Football is undoubtedly the most popular sport in the world and it has millions of fans all over. The popularity of football is such that there is no other sport which has as much fans and following as football does.
It cannot just be a simple arbitrary coincidence that the sport provides so much appeal and football simply could not have become the most popular sport in the world just by chance. Here, we will attempt taking a look at some of the reasons why football could have possibly become so popular.
To start off with, the evolutionary characteristics and the history of man may be playing a huge part in making the sport appealing. Since the ancient days, man has always looked to hunt in groups and packs and has always gone to war with an army. History is proof to the fact that man performs a number of activities as a part of a group and probably, this intrinsic characteristic of man is satisfied by football. Football requires a team of men, who need to act in accordance with each other in order to achieve a common goal. The spirit of being a part of a team consisting of players with different roles and in different soccer positions plays a huge role in appealing to the intrinsic characteristic of man.
Also, unlike a number of other sports, football is incredibly easy to understand and follow. While there may be some complicated terms associated with the game, in essence the game is very simple – two teams compete against each other to score and there is only one way of scoring goals. Even an individual who has absolutely no idea about the game can understand what is going on in a matter of minutes and once the game is understood, the tactics and strategies of the team can be followed, leading to a very engaging experience for an onlooker.
A football team’s formation proves to be just as important as the players who are playing the match. Correctly determining a strategy and ensuring that the forwards, the mids and the defense of the team are in the correct formation can easily allow a football team to get the better of its opponents.
Some of the Popular Football Formations
There can be an endless number of possibilities in the arrangement of the players on the field. However, some formations are much more preferred than others. Here are some of the most popular football formations that top teams from all over the world resort to:
In this particular formation, there are four defenders in a single line, four mid fielders around a ring and two forwards. Widely used by a number of teams, this formation was used by England to successfully lift the World Cup in 1966.
Today however, this formation is not used too often, as coaches prefer having more players out in the mid field region.
This particular formation involves having four defenders at the back, three mid fielders and three forwards. This formation makes use of a sweeper and is considered to be quite defensive as compared to some other formations.
This formation was widely preferred by a number of North American teams during the 1970s.
A soccer team comes with eleven players who are assigned different positions on the playing field. Every player in the team has a specific task assigned to him and he must follow his role in accordance to the team strategy.
Soccer positions can primarily be categorized into four groups. These include:
The goalkeeper is the most important member of a team whose primary role is to prevent the opposition from scoring goals. The goalkeeper is allowed to handle the ball using his hands, given that the ball was not deliberately passed to him by a teammate and also him being inside the penalty box. Other than saving goals, a goalkeeper also needs to clear the ball, direct the defense and distribute the ball. The goalkeeper is really important and is very valuable to the team.
The defenders are used to prevent the opposition from entering the penalty area, to prevent any shots being taken at goal and also to intercept opposition’s passes. Defenders need to be very strong and need good stamina.
There are four positions that defenders may assume. These include:
- The Center Back Defender
- The Full Back Defender
- The Wing Back Defender
- The Sweeper
Pitching a baseball, passing a basketball and shooting a soccer ball may not take much talent, but learning to do these things well requires lots of practice, drills, exercise and more effort. The skills don’t just naturally come to people, at least not most people. Depth perception is an integral factor in many sports, but soccer is the only sport mentioned so far that requires the player to make active moves towards scoring or defending with the same limbs they use to move. This means players need to measure distance not once but twice for each kick – from them to the ball, then to the target.
While it isn’t possible to get accurate measurements while on the move or even realistic to consider it, that doesn’t mean you can’t apply measurements taken while at rest when you consider kicks from the same positions during actual gameplay. Say you want to practice penalty kicks, or free kicks, or passes from a goal area back into the field. You could use an item like this to measure the distances electronically, then record them. Compare your starting position, the ball’s landing position and the distance the ball moved to figure out if you’re kicking with too little or too much force.
