Tim Cahill Soccer Playing Tips

19 August 2011

From fourfourtwo Australia, I underlined number 10 because i think it’s the most important for success not only in football, but life too.

SOCCEROO Tim Cahill give us his top ten playing tips, including so how to do those legendary headers, win grudge matches and return from injury.

 Losing your marker
“First of all, when I want to shake off a marker, I make sure I am fitter than him. You also have to constantly move and make sure you are on their shoulder where they can’t see you. Just make sure that you do everything to ensure they don’t know where you are. He needs to watch the ball and keep in position, so I get on a player’s shoulder and run in behind them. Try and think two moves ahead and change direction a lot.”

Rising above taller opponents
“A lot of it is timing. It is one thing to be able to jump high and rise above players, but you need to meet the ball too. You see so many players rising and jumping without having an end product. I focus on that end product with my game. It is hard to coach this! It is something for me that I have developed and got stronger and stronger with. I have been a professional for some time, but I am still finding new ways to rise above players.”

3  Scoring at corners
“It is about assessing who you are playing against and knowing all the elements of their strengths and weaknesses. I never complicate things by trying to do something special. I keep it simple, make sure I’m in the right place and do the basics right as the ball is coming across.”

Winning grudge matches
“The biggest thing I teach kids now is ‘treat every game the same’. Whether you are playing Scunthorpe or Brazil you have to play your hardest every time. Professionalism and efficiency are the most important aspects of my game. If I am playing consistently and at the top of my level then I am ready for the grudge matches as I’m used to winning all of my battles, no matter what.”

5  Playing as a lone striker
“It is not easy! When you are taking on the likes of John Terry and Alex it is difficult. You have to think outside the box, you need to work on the aspects that defenders don’t like to see in the strikers they are marking. Be close to them, close them down when they have the ball, never give them time on the ball, run the channel and make sure you get in the box to get on the end of balls.”

6  Dealing with fixture congestion
“It is all about preparation and recovery – pre-hab and rehab. What I do on Monday to Friday is just as important as what I do in the game. I get in two hours before every training session and stay behind an hour to an hour and a half. I use this time to strengthen my body, getting treatment even when I do not need it – that could just be a light massage. Sleeping and eating right is vital – you need to treat your body with the upmost respect.”

Role when injured or suspended
“That role is just as important. You always need to be a good ambassador for the club and players. I make sure I am still leading the team as the manager looks to me to provide inspiration to the other lads. You always need to be at the games, whether you are fit or not. A massive part of the game is being pleased for, and supporting, your teammates. Our motto at Everton is ‘there is no I in team’.”

Pre-match meals, post-match recovery
“I eat very healthy – protein, a little bit of carbs, vegetables and salad. For me, breakfast and lunch have always been the same thing. I try to keep my body fat between six and nine per cent throughout a season. When I get injured I challenge myself and get my body fat to as low as six-and-half per cent. I always keep my body weight between 74-76 kgs. As for recovery, ice baths sometimes, it just depends how you feel at the time.”

9  Returning after an injury
“I come back and I have never played in the reserves. I always get thrown into the thick of it. I make sure I am in peak form when I return and I spend every day on the bike for half an hour, plus doing weights in the gym, yoga. If I have an leg injury, I still do one-legged bike work while that is repairing.”

10 Being told you are not good enough
“Criticism is the best motivation and the best form of ammunition. People usually criticise due to their own insecurities and you have to turn that negative into a positive. When I was younger I was told I did not have the attributes to be a footballer and it was the best thing anyone could have said to me.”

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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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