Games and Practices Are Cancelled. What’s A Player To Do?
Tom Byer is a highly accomplished international expert on player development. Head Technical Advisor for the Chinese Ministry, Byer runs his own soccer schools, has an immensely popular TV show and is the author of the best selling book Soccer Starts At Home.
A game-changer in player development — here are Byer’s ideas on how youth soccer players can practice on their own in small spaces!
Practicing on your own has lots of benefits, depending on the intensity of the practice. Now that youth soccer practices across America and around the globe have been suspended with league matches and competitions canceled, it is easy to get restless.
This is a great time to be smart and stay in good condition to be ready for when games kick off again.
Tom Byer is an expert at player development for youth soccer players, and especially well known for his approach to helping very young kids develop a good touch on the ball. Byer is the author of the best selling book, Soccer Starts At Home which guides parents through how they can help children develop good soccer skills.
Byer is also an expert on how to practice soccer in small, tight spaces like driveways, terraces, backyards, and even living rooms or small apartments.
The impact that the Coronavirus COVID 19 is having on soccer, both professional and youth, can not be underestimated. But we can use this time when youth soccer practices and games are suspended wisely.
With the focus on “Social Distancing” — these techniques can help a player work alone in a tiny space.
While there are clearly massive disruptions in soccer as well as other sports, youth players need to stay active and should spend time on the ball. Just now the time on the ball may have to be alone.
Tom Byer On Making The Most of Practicing Soccer on Your Own:
The techniques demonstrated by Byer can help a player work on his or her ball mastery regardless of the confinement of space!
One Player with One BallThis can be a great, fun challenge
One player with one ball can actually be quite exhausting — if you are doing ‘Ball Mastery’ exercises on the move.
Many exercises can be done on the spot or on the move depending on the space available. Varying the distances can have fitness benefits along with aerobic exercise as well.
It is important to start with rolling the ball under your foot.
You can work in a grid area and set a time of 1-2 minute intervals done many times.
Repetition is key along with using both feet as much as possible. Think of the right and left feet as team-mates. One foot moves the other follows.
You’ll be laying down neural pathways and since the feet are the further distance to the brain this is a very cerebral training.
The best part is, the part of the brain responsible for Ball Mastery, the Cerebellum, is also responsible for thinking, remembering, controlling emotions, decision making and ready. So you get lots of benefits from playing with a ball at your feet!
What is Soccer Starts At Home?
Soccer Starts at Home uses a unique methodology for parents to instill confidence and focus on their children all while developing critical soccer skills and fostering a bond over the love of the sport. Children as young as two years old benefit greatly from the stimulation of brain functions and the mastery of basic technical skills will give them a significant advantage once they’re old enough to join a team.
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Just watch these videos to see what is possible.
In China, where I have been advising the Chinese Ministry of Education for the past several years on Technical matters, and with China being hit very badly from the Coronavirus, kids are not only out of school but spending an enormous amount of time indoors.
We created a 4 minutes video that explains to parents the importance of Ball Mastery as both an exercise to develop Soccer Skills along with the cognitive, physical and emotional benefits as well.