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Systematic Structured Development

Professional Football Development


SSD Training Tips

There are a total of 68 SSD Training Tips - the following is a short example

Less Power = Accuracy

Young players (and some professionals) have a tendency to always use excessive power when striking the ball - start gently until you gain accuracy - then gradually build-up the power. Accuracy first - Power second. A good example of this is when you see players trying to swerve a free kick - the ball generally goes wide of the target before generating any kind of swerve.

Contact = Accuracy

If you have a greater surface area in contact with the ball at the time of striking - you gain more accuracy (more surface contact = greater control = accuracy). Always use the inside of the foot for short distance passing, close range shots, and cushioning aerial balls to the ground.
Power Side Foot - if the ball is travelling along the ground before you make contact, then incredible distance, power, and accuracy can be achieved through sweeping underneath the ball with the side foot and following through. All the great crossers of a ball use this technique.

Technique v Power

Hit a static standard size ball off the ground from a fixed point and measure where it lands - then use a heavier ball and keep practising until you reach the same distance. By 'sweeping' the ball from underneath and 'following-through' with the striking foot, you will soon learn that the correct technique requires less power to achieve the same objective.

Co-ordination (Eye / Foot)

Throw the ball up into the air - cover the right eye and cushion the ball to the ground using the left foot / thigh - cover the left eye and try again, this time using the right foot / thigh.

Weak Foot

Most players (including a lot of professionals) have a psychological block when it comes to striking the ball with their weak foot - hence the lack of power and accuracy. Starting from a short distance, use your strong foot to gently loft the ball over some 10" cones - watch the approach and striking technique. Now try to copy that technique with your weak foot. If fail, then stop, and try again until you get the approach and technique right. Gradually increase the distance away from the cones. With lots of practice, comes confidence - the accuracy will then follow naturally because you have removed the mental block and anxiety.

Aerial Control

Throw the ball high into the air and get underneath it. Hold your arms out in front of you as a guide for the ball to drop through, and relax the body. If frightened of the ball, you will automatically tense-up and the ball will bounce off you because you've lost the cushion effect. If relaxed, the ball stops dead. When using your foot, use the inside of your foot - it's a wider target area.

Ball Juggling

Practice with your weak foot only - over and over again - and don't use your strong foot until you can achieve at least 6 with your weak foot. Using the law of opposites, practising with your weak foot improves your strong foot.

Crossing and Lofted Passes

Start from a short distance out and strike a moving ball (coming towards you) at a target 3 feet high. When competent, increase the distance and height. Move back to the start and try doing it again, but this time, with a static ball (it's easier to loft a moving ball, so the static ball will require better technique). When you've mastered the forward moving and static ball techniques, try the same exercise with a ball coming towards you from the side (both left and right sides so that you have to use your weak foot). You will soon learn that good balance, positioning, and timing are very important to execute the perfect cross.


Practice with a moving ball (from the side and straight ahead) - how straight and accurate can you hit it towards a fixed target? Start with a large target area - then gradually reduce its size. Remember to also use the side foot - less power, but more accuracy.


Time yourself over a set distance going in and out of cones (or markers). Gradually decrease the distance between the cones and try to reach the same time.


*  If competent doing a particular exercise with a standard size ball, use a smaller ball!

*  If good on your right side, do the exercise with your left side only!

Think - "How can I change an exercise to make it more difficult"

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