How can a 14 year old can do in the off season to get faster, smarter with the ball and more endurance. An important thing to pick up now, which will probably determine whether you make varsity next year is an ability to maintain possession. This means that you don’t lose or cough up the ball when it is in your control. I highly suggest working on trapping and passing against the wall. Just stand in front of a wall so that you can knock and trap the ball off it for an hour or two.
This will make you comfortable with handling and distributing the ball. Your backyard is good for fooling around, but if you’re serious, you should head out to your nearest park, handball court or recreational center. Find an open space next to a nice even wall. Instead of juggling, you may also work on kicking the ball up (or flicking it over your head) and then settling it as it falls down. The better your first touch becomes, the quicker you’ll be able to turn, stop, settle, shoot, pass, etc.
By developing your first touch, you’ll be able to operate much faster on the field without having to compete with the stronger, more mature teammates. Overall, you should strive to stay physically fit in terms of aerobic endurance. If you want to become smarter, read soccer books, watch tapes and study from great players.
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