Tips to Becoming a Better Soccer Player

Just about every little boy would dream to be a great soccer player. Soccer is undeniably a popular sport which drives thousands to millions of fans worldwide to football stadiums and even online to watch the game. It takes years of robust training and practice to get better at soccer. The greatest athletes are not born with the skills needed to ace soccer, but it is the effort and attitude that gets one to the professional level. If you dream to be a better soccer player, you must be able to master the balance between skills and the proper mindset to claim excellence and dominate in the field.

Check out these tried-and-tested tips to becoming a better soccer player:

Run every day for 3 miles or more. Running is a very basic exercise but it also is a good conditioning workout for soccer players. You can do alternate running and sprinting for about three miles or even more which will get you ready for soccer competitions. This is a great exercise to improve endurance and speed.

Dribble. This will help you get comfortable with the ball by the controlling it while you run up and down the field. You can do this even in your backyard. The trick here is to be able to play the ball and push it and get it back while deterring the opponent from snatching the ball from you. When doing this, you should keep your eyes to the goal or in front of you and not on the ball. Check out these awesome soccer dribbling practices

Kick the soccer ball up against the wall. You can do this at the backyard if you have a concrete or brick wall to work on. Make sure though that it won’t damage anything once it bounces. Pick a spot that is safe for your practice sessions. Distance yourself from the wall by 2 feet. Kick the ball using the instep of your foot at which the ball only bounces once. Do it alternately with both feet. Practice this for at least 100 times or more per day.

Use a humidifier in your bedroom. Adequate rest and sleep is important for soccer players or even for those training to be one great athlete. Humidifiers help a lot especially with ensuring you are in good health and free from illnesses with every game. The use of humidifier at home helps keep dry air moist which prevents and dissipates allergies, cough, colds, and other respiratory symptoms that could disrupt your practices and competitions. Keep a humidifier handy so you can sleep better and get rid of distractions. Check out these best rated humidifiers to see which would be best for your soccer training.

Watch a lot of soccer videos. Learning how to be a better soccer player works both ways – as an individual player and a team. You can check out strategies and other soccer fundamentals by watching soccer vidoes on YouTube or other soccer sites that will get you in the loop of how expert players do it.

No one is ever expert enough for soccer – whether you are a newbie or a seasoned player – you must continue studying soccer and getting better at it. This is what experienced soccer players are made of – the zest for learning and improving the craft. Becoming a better soccer player is about the constant hunger pangs and renewing that fire within every single game.

Comparing Cricket to Soccer

Does “C” always come before “S” in the order of sports when it comes to cricket and soccer? There has always been a comparison between these siblings of sports – soccer and cricket both rake in billions of followers, fame, and dollars in the world which make these without doubt the most popular sports in a global domain. Apart from the fact that both sports have a requisite of 11 players each, does it have other things in common for them to continue being vetted against each other? Is there a fact sheet which states that soccer is more popular or even better than cricket?

How can you fairly compare two sports that are completely different from each other? Cricket is said to be a gentleman’s sport or a British game mainly because this was said to be played by English aristocrats or notable personalities during the early 13th to 17th centuries. This is also said to be played in a gentlemanlike flair which means no cheating, temper bursts, or sledging. This is currently billed next or second best to soccer.

Soccer or also referred to as the great “American football”, “association football”, or “”modern football” which is also compared to rugby and has been played in versions like foosball or table soccer; has been a household name for sports in the United States and the world which is precisely the reason behind its being the best or the most popular sports in the world – no pun intended.

It’s the history and diversity of both sports that make soccer and cricket equally lucrative and exciting to watch for their global fans. Here is a complete rundown on comparing cricket to soccer – let’s see what sport takes the lead:

