Looking to sharpen your game? Soccer players are constantly learning about and trying new tricks to better their play and outsmart their opponents. If there’s a new foot trick you’ve been meaning to try, keep these tips in mind to stay safe and, of course, optimize your game play.
One of the most important considerations for new (or seasoned) players trying out new foot tricks is to stay safe! Too often, great players can be injured simply because they tried something they didn’t understand or weren’t able to do.
Part of staying safe is knowing your limits. Some of the tricks we see today are seriously impressive to look at—but may not be so easy to replicate. If you know your legs/waist/feet just can’t bend or move in a certain way, don’t try to force it for a fancy foot move! While these tricks are cool, they aren’t worth missing out on valuable play time.
Research the move or maneuver before trying it.
As we mentioned before, trying a new trick requires really understanding how it works (and, of course, watching it done a few times!). Whether it’s a teammate showing you the newest move or an online sports page, be sure to ask the right questions and learn more about form, application, and other tips. These tips aren’t just vital for your safety—they can help to ensure that, come game day, your foot trick works just the way you want it to. Find out when you should use a certain move, what key “trouble spots” there are to watch out for, and how to move your body to stay safe during the process.
While it’s a longtime favorite among both youth and adult soccer players, the butterfly kick wasn’t perfected in a day! Everyone who’s learned this classic soccer staple has put in at least a little extra effort during practice so that it was perfected by the time game day rolled around. The first time you really try and perfect a certain maneuver should not be on game day—because barring the benefit of luck and good timing, it may not go over as well as you’d like!
Know when to use a move.
Aside from basic techniques like dribbling, the majority of soccer “tricks” or moves work best in certain times and conditions. For example, you wouldn’t head a ball every time it came your way—you would only do so if it worked to your advantage and was relatively easy to do. The same is true for the more complex tricks you may come across. While this is generally a problem for younger players who are eager to show off their newly discovered skills, you can still be guilty of fancy (but unnecessary) footwork at the adult and professional level. Know when to use a new trick and when not to—remember, sometimes the simplest maneuvers really are the best! If you don’t get to use your new move on game day, you can always show it to friends and family afterwards.