A new ball sport is on the rise in the Philippines and it involves dribbling with your feet, lightning fast kicks and exhilarating goals – football. The Philippines is a country whose people have never let a lack of resources or equipment get in the way of their love of sport, and, with leagues popping up left and right, it is safe to say that we are in the midst of a boom period for the beautiful game of football.
For those looking to join in the action as the country seeks to be more competitive on the global stage, a program such as Alaska’s Football Power Camp is a great place to learn and develop skills under the guidance of trained professionals, which has produced the likes of national team players Aly Borromeo and Freddy Gonzalez. On your own, here are some drills and tips you and your friends can use to help each other get better even without a football field.
If there’s one attribute you obviously need to develop, it’s stamina. Given that a football field is 110-120 yards long and 70-80 yards wide, and standard games run for 90 minutes, conditioning isn’t just a good idea, it’s a must. It’s also important to develop a personal twist to your regular runs to increase the effectivity of your routine. For instance: running longer distances could improve your stamina, sprinting could help you level up your speed, and adding jumping squats to your run could help you develop better balance and improve your leg strength. Having a personal routine that specifically caters to the basics you need to improve will definitely give you an edge.
With a football, a few obstacle markers (preferably cones, but pretty much anything will do in a pinch), and a designated goal, you’re all set to perform a number of football drills for you to practice.
Dribbling is one of the most basic football skills that anyone should master if you’re looking to get anywhere with the sport. This is where your obstacles would come in handy as you can set them up to create a course for you to go through. This would help to improve your dribbling skills, while training your muscles to adjust to turns and changing directions with the ball – a very useful ability to have for the day when you have actual defenders bearing down on you.
Striking is a skill you can develop with your makeshift goal. It’s very easy to practice a variety of kicks with a makeshift goal and, if you happen to have chosen a wall as your target, you can also use it to practice your passing as it’s easier to retrieve the ball since it bounces back to you. It will also greatly enhance your accuracy so you could always be on target with your kicks and avoid accidentally passing to your opponent once you’re in a real game.
There’s one drill that is essential for any football player to practice everyday – juggling. Juggling may look simple when you’re watching it, but it can be pretty difficult to perform if you’re new to football. Juggling will help your feet’s dexterity, making this the perfect drill for those looking to master overall ball control. Once you’ve gotten the hang of juggling with your feet, then you can move on to more complicated moves like juggling using your thighs and head.
These are just some of the ways to improve your football skills outside the intensity of an actual game and get a leg up on your competition. As the Philippines continues to make waves in the world of football, the value of these drills will become ever more important. So stick to them, and who knows, it might just be your name our country will be cheering for at the next World Cup.