During pre-season, West Ham is playing a friendly game against Oxford United. Some fans came to see the game and kept talking trash so that everybody can hear how badly the team is playing. A fan full of West Ham tattoos and earrings, Steve Davies, was very loud. So Redknapp turned to him

“… at half-time, I made three substitutions, so had no more subs. And suddenly I got an injury after 10 minutes so I only have 10 men, so I turned to the fella who had been giving me grief and said, ‘Can you play as good as you talk?’ He said, ‘I can play better than that Chapman.’ Anyway, he came on, he played up front and scored a goal, and to be honest, he was better than Chapman!”

In another interview, Redknapp revealed another part of the story where he invented a player to mock journalists.

“When the stadium announcer saw Steve take to the field, he sent an assistant down to get the name of this new signing so he could announce it to the crowd. I asked the guy, ‘You’ve been watching the World Cup? The great Bulgarian Tittyshev?'”

Ibrahimovic – the humbleness jersey

Here’s one of the insane soccer stories by the legendary Zlatan. Towards the end of Ibrahimovic’s career, he decided to go to LA Galaxy. In his statement, he said: “I decided to sign with Galaxy because I think it’s the right place for me”. A regular person would do that and get back to training. Instead, Zlatan has taken out a full-page advert in the LA Times announcing his arrival at LA Galaxy

“Dear Los Angeles,

You’re welcome.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic”

That’s the end, right? No. LeBron James, already playing for the Lakers sends a jersey to Zlatan Ibrahimovic to welcome him to LA. Zlatan, signs it and mails it back to LeBron. 

Maicon – motivation by Mourinho

Neymar is famous for collecting yellow cards on purpose to miss a game and be able to celebrate his sister’s birthday. However, he is not the first one to try to do something like that. In fact, here is a story by Mourinho about another Brazilian, Maicon, in 2008:

“I remember a match in Siena, with Maicon. They reminded me that he used to take the fifth yellow card before the Christmas break, to go to Brazil. I told him that he couldn’t go if he got booked. He asked me what would happen if he scored. I joked that he had to score two. He scored twice, took his shirt off, and got booked, and in the end, he had an extra week of vacation.”

Cristiano Ronaldo – the super competitor

The fact that Ronaldo is super competitive is no secret. In fact, people knew that about him when they were scouting his talent and mindset from his time in Portugal. Patris Evra has one of the most insane soccer stories to illustrate this from their time at Manchester United.

“They were playing table tennis and Rio beat him and we were all screaming and Ronaldo was so upset. So upset that his response was to order a table tennis table, improve his game, and become the best. The story of his life. He trained for two weeks at home and he came back and he beat Rio in front of everyone. That’s Cristiano Ronaldo. That’s why I am not surprised today that he wants to win another Golden Ball, why he wants to win the World Cup because he’s an angry man.”

Leo Messi – what can’t he do

We are not going to solve if Messi or Ronaldo is the best player ever, but here is a story from Rio Ferdinand’s autobiography:

“So when the ball went back to his goalkeeper, he (Messi) ran back and demanded the ball. The goalkeeper rolled him the ball, and Messi then proceeded to run through the entire team and score in anger. Thierry said that was what he used to do in the playground at school. I did stuff like that too against little kids. But he (Messi) did it against some of the best in the world: Yaya Toure, Puyol, Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets. And it wasn’t just that one time. He did it a couple of times. Thierry said: ‘Can Ronaldo do that?’ I said, ‘Well, I’ve never seen him do that.’ Thierry played with Zidane and Ronaldinho but they never did anything like that. He said: ‘That’s when I knew Messi was different to anyone we’ve ever seen.'”

Which one was your favorite story? Did we miss a story you wanted to hear?

Soccer team huddle

How to Choose My Soccer Position? [Explained Roles Guide]

New players always wonder “How do I choose my soccer position?”. Choosing a position in soccer is unlike any other sport. In basketball, positions go by height, where the tallest player is the center, and the shortest is the point guard. In most other sports the positions go by physical attributes. American football or European handball is the same where you can guess the positions only by their looks.

In soccer, the way to choose a position is to figure out what is in the players’ heads. Their level of aggression, bravery, focus, and communication, play a much bigger role than their physical attributes. The question of how to choose my soccer position can be hard because it is where the introspection needs to happen and it is really hard to have that at a very young age of the soccer journey. Let’s guide you through how the mindset of the player determines where the particular player should play.

I don’t need to choose my soccer position – I want to be a striker! 

This is the statement that we get every time a new player comes for practice and we start playing a scrimmage. They usually say that they want to be a striker because they want to score goals. My response is that scoring goal is just a job of a striker, so I will not cheer that much for them. However, I will applaud them more if they score goals from other positions. Also, especially in our youth soccer formations created for development, we want to give experience in multiple positions.

