Join The Passion!

Join The Passion!

M-Station - Perfect Gift for Soccer Players

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Mental Soccer Training


Soccer is just as much a mental game as it is a physical game. Even if players have the best grasp of fundamentals and the best soccer training, it's worth nothing if they crack under pressure, or if they have mental, emotional and lifestyle issues outside of soccer that mess with their head in-game.

Bouncing back from a poor performance or handling negative emotions is something that comes from having your head on right, not just practicing drills up and down the field. If you want to get ahead of the game, you should spend as much time training your mind as you do your body.

By learning to manage stress, anxiety and other psychological aspects of the game, you can excel faster than your peers who just focus on the mechanics of soccer. Here are a few soccer training tips to help you do just that.

Visualize the Ball
Sure, you kick the ball around every day. But do you imagine yourself doing it? Even when you're not on the field, use mental imagery to practice your soccer training.

There are two ways you can do it: external visualization, where you imagine watching a movie of yourself playing soccer, or internal visualization, where you imagine playing as though you are actually doing it. This concept will help familiarize you with your task until you could do it half-asleep, with both hands tied behind your back.

We've seen players with inconsistent technique utilize visualization to become more dependable players. They simply needed to discipline their mind to perform at the level their body was capable of. It's a great way to get in more practice time for your brain.

Relax, Chill out, Calm Down
Everybody gets nervous before a game or a performance. Unfortunately, anxiety can also muddle your thinking, which can cause you to make bad judgments on the field. If you're alert, but relaxed, you can make decisions better and faster when you're under pressure.

Controlling your anxiety will go a long way to making you feel more confident in your game, because you'll know that it won't affect your performance. Take some time to relax before each game and you'll find yourself a lot less stressed.

We've seen several players come to us with great technical skill but an overdose of adrenaline. Their technique was great in practice, but they would get worked up and make mistakes when the pressure was on. Indecision and hesitation led to missed shots and botched plays.

Over the course of their training, they learned to relax and focus before the game and during their breaks to help offset their usual tension level. They were still able to harness that energy, but they also reacted coolly under pressure, putting that great technique to use on the field.

Focus on Your Goals
Having both short-term and long-term goals for your soccer training will motivate you and give you something to strive for. If things don't seem to be improving and you don't have any goals, it's easy to get discouraged and consider quitting.

The goals shouldn't be impossible, but they should definitely challenge you and force you to step up your game. Challenging yourself is the only way to consistently improve.

We're constantly pushing our players to advance their skills and become better players. The students with high internal drive and motivation respond well to this kind of pressure and set high goals for themselves. We've see this pay off time and time again as they advance more quickly than their peers.

Concentrate, Concentrate, Concentrate
Yes, it's easy to get distracted during a game. However, part of being a good player is overcoming that. Concentration drills can help you to improve your focus during a game. But not every drill works the same for every player. Some people are visual learners, while others are audial learners. Find a drill or a pre-game ritual that works best for you.

By mastering your mental game, you can reduce your anxiety, overcome negative emotions, bounce back from a bad mistake and make playing soccer a more enjoyable experience all around. The mental soccer training is just as important as the physical, so don't neglect it. You may be surprised at how much you improve.




  • Joey Bilotta
  • vice president of EduKick, a cultural immersion soccer training program. 



      Wednesday, May 9, 2018

      Prepare for a Successful Club Soccer Tryout


      Prepare for a Successful Club Soccer Tryout

      Tryouts are a tough part of life as an athlete and especially tough for teenagers and early teens that are either ramping up or down their interest in soccer. The guidance below isn’t just for those in youth sport, the same tips will serve your family well as the stakes get higher in high school and college.


      The Best Club is the Best Club for Your Player

      You know what motivates and inspires your kid. Look for a club that matches your parenting philosophy and suits her/his temperament. Be wary of a club that suggests you join them based on their Got Soccer or the colleges that their alumni play for. Each Club’s website or brochures should give an indication of the time commitment, travel requirements and financial investment required by that Club, as well as the expectations they have of each player. Some players might be ready for the greatest challenge, while others might just want to have fun and play with their friends. Make sure that the goals of the Club you’re trying out for align with the goals of your player.



      Prepare and Be Confident

      Preparing for tryouts involves much more than just practicing skills. In addition to honing your step-over or fine-tuning your shot, it’s important to prepare yourself mentally for both failure and success. During the tryout, you may make a mistake (in fact, you almost certainly will, at least once) or coaches may surprise you by asking you to play a position you are unfamiliar with or that you don’t consider your best. Be prepared for these situations and respond positively. Soccer games are full of unexpected developments and difficult moments for each team and the players who respond the best in these challenging moments in a tryout will be certain to catch a coach’s eye.