Once you’ve done this many times (dozens, maybe even hundreds) you will have a better understanding of your own strength, as well as the amount of force you need to apply to get a ball to move a given distance. This doesn’t really allow you to practice while moving, or with other people around trying to prevent you from landing your kicks, however. For that, you’ll need to actually play some soccer, which can be kind of troublesome. Unless you’re already part of a league somewhere, it can be difficult to get a dozen or so people together for a game, even with friends around to join you.
You might want to consider checking distances in other sports as a way to better train your mind. More experience is always better than less when it comes to this, so try games besides soccer. Golf features lots of different rangefinders and measurement devices and playing that could actually make you a better soccer player, at least in terms of being able to view a field and figure out a distance without a pen, paper or calculator. Developing an awareness of your surroundings will help you to do better at all sports, so don’t underestimate how much it can help your game.
Whether you’re kicking a ball, passing it with your hands or smacking it with a club, the rangefinder is the one constant element here. You could use a GOLF GPS or another kind of rangefinder, since they all pretty much do the same thing. There are varieties for hunting, traveling, sporting and other uses, and each of these specialized types usually comes with features which would be uniquely beneficial to the activity they are associated with. They all measure distances though, and that’s what you’re looking for in this case.
While I understand soccer balls are pretty cheap like most other sports balls, I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t spend anything if I don’t have to. My resources are important to me and I realize I have many more than just the amount of money in my bank account. When I can, I use the others and keep cash for more important things. Recently a ball I was kicking around happened to hit an exposed nail on a building nearby and, well, I think you understand what happened. Rather than just buy a new one, I decided to try and fix what I had, so it could be used again.
The way I saw it, a soccer ball is really just some synthetic materials made into a kind of sheet and then molded to a shape. The ball can be entirely from a single piece of material, which is probably a mark of higher quality, or it can be made from several smaller pieces stitched together. In my case, the ball was made from a single piece of material, but some of this was lost when it got torn, so I needed a patch to fix it up. Sourcing this from another ruined soccer ball would be ideal since the materials are more or less the same and the repair might not be too noticeable because of this.
If you’re going to repair a soccer ball, sooner or later you’ll end up doing some sewing. Now you can’t use a serger for this, since you’re working with a ball and not a flat piece of fabric. You’ll probably need to sew by hand, so you’ll want to keep a few items on hand to protect yourself. A thimble is just so great to have – if you haven’t stuck yourself in the thumb with a needle yet, you won’t understand. You need thread which will be able to stand up to being kicked regularly, so look for a strong cord, possibly also from synthetic origins.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to patch up shorts, shirts, socks or other soccer gear, a sewing machine will work just fine. The SINGER 14T968DC is a fine machine from a reputable company. But getting back to the actual ball repair, once you have all the materials you need to do the job, you must find the breach in the ball. If the tear or hole is small, you might need to hold the ball close to an ear and squeeze it to try and hear where the air is leaking. Larger holes and tears are much more visible and easy to locate. Once you’ve identified the place to be patched, you’re ready to begin.
Start by cleaning the affected area, wiping away any dirt, grit or grime with a warm, wet cloth and a mild cleaner. If this doesn’t make the tear easier to see, it will at least make the finished stitches easier to inspect than if they were all full of dirt by the time you were done. A simple double stitch should do the trick if you’re using a strong thread for the patch.
Any physical trainer worth his weight knows the best way to build muscle is through resistance training and anaerobic exercise. Aerobics like jogging, jumping, tumbling and other exercises might make the participant sweat, but they will only succeed in burning fat and getting at the lean muscle tissue underneath, not building more bulk. Strong legs are important in soccer; more important than in any other sport, probably. So strengthening the legs is something many players are concerned with, something many players factor into their workout regimen. But what’s the best way to do it?
There are classic exercises that work for everyone and don’t require any specialized equipment. Climbing stairs is a great way to build muscle and increase strength, plus it will give your lungs a good workout too. Don’t need anything special to climb stairs, right? The only problem with this is, climbing stairs is a relatively high impact exercise. While it is effective, you will certainly be feeling it later in aching muscles and maybe even bones. There are other, low impact exercises which can also make the legs stronger. These are generally better for older, younger and physically weaker people.
