In sports you may have heard coaches saying that a particular player “does all the little things correctly.”
It’s a nice sounding phrase, but not very specific. What, exactly, are these little things the coach is talking about?
In soccer, there are all kinds of “little things” you can do.
Just because they are referred to as “little” does not mean that they are not important.
On the contrary, these maneuvers and tactics help you stand out as a player and also have a positive effect on your teammates.
The little things include things like staying on your toes (having a bounce in your step)
- passing the ball and not just kicking
- being courteous when passing to your teammates by using appropriate pace and direction so your teammate can receive it
- cushioning the ball and not letting it hit your foot
- using the correct technique to pass the ball every time
- telling your teammate “man on,” “turn,” which way to force the ball, or if there is player moving into their zone by saying “right “or “left shoulder”
- winning 50/50 balls
- making the right passes
- jumping first to win balls in the air
This is by no means a complete list, and by this point, you should understand that making a conscious effort in just about any aspect of soccer can be considered “doing the little things.”
When you train, no matter if it’s in your backyard, at a high school practice, at academy practice or indoors, you must concentrate on doing these little things correctly.
I believe that doing the little things correctly can take you a long way.
These techniques are often minor, but if you cannot do the little things the right way, then how are you supposed to do big things correctly?
These “little things” come into play in crucial moments of a soccer game.
For example, pretend the game is on the line and you need to complete a final pass to your teammate who’s in position to score the goal that will win you the game.
In order for the ball to get there and even give your team a chance at winning you must first use correct form to pass the ball and use the right pace: two of the “little things” we’re talking about.
These tips may be “little,” but when applied in a game situation they become vitally important.
Be sure to take care of the little things, and the “big things,” for both you and your team, will follow.