Balancing technique with tactics
December 31, 2003 09:00 PM
Certainly, working with the ball is very important. However, it's important to understand that ball work alone is not enough. You need to balance your skill work with the other pillars of the game.
"I think if a player has desire and is training by themselves, that's very important," said Philadelphia Charge midfielder Laurie Schwoy. "You can't really teach a player to have desire. But I've realized lately that training on your own is not enough by itself.
"During my junior and senior years in high school, I'd try to play about three hours a day. But now I wish I had had more structured training. I always figured the more I was touching the ball, the better player I would become. That was enough in high school.
"Once you get to the higher levels, you realize touch isn't everything. The tactical parts of the game come into play a lot more, and that's the weakest part of my game, because I spent so much time just with the ball.
"Getting in good competitive games is so hard for everyone, especially me, because I always thought I could do it on my own and become the best player I could be. After my first year in college and playing with the national team, I realize how important games are. I get in situations I am not used to, and the best way to learn is to get into those situations more and more.
"I recommend that players get into as many games as possible. You have to learn to make technical and tactical decisions under pressure. Find top competition and just play."