Soccer is played by people of all ages in just about every country in the world. Players of all skill levels can find the right league to make the game enjoyable. Increasing opportunities are available for accomplished players who want to pursue a professional career. Regardless of his playing aspirations, a soccer player needs a certain level of athletic skill and understanding of the game to be successful.
First and foremost, soccer players who want to make a living from soccer must be in peak physical condition. Numbers vary, but in his blog in the Washington Post, reporter Dan Steinberg noted that soccer players have been estimated to run from 5 to 8 miles during a game. Soccer players are constantly on the move. Moments of light jogging are combined with sudden, prolonged sprints up and down the field.
Soccer players become better the more they know the game. Soccer is a unusual among other sports because players--other than the goalkeeper--can't use their hands. Soccer is also similar to other sports in the way the game flows. Successful players need to have a feel for the game. They have to know how to use space on the field and find open teammates who might be 10 or 50 yards away.
Soccer has a specific set of skills that require years of practice. A player who wants to play professionally has to be able to control the ball with his feet. They must be able to pass and shoot the ball in a variety of ways. Soccer players also use their head and torso to control the ball. A more skillful player can compete at a higher level. Soccer players constantly work to hone and enhance their skills. A professional soccer player must always be striving to improve.
A professional soccer player has several roles on the field. An offensive-minded player is required to play defense once they lose the ball. Likewise, defensive players often move forward to join the attack. On some levels, such as in college or professionally, a limited number of substitutes are allowed. Players on the field might sometimes be required to switch positions or take on different roles during a game.
As with any team sport, successful soccer teams are made up of coachable players. In an article for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Dr. Michael Klausner and Dr. David Hoch stated that coachability is part of what makes up team chemistry. Players on a team need to be able to work together and accept their roles. It is important that an individual player understands what it means to be on a team.