Street soccer is a game played by millions worldwide in streets, parks, playgrounds and parking lots that is a simpler, unadulterated version of the national and international league play you’ve seen on television. The game and culture have morphed into a dazzling individual sport producing international superstars who perform at exhibitions and make lucrative livings. Most freestyle superstars began, and most continue, as street soccer players, translating their spectacular moves onto the field of competition.
Things You'll Need
- 1 soccer ball
Get involved in a street soccer game or association. Play in street soccer games, or at least watch some and observe the moves many of the players make. While many of the skills mimic traditional soccer moves, you’ll notice a more fluid, individualized style of play. Many of the greatest “tricksters” and freestylers insist that the best way to practice street soccer moves is to play regular soccer games.
Watch videos of street soccer players. There are hundreds available. (See References 1) You’ll see both game situations with street soccer players in real competition, as well as individual examples of competitors’ unique skills. Many have patented moves and have become famous for them. Again, most argue that the work they do freestyling is, or at least began as, an effort to improve their street soccer competitive skills. Some go so far as to say that, if they can’t translate a move to the street or field, they don’t even want to practice it.
Decide the purpose of learning street soccer moves. If you want to simply improve your street game, many of the moves performed by exhibitionists will be useless to you. Many stars juggle multiple balls at one time, integrate martial arts moves into overhead kicks and generally employ moves and even props that resemble skateboarding freestylers more than they do any traditional soccer moves.
Practice. Take what you have observed and decide what you can use and what you’ll discard. You can imitate the moves of superstars, which might be good practice in and of itself, or develop your own moves to express your individuality. You can practice alone, of course, but also with a friend. As freestyle legend Nel De Kok explained in an interview with Trickmasters.com, “I still think the best way to practice your skills is with an opponent. Because if you can’t use your tricks in a real game, you should practice more.”
Tips & Warnings
- Learning street soccer techniques and culture can aid you even if all you’re after is improvement on a traditional field of play. Many coaches now are integrating street soccer training in their youth league, high school and other traditional programs.
- As with any athletic endeavor, physical fitness, training and warming up are paramount. Some of the stunts performed by freestylers require extraordinary athletic skill and agility; some are simply impossible to duplicate by most people. Be careful.
- Photo Credit soccer image by Snezana Skundric from Fotolia.com
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