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Enhance Your Child's Core Football Skills: Proven Methods That Work

Are you looking for ways to improve your child's footballing ability? Whether your child is new to the sport or has experience playing, there are always ways to enhance their abilities - at home or in training. In this article, we will discuss 4 proven methods to improve your child's fundamental football skills.

Football is a technical and tactical game, and mastering the technical aspect is crucial to fully appreciate the tactical side. However, this is dependent on your child’s age and experience level. Here at SkillZone, we believe in mastering the technical side first, before slowly drip feeding knowledge and understanding of the tactical side of the game, as children mature. Football techniques encompass various areas of the game, and players need to excel in multiple skills to compete at a high level. For instance, players like Ronaldo and Messi have their core abilities nailed in every department, such as their 1v1 skills, turning, ball control, alongside different ranges of passing.

So, what can we do to help your child improve their football skills?

Break it down into small steps: Children can feel overwhelmed when trying something new, so breaking down the steps behind the abilities and presenting them progressively can help your child feel accomplished and motivated to keep working on it.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition: Practicing something at least 75 times is required for children to learn it effectively. Therefore, repetition is key to mastering the ball. Our programme has a strong focus on ball mastery, which is included in all our coaching sessions. More time on the ball equals more development.

Apply pressure: Applying some pressure when practicing a skill can help your child learn to perform under pressure and make it realistic to the game. We include 1v1 practices consistently throughout our training programme to help players learn to beat players with the ball, and win the ball back when out of possession.

Practice without a ball: Our programme includes lots of games such as: tagging, multi-sports e.g., handball, basketball, football cricket, and team games to ensure we are developing well rounded footballers. It also keeps the mind fresh as well as exposing children to various other types of movement as footballers don’t become better athletes from playing football alone. These practices allow your child to develop other physical qualities that will support their long-term athletic development (LTAD). Our partners and shirt sponsors Advance Performance are experts in youth strength and conditioning, we recommend all of our players to try to attend one of their weekly classes to further progress in their physical qualities.

Football is a demanding sport that requires the use of your body both in and out of possession. Improving your child’s physical capacities via consistent strength & conditioning can, therefore, help boost their performance. Fundamental movements require physical skills such as change of speed, direction, agility and power, these qualities are underpinned by strength or force production (think Newtonian laws). The Chop (Facão), for example, is a 1v1 football manoeuvre that requires a rapid change of direction, using a chop beneath your planted foot to meet the ball. This requires the ability to interact with the ground, producing force as quickly as possible (rate of force development) in order to execute a sharp change of direction. Often players get injured when attempting to change direction quickly, the scientific evidence points to a lack of strength as a major player in lots of these non-contact injuries. Therefore, physical development is not only important for performance but also to reduce the likelihood of injury. 

As our slogan says, we aim to develop confident and creative players, on and off the pitch whilst also helping to support their LTAD. If you have a football mad child at home that wants to take their game to the next level, SkillZone is the place for you.

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