Soccer vision is the ability for a player to see angles that others don’t. A pass might be missed by one, but a player with soccer vision will make a pass, or run without other players knowing.
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.
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 star role is played by the one who scores the most goals.
Normally, they’re the main striker of the team and it’s logical that this happens. The goals are the ones that will make the difference between winning, losing, or tying a match.
To be able to be this star, soccer vision is required to be that extra special play.
Special Vision – Individual View
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.
Even in those cases, there are teammates who make movements to drag the defenders’ markings 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’s typically attributed to midfielders, which allows scanning the field to find the best pass option.
What is scanning in soccer?
Soccer scanning is when a player looks across the field in a second. The eyes look from left to right or vise versa, to see all aspects. In this glance the player will calculate, chances, dangers, positions – so that action can be taken.
Named that way after former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, scanning is the skill a player requires to observe the field during a soccer game, before receiving the ball.
This in order to make the correct decisions regarding passes and shots, then execute them as quickly as possible since 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?
Reading a soccer game requires the player to maintain a constant vision of his or her surroundings. This is a special skill, that’s hard to train. With soccer vision, you can see the next phase of the game before others.
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.
If they’ve followed up in any of his matches, you can see how they’re always turning his head to observe the field in the previous plays to receive the ball.
Once you’ve 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?
To improve vision for soccer it’s advisable to try to minimize the time spent watching the ball either when in possession or not.
This is a skill that’s preferable to be worked on as a child so that the player grows with that way of seeing the field.
Additionally, it’s helpful to locate the colleagues who’re doing runs and draw an imaginary line that allows you to visualize where they will be to place the pass.
Remember that to give a pass with advantage, it must be done towards the place where they’re going to be and not to the place where they’re at the time you observed it.
What is soccer IQ?
Soccer IQ is the intelligence that a player has on the field. With a high soccer IQ, a player can read the game quickly, in a split second, and make a decision to pass, play, run or tackle.
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’s, making the best possible decision for the benefit of the team,
What’s the best action to take at any given time based on the result, the game, the time, and other factors?
Players with High Soccer IQ
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.
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.
He 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.
Knowing the rules of the game can help you with your soccer IQ. The best players know what happens for each scenario.
Soccer IQ is not only about rules – it’s about having the brains to think one step ahead of the others, for example;
- Knowing where the ball is landing
- Choice of pass
- Seeing three moves ahead
- Reactions to play
- Runs beyond players
How can I improve my soccer IQ?
Soccer IQ can be improved by studying the game and its intricacies. Take time to observe how players react and move in all scenarios.
A player with a high soccer IQ can react quicker than other players – that’s by knowing what to expect next.
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’re on the field.
Watch the Game to Improve Your Soccer Vision
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.
These are two factors that are good to work to better understand this sport, even when just watching a game from the stands or on TV.
I’ve played soccer across the U.S.A, Europe and I’ve coached many teams. Soccer is life for me, and with my experience in the game, I want to share my insights into this beautiful game with you.
Joel Powel – Soccer Blade