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San Marcos Youth Soccer
P.O. Box 627 
San Marcos, CA 92079
Tel: 760-621-0650
Fax: 760-621-3243

You are here: HomePlayersPart IX: On Your Own

Part IX: On Your Own

Earlier we mentioned that there’s a difference between a practice and a training session.

Training is something you do with your team and coach and practice you do on your own or with one or two friends. If you want to become really good at soccer then you need to practice. Training with your team, even a few times a week, may not be enough. So practice at home or in your neighborhood with other kids, or maybe even at school if you get the opportunity.

What you can do on your own are things you practice. That could be juggling, playing the ball against a wall (someplace without windows), dribbling (make your own slalom course) and maybe work on some physical fitness too.

Wall Ball

Knocking the ball against a wall gives you the chance to practice several skills.

  • Put an X on the wall and try to hit it with your pass. Vary your distance from the Passingwall and your angle to the X.
  • As the ball comes off the wall, control it with different parts of your body: inside Receivingof the foot, thigh, top of the foot and so on.
  • See how many times you can head the ball against the wall without it touching Headingthe ground. How about trying the same things as you did in passing, but now with headers.
  • Hit the X. Try some shots off the ground and some when the ball is in the air. Shooting
  • Hit the X. Throw-in
  • Try different types of throws and hit the X. Also try out different catches as Goalkeepingthe ball rebounds from the wall. Vary the height of the ball.
Tips on Passing
  • Point the toes of the foot you are standing on towards your target
  • Keep the knees of both legs slightly bent
  • Keep the ankle of your kicking leg locked so that your kicking foot is steady
  • Lean slightly forward to keep the path of the ball level
  • Keep your eyes on the ball
Tips on Receiving
  • Get your body in line with the path of the ball
  • Keep the knees of both legs slightly bent
  • Relax the area of the body receiving the ball upon contact with the ball
  • Exhale
  • Keep your eyes on the ball
Tips on Heading
  • Get yourself in line with the flight of the ball
  • Keep the knees of both legs slightly bent
  • Strike the ball with the forehead at the hairline
  • Keep your mouth shut with your tongue and checks out from between your teeth
  • Keep your eyes on the ball
Tips on Shooting


Approach the ball at a slight diagonal angle
Point the toes of the foot you are standing on towards your target
Lean over the ball
Point the toes of your kicking foot down and curl them back inside of your shoe to make a firmer striking surface of your foot (like making a fist)
Keep your eyes on the ball

Tips on the Throw-in

Stand with your hips facing where you want the ball to go
Firm grip on the ball with the tips of your thumbs just touching behind the ball
Hold the ball with your fingertips
Follow through on your throw for improved accuracy and distance

Tips on Keeper Throws

  • Hold the ball comfortably in your hand and release it off the fingertips
  • Stand with your hips facing where you want the ball to go
  • Keep knees of both legs slightly bent
  • Keep your head steady and facing your target
  • Follow through on your throw for improved accuracy and distance
Tips on Keeper Catches
  • Get your body in line with the path of the ball
  • Watch the ball all the way to your hands
  • Keep your knees and elbows slightly bent
  • Spread your fingers as wide as you can as you catch the ball for a safer grip
  • Relax and exhale as you catch the ball and absorb it

pdficon small Player's_Guide_2011.pdf

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