“Beginners at the basics classes at our aikido school will do a simple blending move about eight or ten times, then start looking around restlessly for something new to distract them. Black belts at the basics classes have the knowledge and experience –the feel—necessary to appreciate the subtleties and endless possibilities contained within even the most rudimentary technique.” Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-term Fulfillment, by George Leonard.
As coaches and parents, we have all heard it, “Oh, that is easy, I can do that.” And sure enough, the player begins showing us that he can do whatever is being asked: Toe Taps, Juggling, Dribbling, Passing, … And in some regards the player is right, they do know the skill being asked, but the question comes down to this: Does knowing the skill, mean they can really “do” the skill?
Doing the simple things right, time and time again, allows for a player to truly begin raising his level. As important as the tactical, physical and mental aspects of the game are, if we cant control the ball with our first touch, beat a defender down the line or knock a cross to the far post, then those aspects of the game are not nearly as important.
The iSoccer Assessment was deliberately built to address this exact issue: Empowering each player to really “do” the simple, yet required skills of soccer. The iSoccer program is very simple to understand, yet impossible to master for even the most capable players.
Lets take a quick look at one of the 16 iSoccer skills tested: Change of Pace. The cones don’t move, there are no defenders and you are only dribbling in a figure 8 for 20 seconds. Sounds simple, right? Next time you are performing this assessment, challenge yourself by asking the following questions:
- Am I cutting the ball just as sharp with the inside of my foot as I am with the outside of my foot?
- Could I be closer to the cone?
- After I round the cone, how hard am I accelerating to get to the other side of the grid?
- How many touches am I using between the cones?
- Can I use less touches while still staying in control?
- Could I be a little sharper and a little faster?
Returning to the opening quote, can anyone ever really “know” the simple things or is soccer (as in life) just a lifelong journey of constantly getting better at “doing”?
After her first iSoccer assessment, Luca has worked relentlessly to raise her level! Watch the video to check out Luca performing the iSoccer assessment and hear her training routine in her own words!
11 Years Old
Rays 98 Red
San Mateo, CA
Toe Taps: 73
Juggling PF: 60
Juggling NPF: 44
COP PF: 17
COP PF: 17
Two Touch PF: 14
Two Touch NPF: 13
One Touch PF: 18
One Touch NPF: 16
Aerial Control: 13
Ball Striking: 7
Level: 7.9 BROWN
Luca’s Own Words:
“You have to train everyday and touch the ball everyday.”
“Sometimes there are times I really don’t feel like like training, but now iSoccer has made me want to play soccer everyday and keep improving.”
“It tells me I really need to work on my left foot more because there is a gap between my right foot and left foot and I want it to be equal.”
How do you become an iSoccer Featured Player
Becoming an iSoccer featured player is more than just high scores. It is about improvement, dedication, commitment, setting goals and most of all, raising your level! Whether you are level white or black, you can be an iSoccer Featured Player! Send us an email explaining why you think you should be an iSoccer Featured Player along with any video content you might have of you performing the iSoccer Assessment and introducing yourself.
Send your email to: featured@iSoccer.org
“What you can MEASURE, you can IMPROVE”
Raising Your Level Starts Today!
Knowledge is Power
What can the assessment results show you? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Have you been improving? Setting a baseline with your initial assessment allows your to objectively measure your improvement. The assessment has been carefully designed for players of all ages and levels not just to see where you currently stand – but also to equip you with the knowledge and tools to get more out of your training.
How do you Compare?
Until now, players have only been able to compare themselves within their local region. With a nationally standardized assessment, 12 year old Mikey from Alabama can see how his scores compare to 12 year old players from New York, 14 year old players from Florida – the comparisons are endless. The ability to measure yourself against others allows players to see their strengths and weaknesses and then to target their training accordingly.
The Test: Simple, yet Honest
How hard can it be to dribble in a figure 8? To pass a ball off a wall continuously? These tests may seem easy, but when we add a time constraint and make the test measurable, we’ve found the test results to be quite revealing. This test, along with the 15 other assessment skills, effectively measures your ability in each area of the game.
Together, we can continue to Raise the Level of the entire country… Join the movement and Help Set the Standard!