Sometimes the difference between two soccer players of relatively equal skill is the desire to compete. The ability to play aggressive soccer when needed is what makes a striker willing to sacrifice the body to score a big goal, what makes a goalkeeper brave enough to dive at the feet of an onrushing attacker, what makes a crafty midfielder willing to take on a defender one-on-one, and what makes a stalwart defender willing to go in for a hard tackle. Some individuals are naturally more aggressive than others, but there are certain tactics coaches can use to help players become more aggressive.
Things You'll Need
- Soccer balls
Introduce training drills that replicate aggressive play. Drills like Protect the Ball (two players partner up, one player shields and protects the ball, and the other player tries to take the ball away) and Anything Goes (two teams of up to eight players compete in a small area of about 30 yards by 30 yards, with goals and goalkeepers, and defenders are allowed to push and pull) allow players to learn how to deal with aggressive play and be aggressive themselves. These sort of activities must be closely monitored so safety is maintained.
Emphasize the need to play within the rules. Players need to understand that the pushing and pulling that can occur in training exercises like the above-mentioned drills are outside the rules of the game, and coaches must make sure the drills don't get out of hand and allow things like kicking, tripping, and punching. Aggressive play is something to encourage, illegal play is not.
Praise and reward instances of aggressive play. This can be done in training or in matches and is as simple as saying something like "good job" or "way to hustle" after a player shows a willingness to go in for a hard tackle, outwork their opponent for a loose ball, or make a hard play to win a ball and set up a teammate for a score. At the older ages, roughly U16 and above, players who are less aggressive and seem to disappear for long stretches may also find their game minutes cut on competitive teams while players who are willing to hustle and take measured risks may end up with more time on the field.
- Photo Credit two men playing soccer: football players image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com
Sports & Aggression in Kids
While aggression isn't a necessity for kids playing recreational sports, it certainly helps. For kids who are trying to make higher-level, more...
How to Teach Kids Football
Teaching kids how to play football seems like a huge task. With so many different plays on offense and the challenge of...
How to Make Youth Football Players More Aggressive
While youth football players are not likely to play with the fire and power of players in the NFL, the earlier they...
NFL Rules for Hair Pulling
Look out at an NFL field and you're likely to see a bevy of flowing locks. So much so that Arizona Cardinals...
How to Be Aggressive in Football
Learn how to be aggressive with expert tips and advice on decoy routes and blocking from a former professional football player in...
How to Be a Good Soccer Forward
In soccer, a good forward should always be looking to attack and should know how to make an attacking pass. Discover how...
Soccer Skills: Attacking Tactics
Attack tactics concentrate on moving the ball forward quickly and aggressively. Learn how to be a star soccer player with the help...
Drills That Promote Aggression in Football Players
Aggression is one of the main tools to have on your side during a game of football. Learn about drills that promote...