SSD Home Practice
Back in 1965 the UK produced lots of world class players because,
on average, 70% of boys played football, and 45% of them practised
or played on a 'Regular' basis - school
playground, local playing fields, and in the street 'every
day', plus at weekends they were
either training or playing for at least 2 different teams - all
of which equates to approximately 11 hours
Today, most kids only play for a maximum of 2 hours per week"
GRASS ROOTS REPORT 1995
SSD Training Hours - Growth Injuries
Generally speaking most children up to the age of 12 can play / practice for at least 11 hours per week without incurring any over-use injuries, however, if in doubt, stop playing immediately and seek medical advice as soon as possible.
From the age of 12 onwards (particularly age 14 to 17) you enter the growth spurt stage, so any repetitive use of the limbs (such as excessive football training) can cause long-term injuries. Monitor the situation carefully and if there are any signs of repeated or long-term injuries then cease all football practice immediately and seek professional medical advice - you may just have to cut-down the number of hours per week.
See 'Common Injuries' in next section.
SSD The 3 P's - Practice, Practice, Practice
you want to become a good footballer then you have to PLAY
& PRACTICE on a REGULAR BASIS:
* In the SCHOOL PLAYGROUND using a mini ball - prevents window breakage and enhances skill level (eye-foot co-ordination)
* At HOME by yourself in the BACK GARDEN (again using a mini ball) practising all the KEY INDIVIDUAL SKILLS (see below)
* On the LOCAL PLAYING FIELDS - get a group of friends together and play football regularly in the park
* Join a LOCAL INDEPENDENT FOOTBALL SCHOOL and learn the essential skills
* Join a local TEAM and play every Sunday morning - plus train with them during the week
** See Training Tips & Balanced Training on the Main SSD Menu for more training ideas
SSD The 4 Key Individual Skills
1. Ball Juggling
Using their right foot only; then left foot only; then both feet.
If you practice solely with your weak foot - you also improve your strong foot
2. Aerial Control
Throw the ball high up into the air and cushion it to the ground using your chest, then thigh, then foot.
Hold out your arms in front so as to act as a 'guide' for the ball to drop through -
relax your body to create the cushion affect (if tense the ball will just bounce away from you - and when using your foot, use the inside of the foot (larger surface area)
3. Weak Foot
Place a line of stones (or tin cans) a short distance away and then using your weak foot try to hit the ball over the line of stones.
Always approach the ball at a 45 degree angle and retain that until contact - get your foot right underneath the ball to give it lift (sweeping effect) - and follow through with the striking foot in an upwards motion to gain the power & distance.
4. Balance and Control
Set out a long line of stones with a gap of two feet in between each one and then run in and out of them with the ball using your strong foot only and time yourself - this is your 'key time'. Now try it with your weak foot only and then using both feet alternately - until you can reach your 'key time'.