  • Ball Size. Let’s start with the ball – The size of the soccer ball (white and black) that measures 8.65 inches or 22cm (regular size 5 ball) is obviously superior as compared to the size of cricket ball (white) which has dimensions of 8- 13/16 and 9 inches or 22.4 cm x 22.9 cm.
  • Number of Teams. There is said to be 234 international teams for soccer although FIFA only acknowledges 207 teams. Cricket, on the other hand, has 20 teams as of date at the Cricket World Cup.
  • Premiere Leagues Contract Payout. Cricket players usually get a standard contract pay that ranges from 10 to 30 million dollars; while soccer players receive roughly around 100 to 300 million dollars or an individual pay of about 10 to 20 million dollars each player.
  • Referee Intervention. In soccer, the referee almost always blows the whistle to pause or stop a game when something illegal has been done that needs penalizing or a “free kick” for the offended party. The referees run along with the players most of the time so they see when to decide on fouls, yellow cards, or penalties. In cricket, the umps (their version of referees) stay on the background and allow players to do their thing. They do not intervene that much unless a decision is needed. Umps usually stay in one place at a time and just observe. They consult or deliberate with a secondary and tertiary ump to arrive at a decision.
  • Rules of Engagement. Cricket is said to have complicated laws or rules such as the “Leg Before Wicket (LBW)”, “No Balls”, and “Overs”; to name just a few; which are difficult to understand. Soccer, on the other hand, adheres to simple laws: 2 teams, 11 players, 1 ball, and 1 goal – that’s it.
  • Fitness Requirements. Cricket, said to be a “forgiving sport” has less fitness demands and requisites as compared to football which is why there are cricket players who are a little bit on the heavy side while soccer players are well-sculpted and fit because they indulge in workout trainings or regimen that will build muscle resistance and increase stamina or endurance needed for the game.
  • Length or Duration of Game. Cricket is played longer than soccer because it takes 5 days for a test match or equivalent to a maximum of 8 hours per day; while soccer ends the game in 90 minutes; right on the dot.
  • Commercial Viability. With soccer, due to its short play duration, can only provide advertisers one time slot or half-time while cricket can provide 40 time slots or even more for the entire game.
  • Camera Angles. You are shown more angles in the game of cricket which needs more technologically adept crew and advanced equipment while in soccer, you are shown just one splice or camera angle the entire time.
  • Weather Requirement. Cricket can only be played in dry (humid) weather conditions. If in case it rains, the game will be put to halt until it clears. Soccer though is considered to be an all-weather type of sport because the adrenaline pumping sport continues regardless of whether it rains hard or the sun is blazing hot.
  • Soccer obviously scores better at this category as this is played by over 240 million people in 200 countries globally. With cricket, ICC recognizes 125 countries that play cricket. There are 3.5 billion soccer fans in the world as opposed to cricket which has 2.5 billion fans worldwide. Do the math.

The thing is – Cricket and Soccer don’t mix; which is why it is irrelevant to compare these two sports. It’s like the cliché – oil won’t mix with water – it stays right on top of it.

Cricket is nonchalantly a spectator sport – every team member is an individual player while in football, everybody runs tactically for the ball as a unified team.

Here goes my verdict: If you want a detailed gaming series and have the patience to watch a sport for 3 to 5 days in the running – cricket would be your best bet.

If you want pure unadulterated adrenaline sport – go for football. There are no lull moments, no pauses, less commercial breaks, just fast-paced action frame by frame.

Best Cricket Players in the World

Cricket – the batsman’s sport – is considered to be second best in popularity to soccer but has produced the best lineup of players that wowed the world in myriad of aspects. Soccer has been played in stone and wooden bat in as early as the 13th century – a lot of things have changed but some things remain the same over the years – the passion of every cricket player that fuels each one to go for the wicket.

What does the best league of cricket players have that make them stand out among the others? Check out 4 of the best cricket players in the world according to the ICC player rankings:

  • Steve Smith – This 26-year-old Australian right-handed batsman is currently the captain of the Australia national cricket team that represents New South Wales Blues, Australia, and Sydney Sixers. Steve Smith or Steven Peter Devereux is not just another handsome face in the cricket playfield, he is currently the no. 1 test batsman in the world. He started out early in cricket – at 17, he decided to drop out from Higher School Certificate to pursue the sport in England. One of his early achievements in cricket was in the 2008 KFC 20/20 competition wherein he led as wicket taker with overall score of 9 wickets. He was also awarded as the second best player of that tournament. Smith is an unorthodox player that is known for his unpredictable and unconventional shots. He is known for his fast footwork and excellent hand-eye coordination. In 2015, Smith was awarded the Allan Border Medal as recognition for being the best player in Australian cricket. He also successfully reached a test batting rating of 936 that is considered to be a milestone being the 10th highest of all time.
  • AB de Villiers – Abraham Benjamin “AB” de Villiers is a 32-year-old South African cricketers who is now the captain of One Day International (ODI) team and South African Test. He is popularly known as “Mr. 360” because of his flawless and impeccable shots that is characterized with backswings and solid movements in the playfield. He is considered to be one of the greatest cricket players of all time – ranking 1st in the January 2016 results for ICC and 7th in ODI test batting rankings. He has been awarded ICC and ODI Player of the Year for 3 years – in 2010, 2014, and 2015; respectively.
  • Sachin Tendulkar – This 42-year-old seasoned cricket captain is famed to be one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar officially retired from cricket in November 16, 2013 but has left a legacy of many firsts and stellar winnings left and right from the time he started cricket when he was just 11 years old. Among his many firsts were the following:
  • He is the only cricketer to have completed over 30,000 runs in international cricket;
  • He is the only batsman who have scored 100 international centuries;
  • He holds the current record for the leading number of number of runs for the Test and ODI cricket;
  • He is the first batsman to have scored a double century in the ODI;
  • He is the only sportsman (without any aviation degree or background) who was recognized as group captain by the Indian Air Force.
  • Ricky Ponting – Popularly known as “Punter”, this 41-year-old retired cricketer was captain of the Australia National Cricket Team from 2004 and 2011 in Test and 2002 and 2011 in ODI which also happens to be the “golden era” of cricket. Ricky Thomas Ponting is not the “Cricketer of the Decade 2000” for nothing as he is the only cricket player in the history of Test cricket that has been a part of the 100 Test Match wins. He is a great influencer and leader because whenever this captain opens his mouth, his team hangs on to his every word. This right-handed batsman was known for his aggressive repertoire of shots which make him one of the most interesting players to watch in the cricket playfield. Ponting retired from playing cricket in December 3, 2012 with an impressive test batting rating of 51.85.

