Watch and Learn – Euro 2012

With the Euro 2012 Tournament starts next weekend, loads of great football to watch this month! It’s the perfect opportunity for players to not only enjoy the matches, but also focus on specific aspects of the game. I always tell our players they can learn a lot by watching some of the best players and teams in the world!

Here are a couple ideas:

  • Pick a player: Choose a player you really like, or who plays in your position, and focus on what they are doing throughout the game. What do they do well? What do they do without the ball?
  • Pick a skill: Focus on one area of the game, like one touch passing during a Spain game, or how their bodies are shaped when they receive the ball. How do the Italians organize themselves at the back, or the Dutch pressure in the midfield?
  • Off the ball: Instead of following the ball the whole game, spend some time watching what players are doing off the ball. How are they supporting their teammates, making runs, or tracking back?

In between all the goals and drama this summer, take advantage of the Euros to see if you can pick up some of the little things that world class players do on the field. Then grab a ball and get some touches yourself!
The PUFA Team: Feel free to forward this to anyone who loves soccer as much as we do!



Find a wall!

Here is a little advice from an all-time great on the best training tool out there:

Dennis Bergkamp, the great Dutch striker said that when he was a young player at Ajax, they had little three foot high walls. He would knock the ball against it for hours. Every time he hit the ball, he would know whether it was a good touch or a bad touch. He would do it over and over, trying to establish a rhythm.

“I would also hit the ball against the side of the house… Hitting the ball with both feet, seeing how long I could return the wall passes without losing control. I found out later that so many pros spend lots of their childhood doing that.”

So whether you are a player training on your own, or a coach instructing your team, the message is simple this week – go find a wall!

The PUFA Team: Feel free to forward this to anyone who loves soccer as much as we do!