The Importance of Footwork

The game is fundamentally about

The release of the ball to improve the position of the ball.
 
(this includes all methods including shooting) 

However sometimes good options to release of the ball (passes/shots etc) are not easy to find

When this happens footwork kicks in.
 
Footwork helps in the manipulation of time and space to create better passing lines / options.
Footwork changes the picture a player can see.
 
If players don't have good footwork then they will struggle to change the picture when necessary.
They will struggle to manipulate their time and space when necessary.
 
Footwork is an essential technical component of the game.
 
Footwork practice also has added benefits.
  • It improves the precision and weight of touch (dexterity of touch) which is an essential part of intelligent play
  • Helps players get their feet in right place around the ball so that players become one with the ball.
 
We would argue that footwork is the base for all technique and so must be mastered.
 
The footwork patterns (see videos) developed at TST are used throughout the game (in many different ways) and at all levels of the game.
 
Neglecting to practice and develop good footwork isn't a crime, it just means that at this point in time, a player is a social player.
 
 
It means that they are not truly serious (yet) about the game, their development, or the part they can play in the game.
 
and that's ok, unless they are serious about being a better player.
 
"To master the game - you must be a master of the ball'
 
If a player is serious about their development and
currently practice footwork (or want to start to practice footwork) then they must firstly make sure that they get their footwork right:
 
  • Don't practice ball mastery exercises that may do more home than good.
  • Don't practice things that are a waste of time.
  • Don't get left behind.

If a player is unsure what good footwork looks like and how to develop it
then they need TST.

As part of the development guidelines and framework TST can offer, we will get footwork :

  • Quicker and more explosive
  • In tune with the bodies natural rhythm of movement.
  • Up to a level where it can be done with the head up and when at full speed.
  • Up to a level where it can be done off a first touch.
  • Up to a level where it can be done with a problem in mind. (All footwork needs context).
  • Up to a level where different footwork patterns can be done instinctively in any order.
  • Up to a level where it can be improvised upon. (How do you fake a pattern to do something else).
  • Up to a level where it can be done in games (at school/street/training) at the right time. [That is: to get to the pass you want].

A video library of Fundamental Footwork Pattern and how to progress them is available
but only to players in the TST Program

Fundamental and Essential Footwork Patterns

We have a library of videos that highlight Fundamental and Essential Footwork Patterns.

These patterns form the base for the intelligent use of the ball the ball in games
(the manipulation of time and space to improve the position of the ball).

These patterns are not position specific.

Good players adapt these patterns to suit the way they play and adapt them for the position they play in.

 

Videos available only to players in the TST Program

 

Try the Tevez Drill

As a general test of footwork ability try the Tevez Drill.

This test will let you know where you are at in regards to touch, footwork and ball moving ability.

It will give you concrete feedback about where you are at in regards to a very important part of the game and if you do it on a regular basis it will let you know if there has been improvement.

A time guide for players at any age :

  • Under 12-seconds is OK
  • Under 11-seconds is good [ Advanced U11s should get this]
  • Under 10-seconds is very good [ Advanced U14s should get this]
  • Under 9-seconds is exceptional [ Advanced U16s should get this]

All cones are about 2m apart. 2 big strides normally cover it. 
To get an official run a few rules need to be followed.

This video shows a few recent runs.

 

This is the fastest recorded run

 

Different way to set up cones and do Footwork

The next few clips are part of the TST footwork development program.
They will give you additional ideas for practicing footwork. To vary the footwork with the cone-set up use the different patterns above

 

Videos available only to players in the TST Program