There are many aspects in the game of soccer that makes a player great, speed, agility, timing, technique. One of the greatest unsung qualities is awareness of the field. So, what is soccer vision?
In basketball, the player who scores the most points is the one who usually takes the MVP of the game, in baseball the one who scores the most home runs is usually the one who takes all the flashes, in soccer, this role is played by the one who scores the most goals,
Normally, he is the main striker of the team and it is logical that this happens because at the end of the day, the goals are the ones that will make the difference between winning, losing or tying a match and this will be what defines who will win a tournament or who will be relegated to a lower division, things that can be very important at different levels and for many people.
However, for a goal to be scored, several things need to happen since it does not depend on the action of a single player except in exceptional individual goals such as the goal of Diego Maradona vs England in the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico and even in those cases there are teammates who make movements to drag the defenders’ marking or give them a clear pass so that the most skilled player can make these kinds of unique plays. And precisely at this point, we find a factor that is typically attributed to midfielders, which allows scanning the field to find the best pass option.
What is scanning in soccer?
Named that way after former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, scanning is the skill a player requires to observe the pitch during a soccer game, before receiving the ball, this in order to make the correct decisions regarding passes and shots and execute them as quickly as possible since as the level of competitiveness in soccer increases, the game is faster and the player has less and less time to decide what to do with the ball.
Players like Xavi, Pirlo, Scholes, or Frank Lampard are examples of soccer players who have trained this skill and helped them become one of the best midfielders in the world.
What is soccer vision?
As already mentioned, reading a soccer game requires the player to maintain a constant vision of his or her surroundings, this can be seen in Xavi Hernández, a former FC Barcelona player, who could say that his main skill was his vision of the game and, if he is followed up in any of his matches, you can see how he is always turning his head to observe the pitch in the previous plays to receive the ball. Once you have it, it’s all about finding a free space that one of your peers can take advantage of.
How can I improve my vision for soccer?
This is a skill that is preferable to be worked on as a child so that the player grows with that way of seeing the pitch. To improve vision for soccer it is advisable to try to minimize the time spent watching the ball either when in possession of him or not, increasing the time that the pitch is observed, which will give a greater awareness of the location of colleagues and rivals.
Additionally, it is helpful to locate the colleagues who are doing runs and draw an imaginary line that allows you to visualize where they will be to place the pass in that place, remembering that to give a pass with advantage, it must be done towards the place where he or she is going to be and not to the place where he or she is at the time you observed it.
What is soccer IQ?
Soccer IQ is a term that has been used to encompass certain skills mental that a soccer player has to perform certain movements or actions that are not within the typical characteristics that are usually reviewed in this sport such as pace, shooting, passing, dribbling or defending.
Soccer IQ covers that player’s ability to know how to locate himself on the field at a certain point in the game in view of taking advantage of that position, knowing what to do with the ball, that is, making the best possible decision for the benefit of the team, What is the best action to take at any given time based on the result, the game, the time and other factors.
A recent example that shows how IQ soccer can work is Federico Valverde’s play in the Spain Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Atletico de Madrid, where, near the end of the game, the Uruguayan fouls Atletico’s striker, Álvaro Morata, to prevent him from scoring the goal, knowing that this would cost him a red card.
Valverde, knowing that there were less than 5 minutes left to finish the game and that if Atletico de Madrid scored that goal there would be very little margin to tie the match, decided to sacrifice himself for the team and this play made the difference in the game that ended up giving the trophy to Real Madrid.
How can I improve my soccer IQ?
The best way to improve soccer IQ is by adapting your way of playing as professional soccer players do, which involves playing at the highest level possible in order to push yourself to the max of your own abilities–this will bring a faster way of thinking about the pitch as well as better decisions.
As explained in Xavi’s case, observing and learning from the movements and actions that the best players in the world do is always an addition to your game and try to put them into practice whenever possible. Some players say that they imagine the games before playing them with the information they already have from their own team and from the rival, which facilitates their movements once they are on the pitch.
For those who want to play at the highest level or for those who want to improve their level in midweek matches with their coworkers, scanning and soccer IQ are two factors that are good to work to better understand this sport, even when just to watch a game from the stands or on TV.
Watch and learn from the masters of the game, current, and past to pick up some of their skills and have soccer vision.