Faking is as much about mental strength as physical
strength. A player has to convince their opponent, through
eye movements, head movements, and body signals, which way
they are going to go. Then, the player must command the body
to do the opposite, catching the opponent off-guard and ensuring
that the player is successful.
To successfully fake, players must use their
eyes, heads, and body momentum. The eyes usually lead the
body where it is going to go, so players should train their
eyes in the direction they wish the opponent to go. In the
same way, the head is usually turned in the direction the
body will go. Players must develop fast enough muscles to
begin to move in one direction and stop suddenly, reversing
course and getting past an opponent before that opponent can
The final trick to faking is to make it believable.
Players must commit themselves entirely to moving in the fake
direction before changing course. If not, the opponent will
realize the strategy and compensate with enough time to stop
the player from succeeding. Fakes are often called upon in
The mental moves required in soccer are as important
as the physical ones, and often harder to develop. Mental
moves include the strategy, decision-making, and personal
toughness required in sports. Soccer, in addition, is a highly
strategic game that requires players to always be thinking
one step ahead of the opponent.
In soccer, mental preparedness is key. When
coaching, it is important to develop players for mental
toughness by using techniques such as visualization, role-play,
and meditation to calm players and focus them for the competition
ahead. To help athletes prepare for situations that require
quick decision-making, coaches should simulate competitions,
letting athletes try their hand at strategy and quick thinking.
Then, together with the team, the coach can dissect the simulation
and comment on good and bad decisions by players.
By including players in the development process
and showing what went right and what went wrong, coaches can
show athletes how they need to develop mentally. Just like
with physical soccer moves, coaches must correct the techniques
and execution of mental moves.