"Practice makes perfect"...it's the refrain heard around the world in any number of contexts. It keeps craftsmen honing their skills, children practicing the piano...and athletes refining their skills on the athletic field.

As a sport, soccer combines individual and group skills together in any number of ways. The skills honed perfecting a body trap or dribbling may not translate into skill in the operating room, but the physical conditioning that comes from playing any sport brings confidence and stamina that apply to a wide range of life's tasks. And the dedication it takes to achieve excellence in any endeavor can pay big dividends, even if one's life work is far from the athletic field.

In recent years, soccer has grown by leaps and bounds in the United States. Author Greg Hall offers his insights into the lessons that the game brings to all its participants.

Want To Be A Great Soccer Player? Practice Makes Perfect

By: Gregg Hall

As an athlete and sports buff most of my life I get sick of hearing people point out an outstanding athlete and say, “He has genetics” or “He was born being able to play like that”. Really, so O.J. Simpson who was suffered from being bowlegged due to vitamin deficiencies was born to be one of the best running backs in American football?

The truth of the matter is that the single thing that makes every great athlete a great athlete is practice. Soccer is no different; the greats Pele, Ronaldo, and Beckham all have this in common. They practiced constantly to the point of exhaustion and beyond. It is practice that gives you both the skill and the confidence to be able to make the passes and the shots that make all the difference in a game. If you want to be a great soccer player then you must commit yourself to daily practice from now on.

The aspect of being in excellent physical condition is another crucial part of soccer with aerobic conditioning being the forefront. If you become tired and cannot run at your peak for an entire game then you need better conditioning. Soccer practice focuses on developing your skill and technique. Your skill is identified as your ability to execute particular techniques which are taught such as a trap, throw, or kick. It is through consistent and regimented practicing that a player is able to develop the skill and confidence to play at a superior level.

Always have a plan for the objectives that you want to meet before you begin your practice sessions. Having an exact format and plan for your time will keep you from wasting time and not knowing what to do next. Have goals that have to be attained, once you attain them set them higher. It is best to have a friend or someone who shares your zeal for the sport to practice with you, especially when you are trying to improve your kicking technique. If you are unable to get someone to practice with you focus kicking a specific area of the ball to make it go where you want. You can also kick the ball into a particular spot on a wall if you don’t have a buddy to kick to.

Another important aspect of soccer is ball control. One good way to practice ball control is to set up cones and zigzag your way through them dribbling the ball and try not to stop or even slow down. This drill will help you when it comes to having to dribble down a soccer field in an actual game where you have to dodge other players.

As with any sport you can also learn quite a lot by watching other players closely. If you have a favorite position, watch a game and focus on that player and learn how he executes his technique. Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to becoming a great soccer player.

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Gregg Hall is an author and internet marketing consultant living in Navarre Florida. Find sports collectibles and sports memorabilia at www.merchandiseforsportsfans.com