11 - General Hints
1. Always keep in the game. Move into spaces le by your team-mates.
2. When you are attacking and you lose possession of the ball, don't just wait to see what is going to happen. Fight to get your ball back from the opponent who tackled you, or at least harass him thus giving your side time to reorganize itself. The first line of a team's defense is its forward line.
3. Football is a team game. No one is playing alone. Success depends on your whole team being a single unit. There are eleven players and also the reserves helping each other to fight for the same objective.
4. Study the rules of the game. By being really familiar with the rules, you will get more out o a game, whether you are playing or watching it
5. Always respect the officials - the referee and the linesmen. Referees, like all of us, do make mistakes sometimes and it is not easy to see the whole game. Accept his decisions. Don't waste time in useless arguments.
6. Always play fairly against your opponents. Never tackle with the intention of fouling some one. The tackle is for possession of the ball.
7. Smoking and drinking do not help an athlete, quite the opposite.
8. A player's great asset in football is his body. Look after it. Don't exert yourself unnecessarily until you are fully rested after the previous game. Get at least eight hours sleep a night. After training or playing go home and rest. Relax a little, with a good book.
9. Before you can become a good player, you must be an athlete. Being in top physical condition is vital in modern soccer. Do different kinds of physical activities like walking, running and jumping and exercises for your arms, legs stomach muscles, etc. Consult your game master or your trainer about the best ways of keeping fit. There are so many different exercises that you can choose those which suit you in particular.
10. Keep a balanced, nourishing diet. I am not just suggesting that you eat the right amount, but the right sort of nutritive food,
11. Limber up before intensive training or a game by little runs and jumps and flexing your arms, legs and body muscles. The colder it is, the more you need to limber up. The human machine is like a car. It needs to heat up before it can function properly. By getting warm before exerting yourself, you will avoid the possibility of cramp. After limbering up you are physically and mentally prepared for a good game.
12. Get the doctor to examine you before you embark on any intensive physical activity.
13. If you hurt yourself, tell your trainer and your parents. Don't hide any injuries, however small they may seem.*
14. Put on warm clothing after a match. If you are still cold, do a few more exercises.
15. Soak in a hot bath after a game and rub yourself down with a rough towel, especially round your feet and hair. Treat your feet in the same way as a professional pianist looks after his hands.
16. I have hardly said a word about defenders in this book. The omission was intentional. In the next book, which I have already planned out, I will cover the subjects which are not dealt with in this one. By playing against defenders I have learned as much as any defender needs to know. I have been studying them for seventeen years!
17. Don't forget the one basic point which I have stressed throughout this book: a team is not made up of isolated individuals. Nearly always we are attackers and defenders at the same time!
* There are 3 basic rules for treating strains, sprains, dislocations, cuts and bruises:
- Put ice on the injured area immediately;
- Don't aggravate the injury by moving;
- Find a doctor.