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The Difference Between Good and Great Soccer Players

Many people mistakenly think the difference between good players and bad players is their ability to do the spectacular.

They think the following is some of what separates good from great:

  • Ability to do a bicycle kick
  • How many step overs a player can do before losing the ball
  • Being able to pass the ball 60 yards exactly to feet
  • Being able to bend the ball around the wall
  • Juggling 1000 times
  • Doing a “rainbow”
  • Being able to “nutmeg” a player
  • Being able to dribble from one 18 to the other against opposition
While each of these things might be spectacular, the thing that really separates the good from the great is that the great players are able to do the simple things EVERY TIME.

It’s not whether you can make a 60 yard pass to feet but rather, can you make a 20 yard pass to feet EVERY TIME

Can you receive the simple ball under pressure without turning your attempt at every second touch into the opponents first touch?

Can you win headers consistently in a way that not only do you beat the opponent to the ball for the header but so you play the ball to a teammate or intended target?

Can you do the simple things consistently well or just occasionally well?

Looking at Spain’s recent World Cup winning team, it’s not the fancy things that they do well (and they certainly are capable of some impressive flicks and quick touches) but rather how many of their players can pass and receive under pressure and be consistent at it.

If you want to be great, stop thinking in terms of having to do the spectacular, instead, think in terms of being able to do the simple, consistently well. Fundamentals are still what separates good from great. Master the fundamentals UNDER PRESSURE and you are on the right path.

Originally published in the FineSoccer Newsletter
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