Building strength doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time, and small steps are better than big ones since you could really hurt yourself by pushing your body too hard, so please keep that in mind. A great exercise for people who haven’t really exercised in a long time is actually swimming, believe it or not. There’s not really any impact at all since the water disperses all the force from your movements, pulling it right out of your limbs and joints and leaving them relatively pain-free at the end of the day. Swimming, especially with weights, is never a bad form of exercise, regardless of the goal.
You might consider getting around in another fashion as well. Rather than walking or swimming, try riding – specifically riding a longboard. They’re pretty nice for getting around and a bit safer than skateboards, even if they aren’t as good for doing tricks. Whether you are skating on a board, in skates or on blades like when ice skating, it’s all pretty much the same thing, even if the equipment is different. You could read more about board like these right here, if that’s something you want to try. A board is certainly cheaper than buying a pool to swim in, though stairs are still the cheapest exercise here.
Whatever you end up doing, make sure it’s something you can handle. Don’t get in over your head trying to do too much before you’re ready and able to work as hard as you want to work. There will always be time for increasing your reps or adding additional weight or resistance later. Push too hard and you could injure yourself, which might set you back months, or worse. Also, be sure to check out reviews for the gear you need before buying it. This longboard resource would be a good place to start a search for a board, for example.
Though you might not think it from a look, soccer is a sport which involves the upper body just as much as the lower body. While it’s true that only the goalkeeper can physically touch the ball with his hands and get away with it, that doesn’t mean everyone you see playing on a professional level doesn’t also have a built body above the waist. You can’t just exercise half of your body and expect things to go well. I mean that in both ways too – horizontally and vertically. You wouldn’t lift weights with only your left arm, would you?
Well if you would, you might want to reconsider things after reading more here. It’s seriously to your benefit to train both sides of your body equally or both halves if you’re talking about the upper and lower body. If you think about it, it’s actually more important for soccer players to have a fit upper body than a fit lower body. The lungs can work better when they aren’t crowded by fat and they’ve been getting regular exercise. The heart will work better under these conditions as well and that’s the most important muscle of all when doing any strenuous physical activity.
Without a steady supply of oxygen going to your lungs, your cells don’t get oxygen; your muscles don’t get oxygen. That’s fuel your body needs to do everything it does, including dribbling a soccer ball and running around other players. As if these aren’t enough reasons to keep up a balanced workout, remember that any active sports that involve a lot of movement also involve the player maintaining a center of gravity to move faster, keep from falling and play in an optimal fashion. By being neither top heavy nor bottom heavy, you can keep your center of gravity near the core of your body.
For the most balanced workout possible with the convenience of being able to exercise regularly in the comfort of your own home, I recommend looking into home gyms, power racks, and those sorts of things. You could check out http://garagegympro.com/ for more information about these devices. The sheer number of exercises which are possible with just one of these machines will give you more than enough ways to access every muscle group in your body and give it the workout it needs to keep up with the rest of your muscles. Guides detailing workouts are available all over the Internet too.
Of course, it’s possible to get a great workout without buying any expensive machinery too. But if what you’re after is versatility, these things are hard to beat. You can still rely on old favorite exercises, like pull-ups, pushups, throwing medicine balls, maybe some low resistance training in water while swimming. There are a number of ways you can get that even and solid workout you’re after, so there isn’t really any single best way to do it. Just go with whatever works the best for you and as long as you’re getting results, don’t worry about how it differs from the plans of other people.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports in the world and like other popular sports, people everywhere want to play it. When a bunch of amateurs take to the field together that can be lots of fun – the problem is when you have skilled people competing with those who have never kicked a ball around before in their lives. Even if you’re an amateur though, you can become a better soccer player by utilizing the tips you’ll find here. Some of them will seem like common sense while others will appear more esoteric, but rest assured this list will help improve your game.