Yes, it has been more than 100 years and cricket has successfully produced the best roster of cricketers – batsmans, fielders, and bowlers who each have important roles to play in the field. The list ramps up year after year but cannot be compared from one batch to another because of different factors that set each champion apart from one another. It’s a game of mental agility as much as it is a game of physical robustness. The best cricketers of all time are both avid fans and players of the sport. Each individual is certainly a trailblazer at his own right that has raised the benchmark higher that becomes a challenge to succeeding cricket players in the coming years.


History of the Sport of Cricket

History of the Sport of Cricket

Cricket has been traced back speculatively in as early as the 13th century or March 10, 1300 (to be exact) during the time of King Edward III in France wherein he was said to be playing “creag and other games.” The term “creag” was said to be the old English terminology for “cricket” but experts negated and said that it was actually an early English word for “craic” which means “fun and games” in general tems.

The Early Years

Cricket at the early times started as a child play which originated in Southeast England but has been adapted by adult players in the 17th century with the use of mostly farm tools or scrap materials such as a lump of sheep wool, rock, or wood as ball, tree stump or stool as wicket, and a wooden piece of stick that serves as bat.

The first definitive reference to cricket as a sport was John Derrick’s account when he and his high school friends supposedly played “creckett” when they attended Free School in Guildford, Surrey circa 1550. It was in 1611, that a dictionary definition for the term cricket was made available and defined as “a boy’s game”. In this very same year, the term cricket was first referenced as an adult sport when two men were prosecuted in Sussex for having skipped church attendance just to play cricket on a Sunday.

16th to 18th Centuries

It was in the late 16th century or beginning 1660, that cricket has been integrated with betting or gambling. It was also in 1696 that cricket has first been published in local newspapers which paved way for the increased popularity of cricket as a sport. Betting was limited to £100 by virtue of the passed Gaming Act of 1664; which was a significant fortune at that time. Cricket as a gambling sport has been predominant by the end of the 17th century.

It was in 1774 that the Laws of Cricket composed of 42 laws that apply worldwide were coded. This set of rules and regulations were initially established by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) which retains copyright of the laws up to this day even if the sport has a new global governing body – the International Cricket Council (ICC). The laws were amended in 1774.

The first recorded venue for the sport of cricket was in Yorkshire in 1751. The early famous clubs for playing cricket were Dartford and London in the 18th century.

The first ever international cricket competition was in 1844 which was between Canada and USA teams. Cricket was also regarded as the second most popular spectator sport following football in 1877.

The first county teams were mentioned in 1660 that starred local village cricket experts as the pioneering players of the sport. By the end of the 17th century up to 19th century, cricket has crawled outside of England and has mushroomed in countries like India, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, and New Zealand.

19th to 21st Centuries

County clubs were formed in the 19th century. Player action was also amplified especially with the popularity of “All-England Eleven” in 1846 which was initiated by William Clarke. They travel and popularized the sport in varied district. The installation of railroad networks initiated the growth and modification of cricket. Many similar teams have been created with this trend which lasted for 30 years.

Cricket has been England’s national sport since the 18th century which has evolved significantly in the 19th and 20th centuries. The period from 1890 all throughout the onset of World War I was hailed as the “golden age of cricket” which immortalized the pioneering legends in cricket such as the all-rounder William Gilbert “W.G.” Grace who is said to have invented and revolutionized modern batmanship. He is popularly coined as the “Great Cricketer”. Other names were Victor Trumper and Wilfred Rhodes; among others.

It was in June 2001 that ICC first introduced the “Test Championship Table”. In October 2002, the “One-Day International Championship Table” subsequently followed. ICC continues to expand cricket development and integration efforts which are now more focused on the United States as well as Asian and African countries.