Whether you’re just starting the sport or are a seasoned player, improving your soccer technique comes down to a few basic fundamentals. Many players try to skip past some of the most important aspects of being a successful athlete, and without doing the work, you’re likely to get injured, burned out or benched more than you’d like.

Professional soccer players didn’t get to where they are because of sheer luck. What separates a good player from a great player? Read on for a few key elements that set FIFA players apart.

They Take Care of Their Bodies

When your body is your instrument, you need to ensure it’s at its peak in order to play your best. Off the field, pro-players fill their plates with nutrient-dense foods, get enough sleep and eliminate stressors that create brain fog and cloud their judgment on the field.

 

After a hard game or practice session, they also take recovery seriously. Sore muscles can be soothed with ice baths, rest and supplements like CBD capsules to reduce inflammation and promote healing. When injured, they listen to their body, never pushing through or ignoring any major pain, as this can only make things worse in the long run.

They Have Their Heads in the Game

Without a good headspace, you’re not likely to get far, even for the fastest or strongest players on the team. Pro players take time to focus and center themselves, making every training session and drill more effective. Valuable mental energy is wasted on improvising and trying to keep up with plays. A professional player is always mentally prepared to work.

 

Soccer is as much a mental game as it is physical, and FIFA league players always come to the field with a clear directive. It’s important to always be at least one step ahead before making any moves. Professionals are always thinking about what other players may do next as well as where they want the ball to go.

They’re Team Players

A good player takes responsibility for the energy they bring to the team and comes prepared to work hard and encourage their teammates. Each player is only one important part of a larger whole, and part of being a member of that team is encouraging and allowing your teammates to play their positions as best they can to ensure team success.

 

Professionals work defensive tactics with their teammates to build trust and reliability with one another. Each player gets themselves in an optimal position when a teammate has the ball, and is always aware of their role. The most successful soccer teams in the world are filled with excellent players but earned their places at the top because they can work extremely well together.

They Challenge Themselves

Drills involving the ball are excellent ways to improve your technique, but with only one ball in play, your time with it on the field during a game is likely to be limited. Professional players practice off the ball as much, if not more, as with it. Their off-ball training focuses on building the muscle memory it takes to be faster, think and respond quicker and move more effectively on the field.

 

Outside of practice, they’re always brushing up on knowledge and skills, too. They consider themselves athletes at all times, exercising regularly to make practice drills a lot easier. They never save their efforts only for team practice. A good soccer player has to be as creative as they are athletic, and they never assume they’re above studying the rules, positions and possible moves in their downtime.

They Stay Positive

Above all, you won’t get far if you don’t believe you can. When it comes to any sport, it can be discouraging to face losses or feel inadequate compared to your teammates. A professional player considers each setback as an opportunity to identify areas of improvement and gets to work in being the player they always knew you were.

Soccer is not only an incredibly rewarding sport, but it’s also a lot of fun, too. By looking to the pros, and with your own hard work and perseverance, you’re sure to succeed both on and off the field.