Bend It Like Beckham – How To Curl Free Kicks Like A Pro

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Playing soccer is a fantastic way to keep yourself fit and healthy. Being a fast-paced aerobic workout, regular soccer players experience great cardiovascular health, stronger muscles, higher levels of agility, and improved coordination. There are a myriad of both physical and emotional health benefits to this team sport. If you’re looking to ‘bend it like Beckham’, here’s how you can become a soccer superstar!

Get yourself some boots

Considering that soccer is played with your feet, your football boots (or cleats) will be your most valuable asset. It’s incredibly important that you find the right boots for you. The types of boots you should be looking for is mostly dependent on two factors. The first is whether you’ll be playing indoors or outdoors. For futsal and indoor soccer that’s not played on any turf, you’ll want hard ground shoes. Those are smooth-soled cleats, or cleats without any spikes. The second factor that you’ll need to consider when finding the right pair of boots, is whether you’re playing on natural or artificial grass.

If you’re playing on natural turf, you’ll want to get yourself a pair of soft ground cleats, to ensure extra grip and traction when you’re running on the pitch, as well as if you’re playing or handling the ball at all in wetter weather. If you’re playing on artificial turf, then firm ground boots are more suited to the shallower surface of your pitch. If you use soft ground cleats on artificial turf, you might find that your agility will be impacted by the higher surface area of your boots. 

Join a club

With a huge focus on clubs and community involvement, soccer is perhaps one of the most social team sports you can play. For that reason, it’s pretty common for young players to join their local soccer club before they even realise how passionate they are about the sport! And that’s what’s truly great about soccer clubs: it doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player.

Regardless of what level you’re at, there will be some way you can get involved, and there will definitely be something for you to learn. Local clubs can be great for hobby players to form casual teams for friendly competition, or they can be a surefire way for you to gain experience with competing before moving onto state level leagues. Or even higher? Once you’ve got a great community behind you, the sky’s the limit!

Drills, drills, drills

Practice makes perfect, in more ways than one. Regularly running your soccer drills will ensure that you stay on top of your game, as well as develop a good understanding of how to control the ball and build up some very handy muscle memory. If you’ve got a specific position you want to play, it helps to run drills designed to enhance the skills you’ll most likely be using in-game.

For instance, if you’re a striker and you’ve always known it, you’ve got a lot of work on your plate! Focus on shooting and agility overall, but be sure to get a lot of practice with your zig-zag drills so that dribbling starts to feel like second nature. If you’re looking to play full- or wing-back, you’ll need to stay alert and active for a good bulk of your games, and so should focus more on building endurance over anything else. And if you’re defending, it’s good to run drills with another player to bounce off of, so you can build up your reflexes.

Ronaldinho famously said that he ‘learned all about life with a ball at [his] feet’. This is a sentiment that sticks true to many of us who get invested in this marvelous sport at a young age. It really will open up a whole world of opportunities, knowledge, and fulfillment in all of life’s arenas. So put your faith in yourself, get in your boots, walk out on your pitch, and curl those free kicks like a pro!

 

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