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The correct part of the head to use is the forehead as shown in the photograph. This is the hardest and flattest part of your head, and it will give you better control over where you want to make the ball go as well as giving greater power. Football passing techniques are vital for keeping possession and controlling the game, and many parts of the foot can be used. The simplest and most accurate method for short distance passes is to use the inside of the foot, which presents a large flat surface to the soccer ball. The instep is used for long ball passing, the heel can be used to pass behind us, and the outside of the foot can be used to pass the ball quickly to the side of us, or to bend the ball to pass it around an opponent. Passing drills are important for sharp, accurate play, and to learn effective use of space.

The simplest and best technique for short passes is illustrated in the photograph. The head is over the ball, the body is well balanced, and the ball is kicked with the inside of the foot which is the flattest part of the foot. Sometimes this technique is used for short-range shots at goal, and even for taking penalties, because of its reliability. The disadvantage is the lack of power. The passing technique shown here is used for short passes, but corner kicks, crosses and long balls played over fifty or sixty metres into your opponents’ penalty area are also passes if they reach one of your own players. The long ball tactic can be highly effective if your team has tall players with strong heading ability, or fast forwards, who can run behind the defence, but there is a high risk of giving the ball away. Accurate short passes with supporting runs into space allows a team to keep possession, and build an attack.

The football block tackle technique is an essential skill, because any team must be able to win the ball. If you cannot tackle you are left relying on intercepting passes when your opponents make a mistake. Tackling allows you to compete for the ball, and take the initiative. The block tackle starts by planting the non-tackling foot firmly on the ground to provide a firm anchor. The inside of the foot is used for tackling, not the toe, and it’s important to put the full weight of the body behind the football, and to get the head down over the ball. In the photographs, notice how the player making the tackle is well-balanced, but the player being tackled has been caught off balance.

As with any tackling skill, timing is crucial. Try to tackle when your opponent is off balance, or lets the football go too far in front of him. This is often called “showing too much of the ball”. Another good time to tackle is when your opponent looks down at the ball.

Fitness Requirements

As with many sports, football has high demands with regards to fitness requirements, both aerobic and anaerobic to maintain a high level of fitness for matches. Football involves intermittent activity of changing intensity within the field of play. It involves unpredictable cycles of activity and rest dependant on the pattern of play and the length of the game. A full ninety minute match requires high levels of aerobic fitness among other components.

The unpredictable nature of the game means that energy demands are sometimes extremely high and sometimes fairly low; it has been said that the work rate of a midfield player at professional level is similar to that of a good marathon runner. Therefore a football player must have a good aerobic endurance base if he or she is to last the full game without becoming excessively tired. The fact that the game involves acceleration and deceleration, changes in direction, angled runs and running backwards means that there is an increased energy cost of the exercise.

There are general and specific fitness requirements, all of which are a demand on a performer in a football game. General fitness is the ability to carry out everyday activities without excessive tiredness and still have enough energy to cope with emergencies. There are five main aspects to general fitness, which consist of the following:All of the above are demands which a player has when playing football, however I feel the following are more dominant than others: Cardiovascular endurance because football is predominantly an aerobic sport. This is the ability to exercise the entire body for long periods of time. The word cardiovascular means hearts and blood vessels. You can never separate these areas as they are interdependent to get oxygen into the body, distribute it and get carbon dioxide out.

Agility because it is important that a player can move quickly in different directions e.g dummying a player left and going right. This is the ability to change the position of the body quickly whilst keeping the whole body under control. Muscular endurance because it is important that a players muscles can continue working to full potential throughout the game. This is the ability of muscles to maintain and repeat contractions without getting tired. Many activities need both cardiovascular and muscular endurance and football is one of them.

Speed because it is necessary to be able to move the body at high speeds e.g a race to the ball. It is the different rates at which a person is able to perform a movement or cover a distance in a short period of time. This means speed is needed to move either your whole body or just part of it, which is very common in football. The four fitness components I have just described, I feel are the most predominant ones in a game of football and hopefully using my personal exercise program to improve these, it will also improve my game. Here is how I can test these elements to provide a base data to assess whether my programme is successful or not.

Cardiovascular Endurance- Bleep test – where you run twenty metres in time with the bleeps from a cassette until you are too tired to carry on. You results are obtained by recording the level you reached. Agility- Illinois Agility Test- where you set out a ten by ten square with a set of cones running down the middle of the grid which are 3.3 meters apart. You run through it like so: You record the results by timing how long it takes to complete the square. Muscular Endurance- The Squat Test- where you do as many squats as possible in one minute. Speed- Thirty meter sprint- a simple thirty meter sprint where you gain results by recording the amount of time it takes you to complete the task.

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