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Soccer is one of the most popular sports across the nation, so knowing how to play soccer before stepping on the field definitely comes in handy. Here are some tips that will help first-time soccer players improve their game.

Don’t Be Nervous About Getting the Ball

Many new players try to avoid possession of the ball because they feel intimidated. Though it is natural to feel pressure when all your teammates are counting on you, there is no reason to be nervous. Every new player makes mistakes. The only way to overcome them is to get in the game and get experience.

Work on Cardio

Did you know that the average midfielder runs over nine miles per game? Soccer is more running-intensive than other sports like baseball, football, or basketball. Having decent cardiovascular endurance is essential. Players who find themselves constantly struggling to keep up may need to do some basic long-distance training and sprinting practice off the field.

Focus on Defense

It is perfectly understandable that most new players want the rush of scoring a goal. However, playing defense actually gives a player more insight into the game. You can build team chemistry and get to know your fellow players. Furthermore, being able to see the opposing team’s scoring strategies can give players insight. Many find that focusing on defense makes them better at both defense and offense in the long run.

Pay Attention to Team Tactics

New soccer players have a tendency to focus on their individual performance, but the performance of the team as a whole is usually much more important. In addition to running drills and exercising, it is a good idea to spend some time with the coach. Discussing tactics and formations will make it easier for new players to fit into their team.

Practice the Fundamentals

To be a good soccer player, it is important to be able to control the ball. New players typically need to start with plenty of dribbling drills. This will help them be able to better maintain possession of the ball. From there, move on to passing drills, shooting, long passes, and trapping. Practicing these different types of techniques will ensure they are second nature during actual games.