Even the best of us learn from emulating what others do. Watching professionals can reveal special maneuvers, ball handling techniques and other moves which can help to improve your own game. If you’re fortunate enough to have a major team in your town, go and see their games personally. You’ll probably see things you’d like to remember even while viewing just a single game, so bring something along to keep track of any notes, tips or comments you think of while watching the teams play. If you play a specific position, watch the players fielding that same position and pay attention to what they do.
Additionally, you might want to consider filming yourself the next time you play. If you have other recorded gameplay of other players playing your position well, it makes for a great comparison when viewed next to your own recording. You should be able to see what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong just by looking at the two videos, which will help you to immediately identify areas in which you’re struggling and areas in which you’re doing well. This will in turn make it easier to develop a training plan which will specifically be more beneficial to you.
Stadiums and other professional soccer sites will have a prepared soccer field with controlled conditions. The spring and height of the grass, the texture of the soil and other factors are closely monitored. If you can, you should play on a prepared soccer field as well. You won’t automatically start playing like a professional just by moving your game to a more professional environment, but it won’t hurt you at all. If you can’t find access to a field, check with schools and the parks and recreation department in your area to see about available locations.
While it’s advisable to specialize in playing a certain position, that doesn’t mean you should just ignore the other ones. In fact, it’s actually recommended to train in all the different positions, especially when you’re just beginning to play soccer. It gives you a perspective for every position on the field and after trying them all, you’ll have a better idea of which position or positions you want to play in a more permanent way. This will require playing several games, though you could play multiple positions in a single game to speed things up if you’re on a timeline of some sort.
To talk more about playing the different positions, it’s not just picking a spot to stand and play around on the field. Forwards need to be aggressive and move to score while guards need to protect the goal while always looking for opportunities to move the ball towards the opposite side of the field. The goalie is always passing, whether kicking or throwing, and other positions tend to either pass or shoot more often, which can really affect the style of play. This is why it’s important to try several different positions and find one that works for you, rather than making you work for it.
Passing is instrumental in soccer, just like any other game where a team is trying to move a ball over a field. Learning to kick the ball, not only to push it towards other players but to hit them in stride so they can keep moving after the pass, is crucial to creating scoring plays. In soccer this is called a through ball, but other sports have other terms for this skillful passing. This means you cannot just practice alone and expect to get much better. You also need to keep practicing with the same people if possible, as you build a synergy with them which will take time to build again with new players.
Playing soccer with a support network can be a big help in getting the most out of your game. Bring your girlfriend who can cheer you up from the sidelines blaring with a trumpet for an epic gaming experience, for example. Again, playing with people you’ve played with before will mean you know what your partners are capable of doing. They’ll know what you can do too, and that’s one more reason for all of you to do your best. Getting motivated can make a big difference between just showing up to play a position and hitting the field with the desire to win the game.
It’s something you’ll probably hear in lots of articles like this, but you can’t neglect your drills, either. You can practice all kinds of flashy techniques and other complicated maneuvers, but if you can’t handle the basics then you’ve got no business even attempting the more advanced stuff. Jog and jog often, or keep up with whatever other exercise you do to build leg and lung endurance. Practice your kicks, hitting the ball from different angles and kicking it towards different points. Play until you get a good feel for the specific area you’re supposed to cover on the field and then remember to stay in it.
The best place to begin is with you. You should know better than anyone else where you excel and where you come up lacking when it comes to soccer. Of course, if you haven’t been playing for long, you might not know after all. By following these tips, you’re guaranteed to identify parts of your game where you could improve and create a targeted training plan which will help you to improve them.
While sportspersons are known to not be very good at playing musical instruments, some certain footballers have gone on to break that myth.
Certainly, it should come as no shock to anyone that a good musician can be a good sportsperson and vice versa. Playing a sport or playing music well involves dedication and skill and a certain amount of patience. Many footballers have demonstrated that they can be pretty adept at playing a musical instrument as well.
