How Important Is an Element of Fight for a Soccer Player?

You can't just want it, you must need it! - (Photo: Photoree.com)

Coaches and parents often tell a young soccer player to play with a bit of aggression and some fight.  Especially in their youth, many children are afraid to engage in competitive physicality and potentially hurt someone.  However, as players develop and age, the best of them seem to be the ones who do display this endless burning desire to fight for the ball.  Ever heard of Carlos Tevez?  Although he is smaller than most of the professionals he competes against, he scores tons of goals because of his never-stopping fire and passion for winning the ball and his aggression.

Learning to become a fighter in soccer is something that unfortunately must be taught for many players.  Since soccer is often seen as a generally “soft” sport when compared to a game like tackle football, many youngsters are afraid to go in strong for a challenge.  However, such action is critical for a soccer player to mature.  When you approach the sport with a grain of intensity and a physical courage to match, you will often win the ball back and will surely get into your opponents’ heads.  This can go a long way for you dominating an opposing team throughout a game.  Don’t necessarily be afraid of drawing a foul (unless obviously you are in your own penalty box!). Giving up a foul is basically the same as losing possession, something that was likely to happen if you went weakly into a challenge.

Don’t be afraid of drawing a yellow card either.  You will quickly learn the difference between a harmless foul and something reckless when you begin to receive cards.  Realize that there is a difference between adding a bit of physicality to your game and playing dangerously.

One way to help a young player develop this aggression is to put them in a situation where it is used against them.  Hopefully a teammate is a bit aggressive, or perhaps they will learn it in a game from an opponent.  Either way, the best way to instill this fight in someone is if they get pushed around a little bit.  It will raise their blood to a boil and make them want to fight back.  However, make sure your players are encouraged to fight back in a positive manner in terms of soccer.  You don’t want a brawl to erupt at your next youth soccer game!

Once your young soccer player has a fighting spirit, there is no limit to what he or she might conquer in the world of soccer.  Anything is possible when this aggression and dedication to fully competing in the game is achieved.  You will win balls back, always be on the attack, and probably be a great deal more helpful to your teammates than the shy kid who is too scared to fully engage with an opponent to win back the soccer ball.  Thus, you will play more, have more fun, and definitely have more success as a player.  So get out there, develop some toughness and resilience, and start making an impact on your soccer team!


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