The 9 “S” Soccer System
Skill – You can never practise your skills too much. Soccer is a technical game and, as such, you need to constantly work on improving your individual skills. Remember though, that skill needs to be used effectively in games to add to your team’s performance and capabilities.
Stamina (fitness) – A good motto to follow is respect your body. Watch what you eat and drink, and keep as fit as you can by training (although be careful, and don’t overdo it).
Speed – It is important to improve both your mental and physical speed in order to use your skills effectively in the game. Work on your mental speed, often called decision-making, by playing in small-sided games of 3 v 3 or 4 v 4. Build your physical speed by running with the ball – and remember that changing speeds when you are running with the ball can often deceive your opponents.
Sense – We use this word to mean game understanding. Here again, you need to play as much soccer as possible; especially small-sided games. Soccer is a wonderful game because each situation and moment in a game can be different, but the more you play the more you will be involved in the various problem-solving situations that occur in games.
Spirit – Here, the key words are always do your best. You can’t win every game, so it’s important that your attitude and resolve are always upbeat. Whether you are winning or losing, give your all.
Self-discipline – If you want to be a really good player you have to make time to practise often. This means sometimes you may have to give up social activities, for instance.
Self-confidence – This is most important. Sometimes it is the difference between being a very good player or not. You gain self-confidence by taking responsibility for your practice habits and experiencing improvement and success. To be successful you not only need good skills, but also a good attitude.
Sportsmanship – All players have an obligation to play the game fairly. Here, the key word is respect, for your teammates, your opponents, the referee and the game.
Smile – Even the best players in the world started playing soccer because they enjoyed it as youngsters, so the key words here are enjoy the game.