Clearing the Ball with Purpose: How to Relieve Pressure Effectively as a Defender

At young ages, defenders are often taught that clearing the ball means either knocking it safely out of bounds or booting it as far upfield as possible. Though this can be effective for youth soccer players in America, it is a habit that must be broken for growing defenders who wish to play at higher levels.

In this post, we’ll discuss what clearing the ball should look like in various scenarios. We’ll explain what defenders should do in high, medium, and low-pressure situations to clear the ball effectively, so youth soccer players can begin to grow this facet of their game and become more valuable assets for their teams. Continue reading “Clearing the Ball with Purpose: How to Relieve Pressure Effectively as a Defender”

Playing Up: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Competing in Older Age Groups

The decision whether or not to move up an age level is one that many youth soccer players in America face. It can be tough. You want your child to do well, and while they may be happy to dominate players in their normal age group, that may not be the best for their long-term development as a player.

But moving your child up to a higher age group is not always the right decision either. Is it better for your kid to be a star in their age group or a role player on a more competitive team? Should you be pushing your child to compete at the highest possible level, or find a team that will give them the most playing time? Continue reading “Playing Up: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Competing in Older Age Groups”

The Top 3 Free Kick Takers for Youth Soccer Players to Emulate

Best soccer free kick taker Lionel Messi shooting a soccer free kick

Free kick taking is an art that takes time and dedication to master. Power, control, confidence, and deception are all traits that the world’s best free kick finishers possess. While some of the most called-upon free kick specialists make it look easy, it takes years of hard work and purposeful training to master the free kick.

Selecting the top free kick takers in the world is subjective, to say the least, but we’ve compiled our list of three of the world’s elite free kick finishers, so youth players across the region can watch and learn from the best when it comes to free kick taking. Continue reading “The Top 3 Free Kick Takers for Youth Soccer Players to Emulate”

3 Aspects of Luka Modrić’s Game that Every Young CM Should Practice

Luka Modrić was named the 2018 FIFA Player of the Year, becoming the first player not named Ronaldo or Messi to win the honor since Kaká took home the title in 2007. His combination of creativity, skill, intelligence, and vision have made him the ultimate central midfielder and a critical piece to the success of both Real Madrid and the Croatian National team.

For young central midfielders looking to master the position and develop the key skills necessary to compete at the highest levels, there is no better role model than Luka Modrić. His dedication to mastering his ball skills are evident each time he takes the pitch, while his purpose and vision frequently result in scoring opportunities for his teammates.

In this post, we’ll share with you the three core aspects of Luka Modrić’s game that help elevate his play to the next level, so that young players can begin learning these skills early and developing them as they grow and play at higher levels. Continue reading “3 Aspects of Luka Modrić’s Game that Every Young CM Should Practice”

3 Lessons to Learn from Ronaldo’s Game

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect Cristiano Ronaldo’s game.

One of the most talented players to ever take the pitch, Ronaldo has earned a reputation as a skilled, powerful goal-scorer whose deadly pace and incredible footwork make him a nightmare for any defending side.

For young soccer players looking to develop an elite style of play and take their games to the next level, Cristiano Ronaldo’s game offers many invaluable lessons. In this post, we’ll break down three of the biggest takeaways from the Portuguese striker’s play, so rising stars can begin to develop and apply these skills in their own games and dominate play as Ronaldo has throughout his career. Continue reading “3 Lessons to Learn from Ronaldo’s Game”