I think we can all agree that Soccer IQ is about decision making.
– When to dribble.
– When to pass.
– When to shoot.
– When to send a cross.
– When to go forward or backward.
Disagreements arise on what is the correct thing to do – the reason for the different styles of play.
While the correct decisions are sometimes governed by the current scoreline, run of play, the opposition, time on the clock, etc., what most people fail to realize is the most fundamental guide. The correct decision, by and far, is the one that retains possession! All decisions to the contrary are risks:
- Trying to dribble by a player or two.
- Threading a pass to your midfielders or strikers.
- Launching a 40 yard ball to your forwards
- etc …
What are you risking? Well, a turnover and wasting what would have been a much better opportunity 2, 5, or 30 passes later.
Now, please don’t misinterpret! I’m not saying to play keep-away for 90 minutes – the objective is to score and not be scored on. What I am saying is that you want to increase your chances of success when taking these risks. And that comes with patience.
Meaning, keep knocking the ball around until a “good opportunity” presents itself. If it’s not there, for god’s sake don’t force it, make the simple play.
So while there are infinite situations to consider, many of which we’ll flesh out in other articles, the most fundamental thing everyone should understand is:
- If a player’s priority is evidently to play simple and retain possession: High Soccer IQ
- If a player’s priority is predominantly risk taking: Low Soccer IQ
What do you think?