Soccer is about more than just seeing clearly. Sure you’ve practiced making sure that you’re getting over the ball, or worked endlessly on your volleys, but there are a few behind the scenes skills that can make the difference between a good player, and a great player.
- Depth Perception: In order to determine where your body has to meet the ball, whether you’re heading, hitting a shot, or stealing the ball from another player, your brain has to calculate where the ball is, and where it’s going to be. The speed at which your brain can make these calculations determines how quickly and accurately you can react.
- Peripheral Awareness: Everyone knows the play-maker on the field. The player who seems to be able to see everything going on around them. They make brilliant passes and orchestrate beautiful plays. Unfortunately, everyone also knows the player who seems to lose track of who they could pass the ball to. Being able to focus on what you’re doing, but still process everything else going on around you is a visual skill that can be developed and honed.
When the ball takes an unplanned bounce off the ground or another players’ foot, how quickly can you react to the change in direction?
Are you able to keep an eye on the opponent in front of you, but still able to keep track of all your teammates around you?