There is a great story by Casemiro, the legendary defensive midfielder for Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Brazil. In his youth, he went for tryouts with several hundred other players on a team with 25 spots. He wanted to be a striker but also saw that half of the other players wanted to be strikers, too. So when they asked him, he saw that the holding mid has the least amount of competition at those tryouts and went for it. What happened is a fantastic career for one of the best defensive midfielders ever.

Soccer is versatile and soccer players need to be versatile, too. Everybody can and should play soccer, but their role on the team might change. In fact, if you want to increase your chances of playing soccer and have a soccer career worth writing about, you better be ready to play in any position on the field. I’ve seen players on the bench as wing-back in their freshmen year and then on the wing in their sophomore year. The same player transitioned to the creative midfield role for the remaining two years of high school, which is the role they wanted to play from the beginning.


The goalkeeper, often referred to as the “last line of defense,” is the team’s shield against the opponent’s attacks. I often remind them that the attack also starts with the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper should be the master of the 18-yard box and for that, it has an advantage over other players to use their hands. Their primary objective is to protect the net from the opposing team’s shots. However, we have seen that in modern soccer a goalkeeper can have the advantage of being good with their feet. A goalkeeper’s skills include diving to make spectacular saves, quick decision-making, and effective communication with the defense. The key qualities of the keeper are concentration, aggressiveness, and communication. They are the backbone of the team, providing confidence and security to their comrades.

Famous active players: Manuel Neuer, Aaron Ramsdale, Gianluigi Donnarumma.


Modern soccer is played with 3 or 4 defenders. In a 4 defender shape, we have two central defenders and two wing-backs. In the 3 defender formation, we have one central defender and two defenders that have a hybrid role between the defender and a full-back. We will use the full-back and wing-back terms interchangeably for simplicity. The traditional terminology acknowledges the fullback as having more attacking responsibilities than a fullback. Let’s profile these roles and the natural predispositions to play them.

Central defender

The defenders form a crucial wall in front of the goalkeeper, aiming to disrupt the opponent’s offensive maneuvers. These players are responsible for stopping the opposing team’s attackers from getting close to the goal. Their role involves clearances, interceptions, and well-timed tackles to regain possession and start counter-attacks. Center-backs are the anchors of the defense, focusing on marking the opposing team’s strikers – that’s their main job. To achieve this, they need to have focus, bravery, and teamwork.

As there are usually two defenders, it is important to understand that they should ideally have a partnership and characteristics that complement each other. The ideal partnership is when one of the defenders is the natural aggressor, while the other one is more cautious, often called the anchor. When playing against one striker, one center-back will mark them tightly, while the other one provides cover. When defending against two attackers, they will likely get support from the full-backs or the defensive midfielders, but the principles will remain the same. Being able to be both the aggressor and the anchor, will increase the chances of being selected on a team and a lineup.

Famous active players/players: Dias and Stones (Man City), Arujo and Christensen (Barcelona), Rudinger and Militao (Real Madrid)

Fullback or wingback

The fullbacks today are expected to be incredibly versatile players. There is the traditional fullback that helps the attack when attacking through their side, or shifting as a third defender in the middle. The wingback role expects to do overlapping runs and deliver crosses. The inverted wingback is expected to play as a defender but slide into the central midfield area when attacking. Today, it feels like all of these things are expected at the same time, which of course is not possible. However, coaches expect the players to have high levels of adaptability, tactical awareness, and technical skills, both offensively and defensively.

Easier said than done – coaches acknowledge the difficulty and the tacticians that put some thought into it usually experiment with the roles of the fullbacks. My favorite personal story was when my right defender was injured for a game. So, I had to put another player that usually played as central midfielder. For a week, I kept reminding the player to be disciplined and focus on the basics, which is defending. I was so anxious, knowing that this would backfire. Amazingly, we found out that the weak point of the opponents was really their left flank. The winger was slow and scared to attack, so stayed basically as a second right back, even when they were attacking. Our “forced” right wingback ended up looking like a genius, sometimes coming in the middle to help, otherwise pushing all the way up the wing.

Famous active players: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Luke Shaw, Achraf Hakimi


Games are won or lost in the midfield. It has always been true and it is true today.Iif one team is dominating the middle of the pitch, they will win the game. Therefore, we will focus on the central midfielders and in particular the 6, 8, and 10. The wide midfielders, in a 4-4-2 or a 3-5-2, are essentially variations of the wingers or the wingbacks, so the profiles are similar to them. When I needed to choose my soccer position, I wanted to become a midfielder and that’s where I play in my pickup games. 

