February 5, 2019
Year over year, some teams are able to rise above the pack and succeed. While this is generally a collection of many, many things, we share the 9 most important characteristics that make up a successful soccer team.
1. Sound Fundamentals
Teams that have sound soccer fundamentals will perform at a higher level each and every minute of game time. Good skill sets surrounding trapping, dribbling, passing, shooting, and heading allow soccer players to perform higher with every touch of the ball.
This translates to higher possession, more ball control, and better shooting. These characteristics sharply increase the chances of your team winning.
2. Fully Fit and In Shape
Soccer is truly a game of endurance, and a fully fit team stands a much better chance of performing well. Keeping a team in shape and fully fit requires constant training that is specifically focused on fitness, with running and agility exercises daily or weekly.
Teams that emphasis fitness, though, tend to do better. More goals are scored at the end of a game than at the beginning, and this has a lot to do with one team getting tired and the other capitalizing.
3. Always Improving
Good soccer teams are always improving their fitness and fundamentals, even throughout the season. So often, teams focus on fundamentals and improvement in training sessions before the season starts, but slack off as the season gets going.
Good teams are always working hard to improve, even if the changes are incremental and small. You can see this play out as the successful teams pull away in the end.
4. Proper Positioning
For a lot of teams that don’t end up succeeding, they can be considered to be a collection of good individual players, but not a team. While there are a lot of factors that go into playing as a team, one of the most important is proper positioning.
A good soccer team utilizes all 11 players on the field in the best manner possible, with each player understanding their position on the field. Proper positioning allows the coach to fully implement their strategy, and each player to maximize their abilities.
5. Good Communication
Soccer is a fast paced game with a lot of movement, and players will constantly be defending and counter-attacking. This frequent movement across and around the pitch means that communication is paramount.
Good communication allows teams to capitalize on mismatches in the game, while simultaneously not exposing themselves to danger.
6. Cover for Each Other
Covering for each other is really a combination of the first two points, but brings the tactical essentials together. Through proper positioning and good communication, soccer teams can outpace, outplay, and beat other teams. All of this culminates in the simple concept of covering for each other, whether on offense or defense.
7. Steadfast Belief
Soccer games can swing on a single goal, and it is easy to get down on yourself (and the team) when something doesn’t go your way. Belief in the strategies and tactics that have been set up, along with the belief in fellow teammates, is essential.
So often, the most successful of teams remain steadfast in their belief that they can win the game. These teams are able to “dig deep” to find what is necessary to win games.
8. Mental Fortitude
Mental fortitude in soccer plays itself out in the ability to execute the game plan and soccer tactics, even when it is very difficult. Whether the team needs to absorb a lot of opposing pressure, or rebound from missing several wide open shots, a team needs to have the mental fortitude to push forward.
Many have correctly identified this as having a short term memory. The best forwards forget their misses, continuously shooting. The best defenders forget their penalties, continuing to make timely tackles.
9. Constant Focus
Successful teams rarely have mental lapses, and this can be accounted to their constant focus. While a soccer game is more than 90 minutes long, it only takes a few seconds for the game the swing. Often, this is the result of a lapse in concentration and focus.
Staying focused for 90+ minutes is difficult, and the successful teams are able to do this down each and every player.
Bring these 9 characteristics to your soccer team, and continuously working on them to see improvement and success!
Tim Frechette runs a website focused on providing helpful tips and advice when it comes to different athletics, such as soccer and volleyball. He shares different drills to run, a breakdown of different positions, shoe and clothing suggestions, etc. You can take a look here: https://athleticlift.