Here we will take a look at 5 famous soccer players, who are also known to play some musical instrument either seriously, or as a hobby:
- Alexi Lalas
Probably the most notable of soccer players who have tried out their hand at music, Alexi Lalas is an American defender who has been involved with rock music. Active in sports through 1988 to 2003, Lalas was also the singer and guitarist for a band called the Gypsies and also released a solo album in the period.
Unfortunately for Alexi, his musical career never really took off and he is mostly known only for his role as a defender in soccer.
- Leighton Baines
The English defender, who also plays for the Everton football club, is known to be a keen guitarist as well. Respected for having a rich knowledge in music by other footballers, he is also friends with Miles Kane and band members of the Arctic Monkeys.
Baines is known to carry around his Gibson guitar even when he is out on tour with the English national team.
- Alexis Sanchez
The Chilean footballer, who also plays for Arsenal, can also play a few musical tunes on the piano – a digital one like at PianoReport.Com. At Arsenal’s party for Christmas in 2014, Sanchez revealed his skills and astonished everyone with a wonderful performance.
Sanchez has definitely pulled this feat off well, but he will still need to put forth more performances to convince everyone about his musical abilities.
- Tomas Rosicky
Captain of the Czech national football team, Tomas Rosicky also plays for Arsenal. While Tomas is known to be an intricate playmaker on the football field, in his spare time he battles the intricacies of the electric guitar.
Popularly nicknamed “Little Mozart”, Tomas has been seen with a wide variety of guitars and has also performed alongside a Czech punk band, Tri Sestry.
- Petr Cech
The Czech footballer, who is also the goalkeeper for Chelsea is famous for his excellent skills on the field. The no. 1 from Chelsea has been keenly playing the drums over the past few years and has also been tutored by the legendary drummer Roger Taylor from the band Queen.
Cech has played drums in a major music festival in the Czech Republic and videos of his excellent drumming can easily be found.
There are many other footballers who have tried out their hand at some form of music or the other, but discussing all of them would be beyond the scope of this article. However, the essence of the article is that anybody can try out their hands at music, provided they are disciplined and patient.
While the soccer fields you see during professional events like the World Cup are expansive and long, you don’t need a regulation size field to enjoy the world’s most popular sport. Any open and flat field of a decent size will make for an adequate place to play. You don’t need much beyond that to play soccer either – just a couple of goals and a ball, maybe two in case something happens to the first one. An unimproved lot somewhere is perfect if you won’t get into trouble for playing on it, otherwise there are parks and other places you could play too, depending on where you are.
Once you’ve figured out where you’re going to set up, the next step is building some goals. Now there are a couple of different ways to do this. You could go the temporary route, looking for some simple goals like you might find at a sporting goods store. These will be made (probably) from some light pipe fitted into the shape of a soccer goal and with a net sewn into the material. They’re nice enough, portable and fast, but they don’t stand up too well against bad weather and even rough play can leave these types of goals damaged or broken.
If you have a more permanent field and you won’t have to pack up your gear at the end of the day, setting up your soccer field will take more time the first time, but you won’t need to deal with the hassle of breaking down and putting up your goals and nets. Using a framing nailer and a few 2x4s, you can build the basic outline of a soccer goal – but you’ll need to make two, remember. All the hard pounding of nails gets done by the machine in this case, so all you really need to do is set your wood planks together at the right angle and let the nails fly.
Once you have your goals, you’ll need to attach netting unless you don’t mind your soccer balls flying off and away from the field every time someone scores. Nets come in a wide variety of materials, like cotton, nylon and synthetics, so you have many options here. Whatever you choose, it must be durable and able to stand up to regular, repeated use. It also needs to be able to survive things like rain, snow, high winds and other weather effects. Attaching your net to your goals is easy enough using that same framing nailer from before.
Now that you have a field, two goals ready to play with and a soccer ball or two to use, you’re ready to enjoy the world’s most popular sport. You may want to consider playing with short teams since the field is smaller than usual, so the players have enough room to move around without running into each other constantly. Oh, and don’t forget protective gear like pads and such. You never know what you might fall on during play, especially when you are using an open field that could have rocks, holes and other perils.