What Is A Skill In Soccer? Beginner Guide

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What is a skill in soccer?

Before answering that question, keep in mind that if you have just started playing soccer(aka football) or you are just curious about what a skill is, then you are in the best place to learn it.

There is always something new to learn in the soccer world.

What is a skill in soccer? Where to begin with those skills? What to work on? How do you improve? And what’s most important?

In this article, you are going to have an answer to those different questions and learn the most basic soccer skills for beginners.

Let’s get started.

What Is Skill In Soccer?

In soccer, a skill is an individual ability to master a specific technique or trick and use it to your advantage when you are facing your opponents. A skill can be anything you can do on the pitch. This can be passing, dribbling, shooting, Finishing, bicycle kicks, Rabona kick, etc.

There are several skills in soccer. But you don’t have to master them all.

Most pro soccer players only master two or three of those skills. So, don’t worry about mastering them all.

For instance, some strikers are only good at finishing in front of the goal, others at creating, Other players can be good at dribbling, long passing, or even juggling.

Although you don’t need to master them all, you need to know and learn at least the most basic skills.

Basic Soccer Skills For Beginners

Here are 5 most important soccer skills for any beginner player:

A/ Beating the goalkeeper

Many strikers tend to struggle a lot when it comes to beating the goalkeeper.

If you are a beginner player who wants to score, the first thing you should work on is shooting far away from the goalkeeper into the corners of the goal.

What is a skill in soccer - a player facing a goalkeeper and trying to target the corners of the goal

The corners of the goals should always be your friends. So, you always have to target them.

And when you are just getting started, the best way to do that is to use the inside of your foot to shoot.

Also, when you are facing the goalkeeper on one vs one, preferably you want to shoot before you get too close to the goalie.

what is a skill in soccer - a striker trying to shoot before getting to close to the goalkeeper

If you are really close to the goalkeeper, shooting to the corners might be very difficult as the keeper can easily block any shoot.

what is a skill in soccer - a striker trying to shoot too close to the goalkeeper and misses it

Now you understand the importance of shooting a little further away as your angle is much larger and you have more space to pass the ball into the corners.

Note that this is not only for strikers. Everyone on the pitch should be able to score a goal no matter their position.

So, do not have in your mind that only strikers should practice shooting.

B/ Passing and Receiving

This is without any doubt the most important skill for any beginning player.

Have you ever heard the saying that says “the best playing style is to pass the ball”? Well, that’s so true.

When playing, you need to be able to receive a pass, control it from the inside of your foot and pass it accurately to another teammate.

What is a skill in soccer - a ball control from the inside of the foot

It may sound so easy but keep in mind that if you are not able to control the ball or pass it properly, it might be difficult for your teammates to trust and pass you the ball.

If you want to improve your passing and receiving, use a friend or a wall. Then practice passing the ball with the inside of your foot.

Next, when you receive a pass, use the inside of your foot once again to control the ball right in front of you. This will make it easier to pass the ball again.

C/ Controlling a difficult ball

Sometimes you will receive a ball that can be very difficult to control. It might be a pass in the air(A long ball), it might be a ball that’s bouncing.

The point is most balls are not going to be perfect. You should not always expect the ball to come and find you. So, be ready to control different types of passes.

Note that if you can’t control a ball that’s slightly too challenging, your teammates will certainly avoid passing to you.

To improve your controls, have a friend throwing you the ball at diverse angles, speeds and highs. Keep your feet moving and try to get the ball on the ground and under control as quickly as possible.

Note that you can also do the same with a wall.

D/ Taking the ball with you

Sometimes you will have to do more than just receive and pass the ball.

You might be in a situation where there’s a lot of space. So, you should be able to keep the ball with you and dribble a few players.

Of course, you don’t have to be Messi or Neymar and dribble multiple players. But every player should have some basic dribbling abilities.

You need to be able to take the ball with you in the opening space.

Without the skills, your touches might be too long.

To have a better dribbling ability, try to keep the ball close to you the whole time when running in an open field.

What is a skill in socer - someone practising his dribbling

==>You should also check out this article about the purpose of dribbling in soccer.

E/ Protecting the ball

Sometimes you might be in situations where you don’t have open space and no one to pass the ball to.

In this situation, you need to learn how to protect the ball for a few seconds.

There are many ways to protect the ball. But for beginners, you should consider using the underside of your foot to pull the ball back and of course, away from defenders.

what is a skill in soccer - a player protecting the ball

Final Word

You should probably know by now what a skill is in soccer and maybe you have already mastered one of them.

Remember that you don’t need to master them all. Only two or three is enough in whatever position you are playing on.

And if you want to master them all, you will achieve it by practising.

What is your favourite skill? What skill would you like to master? Let us know in the comment section below.

You can also read: What skills does a forward need in soccer?

6 thoughts on “What Is A Skill In Soccer? Beginner Guide”

  1. Well, I just had a read through your article and I found it quite interesting to read. Now I have a better idea of what the basic football skills are and what type of skills I should absolutely master. I didn’t know we could consider simple things like passing a skill. But anyway, I’ll start practising and try to improve them from tomorrow

    • Hi, I’m glad you enjoyed the article.

      And yeah, practice makes perfect. Keep practising and I can guarantee you that you’ll see your skills improving very quickly.

  2. I have missed several times a goal when being 1-on-1 with the keeper. At first I spent to much time to shoot and the keeper would get too close and block. And lately I received the ball and shoot but then my chance was low because I was too far away. So finding the right balance is super important. Do you have any advice for me?

    • Hi Paolo. Thanks for stopping by.

      I would say when facing the goalie in 1-on-1, you first need to be confident. What makes players miss this kind of opportunities is the fact that they are scared. They are scared to miss and be blamed. But by being confident, you can have more chance to score.

      Secondly, as mentioned in this article, always see where the goalkeeper is. If he’s on the right, target the left and vice versa.

      Remember, you don’t need a powerful shoot in order to score. Sometimes, you can simply place the ball into a corner of the goal.

      If you practice you’ll get better.

  3. Hi!

    Thanks so much for all the tips. That’s an in-depth article, exactly what I was looking for. I can perfectly control the ball, but I have difficulties with things like shooting with power and accuracy for instance. Also, I have the tendency of always missing my one-on-one vs the goalie. That’s something I really need to work on as well.


    • Hi, I’m glad the article was helpful.

      Regarding the shooting, sometimes it’s not always about power. You can simply place the ball into the corner of the goals.

      Remember, it’s all about practice.


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