It’s quite difficult to actually pinpoint when it started, it could, perhaps, have arrived years ago, though the introduction of social media has probably elevated it to a scale where it has grown in awareness. There is no doubting that the topic of soccer tactics and strategies has now entered the majority of soccer fans consciousness. Supporters are more aware of their team and the opposition’s shape, both their styles of play and how each player affects the dynamics of the side. Truth be told, these conversations were probably taking place between fans in certain countries a long time ago, yet in certain places, particularly Britain and the US, this subject was thought of as being unnecessary, as physicality and how much the players ‘wanted it’ – whatever that means – were the most important factors in deciding a game. [READ MORE] (more…)
There’s a lot of misinformation and bad science floating around about goalkeeping gear that players buy into for one reason or another. In baseball, superstitions are well founded, and surely soccer players experience this too, but at every level goalkeepers are subject to some of the most interesting rumors about the sport.
It’s said, for instance, that a neon goalkeeper jersey somehow makes the keeper into a giant bullseye. This has never been proven, and would actually be a benefit for the keeper. His or her job is to stop the ball from going in the net, and they’ve already agreed to use their body as a shield. [READ MORE] (more…)
So when does a minnow actually stop being labelled as one? Can they progress up to the next level? A quick look at Turkey’s qualifying campaigns in the 80’s shows 8-0 and 6-0 defeats to Bobby Robson’s England side. The same nation went on to finish 3rd 20 years later at the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
Recent progression can be found in the modern game’s current set of underdogs, Azerbaijan offering a promising example. In the 00′s, Milli, consistently finished bottom of their group, registering heavy losses like the 6-1 home defeat to Serbia or the 8-0 hammering in Poland. The side’s 2014 qualifying campaign was remarkably better, holding Russia to a 1-1 draw at home and finishing 4th above Northern Ireland. OK, not the cream of Europe but evidence of improvement and competitiveness. [READ MORE]
No doubt, Jon Champion’s commentary notes last week would have included such anecdotes as the historic 2004 victory over Liechtenstein or Davide Gualtieri’s 7 second goal in Bologna, and maybe, as what typically happens in these sort of contests, the debate as to whether San Marino and their fellow minnows Andorra, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg deserve the right to participate against Europe’s elite. [READ MORE]
Whilst blueprint for football offers readers a weekly digest via email, the site has a blog that Paul perfectly maintains. I strongly recommend that all coaches sign up for BpfF and read the amazing content provided.
Soccer season never really ends, which is why there is almost always an opening for a volunteer soccer referee. Those opportunities can grow into professional positions, if you enjoy the work, but most referees start out at the local level. There, they learn the game and acquire all the soccer referee gear they need to stay prepared throughout their careers on the pitch. Here is a basic primer for anyone looking to become a soccer referee. [READ MORE]
Iceland opened the qualifying campaign at home to Nordic neighbours Norway. A 2-0 victory, with goals from Árnason and Finnbogson, set the tone for a successful and exciting journey which produced five victories, two draws and three defeats from ten games. This resulted in securing the second spot in the group behind the undefeated and all conquering Switzerland. The draw for the play-offs threw up Croatia which was to become arguably the biggest and most significant game in the history of Icelandic soccer. It was held in the Laugardalsvöllur Stadium in Reykjavík in November 2013. A pitch black sky in the land of ice, snow drenched floors reflected by the chill of the moon. [READ MORE]
It was quite surreal at first, having 24 hour daylight, but that’s just how it is there during the summer months. The sun would simply drop down to the horizon (blanketing us in stages of orange, red and pink), linger there for around twenty minutes and then ascend for the second dawn of the day. Things like that really mess with your head. We have our European preconceptions about how each day should be structured, but Iceland is really something quite different. It’s one of the most fascinating countries in the world. They have glaciers, magical green lights, no army (why need one?), and a happy population. The people denounced McDonald’s for its corporate evil and live long, pure lives, with a diet of local water, fresh air and protein. [READ MORE]
If you want to become a better soccer player, you may spend hours on the field doing drills over and over. You probably work on your cardio a lot too. However, being a soccer player and definitely as a woman, you may not spend much time in the weight room.
Well, it’s time to change all that. While there is plenty of women’s soccer equipment on the market to help you build up your body, an old fashioned weight room will have plenty available for you too.
For example, start doing squats. Don’t wear your women’s soccer shoes for this because they’re not ideal for squats. Instead, you want perfectly flat footwear. Lifting barefoot is an option too if the gym allows this.
Doing heavy squats will make your legs more powerful and even build your cardio in a big way.
Deadlifts are great too. Once again, do these with flat shoes. By doing deadlifts, you’ll work your legs again, but also your core. A strong core makes for a strong player. It also helps with your upper back which is vital for aiming the ball.
Finally, do some chin ups. Again, this will help with the upper back, which is responsible for turning your body along with the core.
If you want to play your best game when you take the pitch, you’re going to need the best possible soccer uniforms too.
No matter how good you are, like most soccer players, you probably aspire to be better. In fact, you probably aspire to be a lot better. You may even lose sleep over it. Soccer is the most popular sport on the entire planet and one of the reasons for this is because of the level of competition it inspires. No one wants to be anything other than the absolute best.
This is why every little element matters when you’re trying to reach this goal. You can’t simply wish yourself to this ultimate level, you have to take steps to get there in any way you can.
Soccer footwear is a big part of this, maybe even bigger than any other sport out there. For one thing, a player is only as good as their feet are in this game. However, the right shoe is also important for keeping the player comfortable so they can give it their all throughout play.
To do this, the Adidas F50 is an obvious choice. You’ll be able to play an entire match at your absolute best as far as this shoe is concerned. The rest is up to how badly you want it.
If you take soccer as seriously as the rest of the world, then you know that playing like a champion begins by looking like a champion. This is why you have to have Adidas soccer shoes on your feet each and every time you take the pitch.