Back 2 Basics
The key to playing good soccer is to keep the ball moving by playing one and two touch soccer—that is, passing and moving off the ball and being creative. The ability to do this goes back to a good first touch, using your body to shield the ball, and knowing what you want to do with the ball before you get it.
No matter how crisp your technical skills may be, it’s all useless without an understanding of strategy - knowing where to pass the ball, when to dribble, and just a general understanding of the game.
What makes a team great isn't its tactics as a whole, it’s the team's ability to get those thousand parts turning instinctively.
First Touch Tactical
Team Transition D-2-O or O-2-D
Transition is the most important moment in soccer -- the moment in the match when individual players switch their player role in the game from defense to attack or attack to defense. Transition is understood first by an individual player, followed by a group of players. Then the team learns to see the same tactical cues. That ability leads them to reading the game.
This moment of transition occurs first as mental recognition of the situation and then as a decision that initiates physical action. The faster the recognition-decision-action connection is made, the more impact a player’s performance will have. Only once individual players are quickly making the transition from one phase of play to the next will it be possible for a team to execute quick and skillful transition from defense to attack or vice versa.
If transition does not happen fast enough for a player or team, they will always be a step or two behind the action. The speed of a player’s transition is based on his or her tactical awareness. Tactical awareness is being mindful of where one is on the field, as well as the location of the ball, teammates and opponents. It is the ability to read the game, to anticipate what will happen next and not merely react to what just happened. In some soccer circles, this tactical awareness is called insight. In American soccer, this level of mental focus and tactical awareness is referenced as being soccer savvy.
Intense fitness training is a part of the routine. Much of the training is on group and team tactics. Fitness training with emphasis on speed, strength and stamina. Emphasis on ball mastery skills and match application of them.
Creating a Blueprint of Tactical Options
As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” In much the same way, there is no shortcut to the development of tactical skills. Rather, athletes develop those skills by repeatedly encountering tactical situations and doing the things that give them the best opportunity to achieve success.