Holding mid (#6)

I usually refer to this role as the infrastructure. When we go to a restaurant, we always focus on the food, the service, and the atmosphere. We are never amazed by the infrastructure. However, if the infrastructure doesn’t function, then we can have a horrible time and it affects other aspects, too. For example, the lack of water or electricity will both ruin our time while dining or using the restrooms, but also the chef’s ability to cook. The holding midfielder is the same for the team – they need to be consistent, aggressive, and tactically aware. They need to be really disciplined to do the “dirty” work of delaying opponents, covering on defense and transitioning the ball to the attackers, and switching the wings. 

Famous active players: Casemiro, Declan Rice, Enzo Fernandez

Central midfielder (#8) or the Box-to-Box

Central midfielders are the dynamic engine room of the team. They are connecting the defense and attack and create advantages on both sides of the pitch. There are three basic types of advantages – numerical, positional, and qualitative. The simple one that the box-to-box midfielders can bring is to cover lots of ground and be positioned well to bring numerical advantage to the team. If they join the attackers when attacking and help the defense when defending, they can bring almost permanent numerical advantage to the team. To achieve that, they need to be consistent, positioned well, and disciplined. It is very unlikely that a player can successfully play this role without much stamina. The players don’t have to be particularly fast or strong, but if the opponents have high-stamina players, then the team with low-stamina midfielders will be at a disadvantage. 

Famous active players: Frenkie de Jong, Thiago Alcantara, Kevin De Bruyne

Attacking mid (#10) or the Playmaker

For decades this has been considered the most important role in soccer. The creative maestros are supposed to exploit the weaknesses of the opponents with their vision, ball control and creativity. They provide the key passes, so technical superiority over the average player is a must. Because the role is so hard and it is almost impossible to find a player that can perform the role at the highest level, many coaches and teams have found ways to adapt to it by not having a classic playmakers. Furthermore, if the key passes come only from one player, the opponents would often mark them tightly or even double team them. Instead, they play with two central midfielders and distribute the roles across them, and the rest of the team. So, often players all around the field are required to pitch in when it comes to seeing good passes and bring creativity.

Famous active players: Pedri, Martin Odegaard, Bruno Fernandes


The attackers, or forwards, are the players responsible for scoring goals and wreaking havoc in the opponent’s defense. Their primary objective is to find openings in the opposing team’s defense and convert opportunities into goals. In modern soccer, the attackers are fluid and have more tasks, such as helping on defense and putting pressure. We can classify the attack in two groups – wingers and strikers. Of course, there are subcategories, such as poachers, target men, false 9, shadow strikers, and so on. However, a good striker can have multiple tools in their pocket to use depending on the opponent. so it’s up to them to adapt in the situation. 


Wingers or wide forwards operate on the flanks, delivering accurate crosses and providing support to the strikers. They need to have an oxymoronic characteristic (great opportunity to teach some SAT words to the young players) to be patiently aggressive. That is extremely hard trait to spot by coaches or even scouts that specialize in spotting soccer talent. They need to be patient because the ball might not get to them for 5 or 10 minutes in a game, but they need to make runs into space or stay wide or put high press in that time. However, when the ball gets to them they need to get in a full sprint. Similarly, if they see a cross coming, they might need to sprint in the box or second post. The art of soccer coaching is to develop both sides of the personality.  

Famous active players: Vinicius Jr, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling, Cristiano Ronaldo


Strikers are often the primary scorers, utilizing their speed, agility, and shooting prowess to beat the goalkeeper. While physical dominance can help, the true advantage is in the mindset. The truth is that if you ask yourself “how to choose my soccer position”, you probably are not a striker. In the core simplicity, the strikers are obsessed with scoring. The coaches these days want the strikers to help with defense and buildup. However, there is no coach that will complain if the striker fails to deliver in defense but scores a hat-trick. The opponents often double team the strikers, so they have to do something incredible to score goals. The striker becomes and stays a striker by scoring goals. If a player can score goals regularly, then sooner or later they will become a striker.

Famous active players: Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Leo Messi


Understanding soccer positions allows us to appreciate the intricate teamwork and individual brilliance displayed on the field. Each position contributes to the overall strategy, with players specializing in their respective roles. When thinking about how to choose your soccer position, remember that every player has a vital role to play in the beautiful game of soccer. So, the next time you watch a match, keep an eye on the different positions and marvel at the magic unfolding before you.

Gym exercise to prevent soccer injuries

How to prevent soccer injuries? Tips and Tricks 2023

There is nothing more annoying than an injury. Anybody that has played sports at a competitive level, sooner or later has encountered that issue. Sometimes they are minor and go away quickly. Other times, they are recurring and regularly create both physical and psychological setbacks. Whether it’s a sprained ankle or a pulled muscle, soccer players often find themselves sidelined due to these unfortunate accidents. In the nature vs. nurture discussion, we will not discuss the nature side or at least not try to influence it through genetic modifications or other mechanisms that are hard to explain. There are particular exercises to do and gear to use that will mostly get you there. Let’s look at the steps to prevent soccer injuries. 

