Balance is an important skill to develop for young players. Players are required to complete football tasks balanced on one leg. Passing, receiving, shooting, crossing and dribbling are all completed while balancing on one leg. Many players and coaches overlook balance and take it for granted. However, it is like any other skill – it has to constantly worked on and improved in order to improve performance.
To give the proper definition, balance “is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”
There are a few key considerations that players must keep in mind in order to retain good balance:
- Keep their center of gravity low. This can be achieved by young players adopting a posture where they are on their toes, leaning forward and having their knees bent.
- The arms should be used to create leverage for the rest of your body to maintain balance, but arms should not be waving all over the place. The perfect example is arm positioning during a shot, usually, the left arm extends laterally to ensure the player retains balance.
- When in possession of the ball, young players should take smaller steps and increase the number of times that they touch the ball.
Balance is an important attribute of any football player, and it’s something that all of the professional’s train in order to keep performance levels high. Balance helps you prepare for sharp twists and lunges that can help you push past defending players, and the muscles it works are incredibly important for helping you navigate through the pitch.
Two things that go hand in hand, is balance and core strength. The core is often referred to as the powerhouse of your body. It’s also your balance center. Having a strong core allows you to control your body’s positioning and maintain an upright position. Your back and chest play a role here, too. All of these muscles are important for both posture and stability. The two share a positive correlation, players who have good balance often have great core strength and vice versa.
How to work on your balance?
Whilst the majority of balance exercises can be performed at home without any extra equipment, a BOSU ball is one of the best pieces of equipment you can buy to help improve your balance, there are tons of different exercises you can perform on them.