      Arrive Early and Be Ready to Work

      Without fail, each of the coaches we spoke with mentioned players being late, or arriving unprepared, as one of the biggest negatives during a tryout. Arriving late to tryouts shows the coach that you don’t value his or her time, or that of the other players, and suggests that you’re not completely invested in the tryout process. With dozens of other players on time and eager to make the team, it sets you apart in a bad way. Instead, arrive at least a half-hour early, to give you plenty of time to put on all your gear, warm up, and pass the ball around with a friend or fellow player. Not only will you feel more relaxed and confident, but a coach who arrives at the field to see players already warming up and passing the ball is sure to take note. And if a coach’s first impression of you is that you are a well-prepared self-starter, you’ll be starting the day at the top of his or her list.


      Introduce Yourself to the Coaches


      When the coach arrives, walk over and introduce yourself. Don’t let your parents do it for you; a player who looks their coach in the eye, gives a firm handshake and introduces themselves exudes confidence and maturity, two qualities that every coach desires. Don’t interrupt the coach if they are talking to someone else; wait your turn, then say hello. Thank the coach for the opportunity to tryout and express your sincere desire to be a part of the team this year. Said one coach: “it’s much harder to break the heart of a player whose hand I’ve shook, and who has looked me in the eye and smiled and said thank you, than it is a player I never talked to at all.”




      Get Noticed at Tryouts

      There are things that you, as a player can control; your amount of rest, your amount of practice, your pre-tryout meal, your clothing (one coach we spoke to recommended, if allowed, wearing a brightly colored shirt or socks to help distinguish yourself from the other players). There are other things you can’t control, the weather, the skill level of the other players at tryouts, and the attention of coaches. If you accept going in that you can only control certain factors and concentrate on achieving peak performance in those areas, you’ll be better prepared mentally to succeed in any situation.


      Stay focused

      A tryout can be a long process, and there will be times that you feel you aren’t being noticed. But do you know what else is a long process, with periods of activity separated by stretches of inactivity? A soccer game, and a soccer season, and life! Coaches will be looking for the players who remain focused and attentive always throughout the tryout. When the coach is speaking, look him or her in the eye; it’s a natural human reaction to return eye contact if you’re looking at the coach, it’s likely he or she will be looking at you as well, and noticing that you care about what he or she has to say. Likewise, don’t mess around with your ball, or talk to friends between drills, or while the coach is talking. Keep your ball still and your eyes on the coach, and you’ll show the coach you’re focused and serious about what he or she has to say.



      Show Your Ball Skills and Athleticism

      You’ll notice that we have gone 7 items in and are just now getting to anything that has to do with playing soccer. When hundreds of players attend a tryout, it’s inevitable that only a few will stand out (good and bad), while the clear majority will be of a similar skill level. That’s why it’s important to try to set yourself apart from the pack in ways beyond just your soccer ability. Show up early, make eye contact and introduce yourself, and that’s all before the tryout starts. That said, the two on-field skills that are easiest to judge in a tryout are athleticism, and ball skills. Work on ball control, particularly trapping the ball and dribbling in tight spaces practice dribbling at pace around cones, with the inside and outside of your foot, until you can do it quickly without losing control of the ball. Most tryouts will begin with small-sided games, where the limited space make ball skills of superior importance. In addition, work on building your speed and ability to change direction. In the full-field game, the fastest players always stand out.



      Speak Up and be Seen

      Silent players are easy to ignore; verbal ones are not. Just as when you introduced yourself to the coach before tryouts, keep communicating when you’re on the field. Make sure that your being positive and helpful. Call out marks, anticipate passes and runs. You’ll show that you’re a leader and team player, two qualities all coaches look for. Be careful to not criticize other players’ actions or decisions. Model how to respond when something doesn’t go your way. Trust the coach to understand what went wrong and why, without you having to point it out.

      Keep Moving

      A high motor will get noticed. When moving between drills, jog, don’t walk. Be the first one back from water breaks (in fact, if you didn’t get a chance to introduce yourself before the tryout, a water break is a great time to do so). Should you be tackled or beaten during the tryout, don’t stop and pout or cry foul, chase the ball and win it back. Coaches don’t want players who complain or give up, they want players who continue to compete hard no matter what the circumstances are against them.





      BONUS Tip for Parents: Let the coaches coach

      It’s hard to watch your child be evaluated against others. You want him/her to be the best and achieve her goals. Before the tryout, make sure that your child knows you love and support them, an encouraging hug and loving words can be just as inspirational (or even more so) as a fiery motivational speech. During the tryout, don’t coach from the sidelines, and avoid talking with the coaches. Let your child’s play on the field speak for itself. Immediately afterwards, don’t add your own analysis to that of the coaches, whether your child made the team or not, a hug from you will be the best thing you can give them.  




      Tuesday, May 1, 2018

      #1 Way To Improve Technique


      The #1 ELEMENT your players need to find to guarantee better performance is... SPACE.


       Space. All great players find it, exploit it and benefit from doing so.


       “As an eventual receiver of the ball, you have to look in the open space for a position enabling you to get the football in good conditions. ... It is often a matter of one step more or less.” – Johan Cruyff




      We speak of space being time and time being gold. It is that valuable. Gold. And it can be cashed in to accomplish remarkable results on the pitch. A player with space has time and that time affords a more effective technical execution. It may be less than a meter or it may be three. All space that can be exploited to your benefit against an opponent is worth seeking.



