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Staying sharp during the soccer shutdown

Article Written by Travis Clark
Published: March 27, 2020

No matter where you’re reading this from, the Coronavirus soccer shutdown has some kind of an impact on you.

Travel soccer events have officially been canceled through at least the end of April, and given the uncertainty surrounding when it will resume, it’s hard to know when soccer will return.

That, combined with school on hold for a significant portion of the United States, opens the door for players to seize control of their development and ramp up their individual work.

Below are a handful of tips and tools on how to stay sharp during the soccer layoff.

Please send any of your suggestions to editor@topdrawersoccer.com.

  • Check in with your club and coaches, if you haven’t already: Most teams are probably on top of this, providing some kind of individual exercise plan. Some are giving players homework (to a small extent) that helps them think about the game, looking to stay sharp mentally. Teams have taken to social media to show players training on their own, either with trick shots or individual drills.
  • Juggle: All you need is you, the ball and some space. Even if you don’t have a yard, head outside and get as many touches as possible. It can hone technique and help players remain connected with the ball. For more insight, check out Mike Woitalla’s article on Soccer America.
  • Build a Kick Wall: One of the easiest ways to train individually is kicking a ball into the wall. It may sound simple, but it can go a long way in developing the use of both feet and technique. Check out KickWalls.com for plans setup by James Brown, the parent of a club soccer player in Pennsylvania.  
  • Techne Futbol: Some clubs may have already subscribed to the Techne Futbol app. Created by Yael Averbuch, a 10-year pro with 26 caps for the U.S. women’s national team, it has a slew of individual drills that can be worked in both inside and outside. It comes with a 7-day free trial with no strings attached, so you can try it out first. Yael Averbuch, the founder of Techne Futbol, was a guest on this week's episode of the TopDrawerSoccer Show.
  • Study the game: Watch old games or highlights. Pick a player that plays your position, or a position that you'd like to play. Study what he or she does during the run of play (as best you can) from an entire game. Take notes, and think about was your can emulate that player on the field.
  • Fitness: It's going to be difficult to maintain 90-minute fitness without a full field or practice. But depending on what kind of movement is allowed, it's important to at least try to log some miles, with or without the ball. There are ample resources on the web if your club or college hasn't put together guidelines on some exercises to try on your own.

Don't forget to also read some soccer books, television shows and movies to pass the time as well.

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