This isn’t a heroic story about a single player overcoming enormous odds to make it into the Premier League.
Nor is this a story of the underdog that persevered for years, toiling in the shadows of bigger, faster, stronger players before finally getting his chance to show the world he exists.
It’s really a story of the vast majority of youth soccer players and how they learn to play the game.
But before I get to soccer, let’s talk about a good old fashioned street fight.
At some point in time, you’ve either been in a fight or witnessed a schoolyard fight and there’s one thing that happens in almost every street fight; both participants use only their right hand to strike the other person.
Whether they’re fighting standing up or wrestling on the ground, they still use their right hand to hit the other person.
When kids are taught to box, the 1st thing they’re taught is to use both hands.
To throw punches in combinations of left, right, left or right, left, right. To throw a high jab to set up a lower body shot using their opposite hand.
Nobody ever questions the need of the boxer to be able to throw punches ambidextrously with equal veracity and everybody understands the importance of this skill.
Sometimes I think more soccer players should go take boxing lessons.
Some need it just to learn that not listening to the coach’s instructions leads to bad things while others would better understand the importance of using both limbs… but I digress.
When you study youth soccer (preferably via video with your free account at SocrPro.com), you’ll quickly see that the vast majority of players use only 1-foot for 90%, or more, of their touches.
They receive, dribble, turn, pass, shoot… all with their right foot.
It’s the equivalent of a boxer entering the ring with one hand tied behind his back.
The root of the problem, and the reason coaches struggle to fix this universal problem, is the immense space of the soccer field and the randomness of play.
Kids simply learn how to do things faster and more efficiently using only 1-foot instead of making a conscious effort to use both feet to double their speed and options on the field.
They have more initial success using their strong foot than struggling to improve their weak foot so they just do what works better for them without thinking of the future when the game speeds up and the skill levels required for success are increased.
This is where SocrLabs is different… and in this case far better.
Taking advantage of a controlled environment and hi-tech development tools, we’re able to quickly break those old, bad habits and force the kids to use their weak foot repetitively. This repetition builds the good habits and muscle memory that is then carried onto the practice / game field.
The next time you’re watching your kids play in a game, count the number of times they use their strong foot versus their weak foot. I guarantee you’ll only need 1-hand for the weak side count.
If you want your favorite players to step onto the field with 2-legs instead of 1, bring them to SocrLabs today and we’ll untie that 2nd limb so they can use both their right foot and left foot to play better soccer and win more games.
PS Yes… they all cheat the same way with their right foot to avoid using their left foot. The better players are simply better at cheating. You’ll be amazed at how much better they become when they double their options.
PPS No kids were harmed in the writing of this article and yes, we know that girls punch too… just ask their brothers.