are tried-and-true tricks for getting familiar with both the techniques and the structure of soccer: • Watch the game. • Spend time with the ball. Kick it around in your yard or nudge it along as you take a walk or run. Doran says, “Keep a ball close as often as you can. There’s no sense learning to play the piano if you don’t have a piano available.” • Practice alone. Juggle the ball (keep it off the ground with your feet) or kick it against a solid exterior wall several times in succession to sharpen your kicking abilities and reflexes.
“Don’t worry about fitness, don’t worry about not being good at it—just come out and try it!”
• Practice with someone else. “Always try to do it with someone better than you,” Doran advises. “In some cases, it’s your 12-year-old child. You can always pick up something new by playing the game at a higher level.” • Show up and participate. Don’t be intimidated; there are lots of other “newbies” out there looking to hone their own soccer skills. “The soccer culture offers a heavy dose of pick-up games,” Doran adds. Many of them take place at Woodlawn Field or Karst Farm Park. “That’s another way to get touches in every week,” he says. Doran’s advice boils down to this: “Find other soccer enthusiasts and just play. You only need one more person to make it a competition.” Excited yet? Go pick up a ball and get moving. You might have more fun than you expect!
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South-Central Indiana's Adventure Magazine