Balance and control

Shooting is extremely important as it is used when scoring goals. In order to score the shot needs to be hit cleanly and accurately and powerfully in some cases so that the keeper is beaten. By shooting, a centre midfielder can score when an opportunity arises from outside the box with a long, powerful shot or when he gets into the box, then a more accurately placed shot is needed. If I wasn’t able to shoot well, it would limit the range from where I could shoot from, as if I shoot from far away, chances are I wouldn’t reach the goal, or get it on target. This is particularly important in centre midfield as midfielders get a lot of chances to score from outside the box, especially from corners, as they are headed out by defenders.

Tackling is another important skill needed especially when it comes to defending. This can quickly turn defence into attack by winning the ball off of the opposition. It is important to time tackles correctly otherwise free kicks will be given and penalties if done in the area. The result of this would be the other team having a chance at goal, which they could score. By successfully tackling someone, it will prevent their team from scoring therefore is extremely important in football giving you the best chance to win a game. By not being able to tackle, it will put your team under more pressure as you won’t be useful defensively. This will mean that your teammates will have to do more work in order to cover you. As less people are available to tackle, then it could mean you concede more goals.

Crossing is usually used when you have possession in the wider areas of the pitch. Midfielders can get into these positions and cross the ball into the box for a team mate so he can score therefore they are a very important skill. These crosses need to be hit accurately in order to pick out a teammate giving them the best chance to score. If the cross wasn’t accurate, then the ball wouldn’t end up where you wanted it, and you would give away possession, which could consequently lead to the other team scoring. Driven crosses may be used if the box is crowded as it may take a deflection and maybe resulting in an own goal while lofted crosses are used when there is a specific player you want to pick out and they are not marked by an opponent.

As well as skills, fitness components are also important in football. The most important ones needed are: Cardio-vascular endurance, Muscular endurance, strength, speed, agility, balance, co-ordination, reaction time, timing, flexibility and power.

Cardio-vascular endurance is the ability of your heart, blood and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to the muscles and the ability of the muscles to use oxygen and produce energy. This is important in football as it will allow you to perform at your best for the whole 90 minutes. If a player’s cardio- vascular endurance isn’t good, they will tire during their game and their performance will dip. This is because they will not be able to last for the whole match; therefore as you get more tired, the opposition can take advantage by attacking your position.

Good cardio-vascular endurance is needed especially for centre midfielders as they are always running up and down the pitch for the whole match, so they need to be able to keep up with play in order to “play make.” By having good cardio vascular endurance, you would also be able to tackle more as you wouldn’t get too tired. This means you could help your team hugely defensively as some of you teammate may tire as the game progresses.

If you are able to tackle throughout the game, it decreases their chances of scoring as you don’t allow them to keep possession meaning your chances of winning the match increase. Good stamina also allows you to attack more often. As your muscles have oxygen being delivered to them efficiently, it means you can create more for your team, as you will still be able to pass, dribble and shoot well, as your performance is not affected, due to the lack of stamina therefore you have more opportunities in the game to score. If you didn’t have good cardio-vascular endurance you would not be able to last the whole match and you would get tired during games, meaning you wouldn’t be able to perform at your best near the end of games.

Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to maintain and repeat contractions without tiring. For a centre midfielder is it particularly important as it is a position where you need to work the hardest. A player with good muscular endurance will be able to keep running, they will be able to create chances near the end of the games where most of the opponents may be tired therefore consequently less able to deal with it. If your muscular endurance wasn’t good, then your muscles would get tired and you won’t be able to make as many runs as usual. This would mean you won’t be able to help your team in attack as you wouldn’t be able to run to get to the ball as much. The result of this would be your teammates having fewer options in attack as you are not available to support them. This could lead to the chance being wasted, as they may need your assistance in order to score. In defence, you wouldn’t be able to keep up with your opponent therefore he may score as a result.

Strength is the force that muscles exert when they contract. This is an important fitness component to have as it will allow you to keep opponents at bay while running with the ball meaning you are less likely to be tackled. You can do this by using your body to keep it in front of the ball so your opponents can’t get to it. It also allows players to shoot, pass and clear with power which is useful when shooting from outside the box, passing to an opponent a long distance away and clearing the ball away from your own area when defending. If you didn’t have good strength, then you would lose the ball a lot as you would get barged of the ball a lot. Your shots power would also decrease meaning you won’t be able to beat the keeper from further distances, and you will score fewer goals.

Speed is the time taken to move the body or a part of the body over a given distance. This is the pace at which movements can be performed and this included moving towards the ball and how fast you can react. As well as this, it’s being able to move your limbs quickly in order to perform tricks, or getting your leg for example, to the ball before an opponent. Having good speed is important as it allows players to get to the ball before an opponent so gaining possession of the ball.

This is particularly useful when getting in behind the defence and beating the offside trap. The offside rule is if any body part which you can play the ball with is nearer to the opponent’s goal line than both the ball and the second last opponent. If a player is fast they can stay onside and when the ball is played over to them, they can quickly run to it and have a chance at goal. If you were not fast, then you wouldn’t be able to take on opponents with your pace. This would mean you will have fewer chances on goal and you will lose the ball more. It also means you will not be able to keep up with the opposition which may lead to them scoring a goal.