Stay healthy: Exercises to prevent soccer injuries!

Soccer is a sport that requires agility, strength, and coordination. To prevent injuries, it is crucial to focus on improving these aspects of your game. One way to do this is by incorporating regular strength and conditioning exercises into your training routine. By strengthening your muscles, you can provide better support to your joints and reduce the risk of sprains and strains. Additionally, practicing balance and coordination drills can help improve your body’s stability, making it easier to stay on your feet and avoid falls.

These are particularly important for teenage players, as they go through growth spurts. They will have an imbalance of how fast their bones, muscles, and ligaments are growing. Furthermore, their muscle memory will lag their growth spurt, so they can look uncoordinated during this period. To counter that, we need to focus on the right practices to do every day and also the warmup drills before practices and games. 

Exercises to do each day (at home for 10 min)

Single leg squats – most of the injuries in soccer are in the lower extremities. We recommend starting with full squats and looking to target particular muscles over time. We often do only ankle exercises or attempt side steps to make sure that various muscles are used. It is a constant feedback loop that the body gives to see where it needs strengthening.

Back exercises – they can be planks for your core or Superman/swimmer exercises specifically targeting your lower back. We recommend interchanging these with the squats, so there is a good balance of activities and everything stays interesting.

Balance board – a fun exercise at home is to get a balance board and attempt to use it as part of your every day. For adults, that is during meetings at a standing desk or for watching TV. For younger kids, it should start with lower complexity and full focus, then over time make it more challenging and interesting.

Exercises to do before practice

If you have celebrated a birthday with two number-shaped candles and don’t have warm-up and cool-down routines, things need to change. Create a routine of running that you follow every time, then stretching, then dynamic exercises with the ball. This is an example of jogging, 30 seconds each:

  1. Forward
  2. Backward
  3. High knees jogging
  4. Sideways right first
  5. Sideways left first
  6. Hip opening steps
  7. Zig-zag running
  8. Half sprint to sprint

That way 4 minutes of running. Then we do the stretching which is similar to the squats and back exercises at home, but also some upper body part stretching. Finally, do the same jogging, but with a soccer ball. That all should take around 10-15 min and is all individual. We know that it can be boring, but it is just so important to do that.

For the cool-down routine, we like to do a similar routine, but we focus much more on stretching. In fact, we recommend at least half of the cool-down process be on stretching. Do them regularly, just as if they are part of the practice and games. It is good both for physical and mental health.

Get the right gear to prevent soccer injuries and still look good!

Gear for everyday

The absolute minimum is to have shin guards and some soccer tape in your backpack. Shin guards are a requirement for any serious game, as the worst sort of injuries come from not having them. There are several different types of shin guards, but whichever you get, make sure to have some. The soccer tape in this case is for keeping them tight and well-positioned. It can be frustrating to have them moving throughout the entire game on every sprint and will likely move when there might be a collision.

We also recommend wearing a mouthguard, especially as the players get into teenage years. Soccer can be rough and wearing a mouthguard is important. Particularly important is to wear the mouthguard if you have braces. A small injury can cause huge problems with the braces at this point and we have seen players going to the emergency that could have prevented with a simple mouthguard.

Of course, we would recommend getting the right layers of soccer clothes depending on the weather. However, one specific suggestion for soccer is to get protective soccer sliding shorts. If you start getting serious about soccer, you will need to get good quality protection, especially if you play as a goalkeeper or a defender. These sliding shorts can make the difference if you are out for a week or back the next day, we are serious about it. So, not everybody needs it, but if you are kind of player that do serious challenges and sliding tackles, get them.

Gear for a recurring injury

This is a big topic, so let’s summarize the advice – as your doctor for the right gear! We’ve seen players come with immobilized hands for injuries because it looks like they are doing something. However, this can be counterproductive if the muscles and the ligaments need blood flowing to heal. So don’t experiment and get the right gear to protect, but also enable you to get stronger. The advice will be different depending on the injury, but most of the time it would be to wear a gear that gives support to the area, but doesn’t affect the flexibility too much.

Get back on the field!

The best advice on how to prevent soccer injuries we can give is to be careful. It is a very hard psychological situation to feel strong and worry about an injury at the same time. For players that are fortunate, their first encounter is when they are old enough to handle it well. However, we don’t have to rely only on fortune. Firstly, the mindset is important to listen to our bodies and act accordingly. Secondly, it is to be prepared, both as something simple as having enough water and electrolytes, to getting the right gear and doing the appropriate warm-up and cool-down routines. Finally, it is about supporting each other and learn how to get into situations where we can progress. Have fun and see you on the field!