      It may seem counter intuitive, but if you teach players to play with a deeper understanding of space, they will execute better. The parents on the sidelines and the casual onlooker will think that Johnny or Jane has become so much better technically. Wow, a completed pass. A probing shot. A purposeful dribble.



      OK, maybe not the parents who yell “BOOT IT!” but we cannot win over everyone. The most important beneficiary of the productive management of space will be your player. She will dance within that space with confidence. She will find solutions with a fraction more time afforded to her.  Your player will not only appear technically better, but also become technically better as she seeks more technical quivers to add to her arsenal of skills. Demand will drive supply.



      Ball control void of spatial awareness is of little service to a true footballer.



      The greatest masters of the game were masters of so many components of the game. They could pass,
      receive, shoot, dribble, and head the ball. But so many players worldwide can do that. Di Stefano, Pele, Cruyff, and Maradona were artists that delivered a solution when needed most.



      “There’s only one moment in which you can arrive in time.  If you’re not there, you’re either too early or too late.”  - Johan Cruyff



      In the end we must be honest with our children by explaining that there are no shortcuts to success within or beyond football.  And to refute my entire article here we should not reduce the beautiful game to guarantees and false promises.

      But we can suggest that football is a multi-directional game, a choreographed dance in time and space to be enjoyed thoroughly with best friends, caring coaches and loving parents.  And we can go out to train it and to play it as such.



      “The ideal space must contain elements of magic, serenity, sorcery, and mystery.” – Luis Barragan









      Thursday, April 26, 2018

      The Right Mindset in Soccer


      After all your training is complete, your mindset is everything when it comes to performing consistently in soccer.

      Your mindset is the difference between winning and losing.

      Your mindset separates average play and next level-performance.

      The biggest area affected by your mindset is the way you respond to adversity.

      An avoidance mindset focuses on avoiding problems rather than focusing on solutions.

      When your mind is focused on problems, more problems ensue such as:


      --Anxiety
      --Intense negative emotions
      --Lower confidence
      --Loss of focus
      --Uncharacteristic mistakes

      A negative mindset can be summed up by the statement, "Whatever happened to me?"

      A positive mindset can be summed up by the phrase, "Whatever it takes!"

      A positive mindset focuses on solutions, therefore, your confidence stays intact and you maintain an even keel emotionally.

      A positive mindset centers around, "What can I do?" Rather than, "What can’t I do?" or, "What haven’t I done?"

      Every moment is big in the a game. Moments can change games, moments can create a run. So I think that’s on all our minds. If there’s a loose ball, dive on the floor. If you can take a charge, do that. Whatever it takes.

      The "whatever it takes" mindset helps the team fight through a highly contested match up against the stronger opponents.

      Which type of athlete are you?

      Are you the type of athlete who is dragged down by thoughts such as, "What has happened to me?"

      Or the athlete who has the mindset, "What can I make happen?"

      The reality is that your mi
      ndset is a choice.

      If you want to have a "whatever it takes" mentality, then you need to consciously make the choice to foster those types of positive thoughts.

      You need to let go of what has happened and, instead, make things happen.  

      A positive mindset will not happen automatically.

      You need to choose the mindset that enables you to perform at your peak, then, act accordingly.

      How to Develop a Positive "Whatever it Takes" Mindset:

      Choose a motto for yourself that will highlight a positive mindset...

      How do you want to compete under the big lights? How do you want to play when your game is off? How do you want to play against tough competition?

      Consider this motto as your personal slogan similar to Nike’s, "Just do it”.

      Frequently recite your personal slogan to yourself to keep you focused on what you want to make happen.




      Tuesday, February 6, 2018

      Need 3 FEMALE PLAYERS for Top League in Portugal




      ViaSoccer, LLC. is an extension of Victory Soccer Club that provides representation services for players willing to play professionally in Portugal and other leagues.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      We are looking for 3 FEMALE PLAYERS to join a Portuguese club at the Top League in the next season 2018/19.

      August starts preseason and it goes till June of 2019 with a Winter Break. We need a Goalkeeper, a midfielder and a forward.

      Players must have a highlights video and over 20 years old with American Passport.

      Club offers housing, food and salary to be negotiated upon experience.

      Contact Coach Sergio Taborda at

       phone:202.253.6166  or  email: sergiotaborda@victorysoccerclub.com

      Tuesday, November 14, 2017

      DEVELOPING TALENT

      Developing talent is a complex journey for both player and coach.



      We have felt the fire ignite within those who train dynamically and intelligently.

      First thing in the development process should be giving knowledge to the players. Knowledge about the game of soccer...

      From positioning to how to make the right decisions. Players can not make good decisions if they are not coachable... 



      Adding energy and intensity to practices is essential. Committing to dynamic and effective interventions. It is important to bring the energy levels required to activate the talent. 


      INCREASE EFFICIENCY... incremental improvements to deliver a better service with contemporary practices and founded upon sound pedagogical principles.