Situational awareness refers to the continuous collection of information to assist you and your team members in making better judgments on the soccer field. For many soccer players, situational awareness is the main barrier to reaching their full ability on the soccer field.
Improving the ability to make decisions will make you a better player, irrespective of your skill level. To assist you in doing so, we bring some effective techniques to improve your soccer awareness.
Mentally Prepare for Situational Awareness: Situational awareness is the game’s thinking part. You must turn on your mind to perform best. Take some time before matches to prepare mentally, focus and stay fresh. Nutrition can also have a significant impact on how vibrant your mind is. Eating nutritious foods and avoiding sweets will help you stay sharp and awake instead of hazy and unfocused.
Scan Field: This is where keeping your head on a swivel & checking your shoulder comes into the game. If you have difficulties remembering to scan, create a mantra to help you remember. For instance, tell yourself to look around and see what’s behind you. What’s on the side? And then repeat that. You should double-check your surroundings. Never, ever stop checking.
Ask Yourself Queries: Don’t assume that you will automatically react right in any given situation. Soccer is a thinking sport that asks you to make mindful decisions based on the information you have. To improve your situational awareness in soccer, ask yourself questions during play. For instance, should I play one touch, two touches, or dribble & take space here? Another case in point: Where is the more dangerous? Where is there a chance? Where is there room to grow?
Speak to Your Team Members:
1. Commit to giving better performance by informing your teammates about what is happening around them.
2. Give and receive knowledge freely and generously.
3. Assist in directing a play based on the game environment, pressure, and space.
When you begin to provide more information to your team members, you are not only demonstrating on-field leadership but also becoming more situationally aware because you have made it a goal to obtain knowledge and use it to benefit other team players.
Improve Your Body Position: Never lose sight of that soccer ball! Never turn your back on it or lose track of its exact location. It’s unforgivable and irresponsible. Backpedal or keep your eye over your shoulder when moving away from the ball. If you are a wide soccer player, try to keep your body open to the field and your eyes on at least three corners of the ground. It is two corners for the central players. Center midfielders must have excellent 360-degree awareness because the ball frequently moves right, left, forward & behind them.
Play Soccer with A 1-Touch Mentality: To improve your situational soccer awareness, challenge yourself to play soccer with A 1-touch mentality. Though you approach the game as if everything must be the first touch, you’ll quickly develop the habit of collecting information early & consistently because you’ll have to make all your decisions before the soccer ball arrives. Without doing this, you won’t be able to keep up with the high pace and speed of play that comes with one 1-touch.
Know Every Player’s Location: Check the location of every player on both teams. Players frequently know where their team members and opponents are in immediate proximity but have no idea what the remainder of the field looks like. On the offensive, this can easily lead to missed opportunities. On defense, it can lead to poor coverage and goals against.
Watch Your Performance on Film: Watch your game film as soon as possible, preferably when the game is still fresh in your mind. Go over the above tips and examine your performance using these criteria. Were you aware of your surroundings when you were playing, and when were you not aware? Which poor decisions you made?
Watch Professional Game: To enhance your situational awareness, watch a professional’s performance, especially the performance of the players playing in a similar position. Evaluate their performance and situational awareness. Check their body position and communication. Are they continually scanning, and how frequently? Are they aware of and linked to the opposing team? Also, keep an eye out for times when they are not situationally aware.
When a player’s 360-degree awareness is on target, you can see & feel it. The players’ excellent Situational awareness abilities make them better players, and those players, awareness skills make their whole team stronger.
Without situational awareness, you will struggle to reach elite levels. Hard work, excellent technical skills & sharp footwork will make you stand out, but even with top-notch ball control, if you lack situational awareness, you will not be able to maximize your potential. You will not reach your top level. So follow the ways mentioned above to enhance your decision-making ability in the field.