Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Coaching Perspective: The Importance of Being Able to Read the Game

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In order to become a top-class soccer star, you need to be blessed with plenty of skill and natural ability.  However, intelligence is also a huge part of the game and an important trait for players to possess. The majority of the world’s elite players possess the ability to read the game and react accordingly. Some players can perform tricks to beat their opponent, but if they can’t finish the play, they are unlikely to maintain a career at the top level.

Anticipating situations is vital and can separate a world-class performer from an average soccer player.  This skill is often developed over time and through the repetition of practice and game scenarios.  Understanding how an opponent will react during a fast break or anticipating which direction a player is likely to pass the ball takes mental awareness and practice. A lack of awareness in these types of scenarios can cause players to “ball watch” and not track runners.  Positional sense is also critical and players should avoid encroaching on a teammate’s space.

Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is an example of a player who possess intelligence . . .

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