Agility is the ability to change the body’s position and direction quickly. This is very important when dribbling as it allows you to change direction quickly therefore being able to beat the defender. It is also important when tackling and chasing the ball as when the opposition tries to get past you, you can quickly move with the player and follow them by changing in the direction they are going. The ball may also take bobbles or deflections in random directions so by being agile you can change you direction to the direction of the ball and retain possession. If you were not agile, it would be harder for you to beat defenders. It would also be harder for you to keep up with opponent’s movements meaning your chances of tackling them would decrease. This again may lead to them scoring.

Balance is the ability to maintain equilibrium while stationary or moving. This is particularly important when dribbling as you will be able to stay upright while performing certain tricks meaning your tricks will be more efficient and accurate. This will allow you to take on an opponent more easily which may lead to an opening for a shot on goal. Another situation would be when crossing or taking a corner. If you are not well balanced, then it is likely you will not connect with the ball properly as your body will not be in the correct position to strike the ball, meaning you will probably slice your strike, leading to a misplaced cross or the loss of possession.

If you slice your strike, this means you get your foot too much to the side off the ball or too much under. This will mean the ball will begin to spin out of control in a different direction. If your balance was poor, you would fall over all the time and wouldn’t be able to maintain possession of the ball long enough to create chances. A result of not being able to maintain possession would be the opposition taking control instead meaning they can create chances and maybe score.

Co-ordination is the ability to use two or more body part together. Again this is important when dribbling as you will need to be able to move many parts of your body at once. For example you will need to be able to move your feet to keep control of the ball, ass well as your body and arms for balance as well as your head looking for a teammate to pick out a pass. In football is also helps with striking the ball as while moving your leg towards the ball, you arm will need to move at the same time for balance and control. If you are not well balanced and don’t control your shot, it is most like to go off target as it will be sliced and miss placed, due to the lack of balance and control.

This will be because your foot has struck the ball too much to the side of the ball meaning it will start to spin and go off target. When you are shooting, it is important to have good co-ordination so you have total control of where the ball goes. Someone with poor co- ordination will be more like miss hit the ball as they will be more off balance and have less control of what they are doing.

Reaction is the time it takes to respond to a stimulus. This is a fitness component that is very useful especially whilst defending and attacking as a midfielder. You need to be able to react to the opposition’s movement quickly so you have the best chance of tackling them. Also with attacking, there may be a deflection that comes in your direction in the penalty box, and if your reaction time is good, it is likely you will get to the ball first and pinch a goal before an opponent can clear the ball to safety, so overall reaction time is important in both attack and defence. If your reaction time was slow, it would mean you wouldn’t be able to react to opponents movements. This will mean they will take advantage of you and create chances for their team. You will also be unable to react to deflections before the opposition so you will have fewer opportunities to score yourself.

Timing is the ability to act at the right moment. It is important to time passes correctly as they will give a teammate a goal scoring opportunity if they get a pass at the correct time. By passing at the correct time, you have to pass to a teammate when he is in the best position and has enough space in front of him; so he can attack it, as well as when he is not marked by an opponent and has a better chance of scoring than you.

It also creates chances as you are passing at an ideal time. It is also extremely useful when shooting, for example hitting a volley. If you time it right, chances are you will connect well with it and hit an accurate shot. If timing is wrong, you may miss the ball or hit it too early or too late which would lead to the shot being inaccurate and the move will break down. Someone with poor timing will lose the ball a lot as they would always pass at the wrong time. They will also miss hit a lot of shots by not connecting with it properly, as they would not be able to get their leg to the ball at the correct moment.

Flexibility is the range of movements at a joint. It is important to have a wide range of movements, so you can get to the ball with your body even if it is in an awkward position or angle. By being flexible, it also means when you land your body can adapt to the fall meaning you don’t get injured easily. This is a helpful fitness component to have as a centre midfielder as the ball is coming to you from all angles and directions e.g. goal kicks and you need to be able to get your body to it and take possession of the ball.

You are also tackled a lot in midfield, so when you land awkwardly from a tackle it is important your body’s joints can reach to that position in order so you don’t get injured. If someone wasn’t flexible, they wouldn’t be able to reach the ball when coming to them from an awkward position therefore they would lose possession. They would also get injured easily when falling, as their joints wouldn’t be able to cope with the movement.

Power is a combination of strength and speed. It is the ability to transfer energy swiftly into force. This is important as a centre midfielder as you need to be able to power through the opposition when you have the ball. The midfield area is often very congested, meaning you need to have good power in order to dodge the tackles and not get tackled yourself and lose possession. Power is also important when it comes to passing and shooting.

When passing, your pass needs to be powerful enough to beat the opponent as well as it reaching the desired teammate. When shooting, by having powerful shoots, it means you have more chance of scoring if the shot is on target, as the ball would travel faster and the opposition goal keeper will have less time to reach it. If someone didn’t have power, they wouldn’t be able to drive forward with the ball; therefore they will not be able to avoid the challenges coming from the other team leading to them losing the ball a lot of the time. They would also lose a lot of the ball, as there passes would never reach their teammate due to the lack of power.

This would allow the other team to take advantage as if you give the ball away to them, they can create chances and score themselves. The lack of power would also mean their shots would be easily saved, as they would take a long time in order for it to get to the goal. This gives the goalkeeper the maximum chance to save it as he would have a long time to adjust his position to the direction of the ball. This lack of power would mean you wouldn’t score as many goals in games which could mean you lose the match as a result.

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