Soccer Requires Foot-Eye Coordination
Most sports played in America require hand-eye coordination. Soccer, more than any other sport, requires foot-eye coordination. Research done at the Institute for Neurology in London confirms vision controls the movement of the foot. This soccer skill allows players to make pinpoint passes, free kick with precision, fake out the defense and dribble the ball. Foot-eye coordination also allows a player to stop a soccer ball with his foot and make adjustments to intercept the ball. The development of foot-eye coordination allows a player to keep his head up during ball handling.
Enroll Kids in Youth Soccer
Many recreation centers and clubs offer youth soccer programs designed to teach the fundamentals, including foot-eye coordination, to young players. The teams play non-competitive games and allow players to focus more on fun and gaining skills than winning. In these programs, coaches use age appropriate soccer drills to develop foot-eye coordination and teach the rules for playing soccer. The earlier players begin to develop soccer skills, the better their foot-eye coordination will be.
Increase Foot-Eye Coordination With Control
The better a player is at handling the ball, the more confident she'll be at trusting her foot-eye coordination. The best soccer players know their feet will work in reaction to signals processed from their vision. Coaches should use soccer drills like "lose your shadow" to help players gain confidence in their ball handling skills while improving foot-eye coordination. As control increases, so will foot-eye coordination.
Hit the Wall
You don't have to take classes, work with a coach or play with a teammate to improve foot-eye coordination. Practice kicking a soccer ball against a wall. Stop the ball without looking at it when the ball comes back to you. Once you can stop it, add more of a challenge by kicking the ball at the wall without stopping the ball or looking at it. As you do the drill, focus on keeping your head up.
Incorporate Activities That Use Foot-Eye Coordination
While practicing with a soccer ball helps develop foot-eye coordination, it isn't the only way to increase this skill. Games like "Dance, Dance, Revolution" or hackey sack offer a fun alternative for working on foot-eye coordination. Any game or activity that forces you to keep your eye on one thing while your feet do another will develop this skill. In some cases, soccer players may learn a new technique or expand their soccer skills from playing different games.