Hoe je je zwakke plekken kunt verbergen

Every player has strengths and weaknesses; truthfully, part of your athleticism is down to your genes. A fast and skilful winger is a full back’s nightmare. A strong defensive midfielder with decent stamina will not only provide a solid shield for their back four, but will also frustrate the opposing midfield. A centre half who is tall, strong and fast will often counter aerial danger, and put opposition attackers in their back pocket.

But it can add a dangerous advantage and a competitive edge to your game, Bale and Ronaldo are perfect examples.

But then again, there is no reason why players who worry about their height, their speed, or their strength, can’t also have a competitive edge to their opposition.

The Overcompensation rule is simple. For every attribute you lack in, you must overcompensate by refining a strength. The idea of this is not to ignore your weaknesses, but to recognise them, and work with the reality that building on your weakness may be a longer, more difficult process than refining your strengths. However, you need to keep in mind that there may be a limit to how much you can build your strengths.

For example, your speed can be improved, by building explosive power and improving your running technique. But this will take several months dedication before a significant difference is attained. Unless you have the genetic potential, this isn’t going to make you as fast as Theo Walcott, but, you will be faster than you were, and that’s what’s important.

So, for the common worries you might have, here is how the Overcompensation rule can work.

Player Concern 1: I’m not fast/fast enough
Over the past decade or so, players have become stronger and faster. Arjen Robbens’ use of pace undid two of the best centre-halves in his performance against Spain in the 2014 World Cup. Bale used speed to terrorise at the time one of the best full backs, Maicon in Tottenhams victory over inter Milan in the 2010 Champions League. But, as the saying goes, man cannot live on bread alone. A footballer cannot succeed on speed alone.

So if you’re not fast, you can overcompensate by developing superior tactical awareness and intelligence. This can be what saves you from being outpaced. Getting yourself in the right position at the right time will help you in a few ways. Firstly, it allows you fulfil your defensive duties quicker, potentially breaking down opposition attacks earlier. This in turn could save you from a foot race against faster opposition, and also help you set off attacks quicker.

So the priority is getting to the right position at the right time, you will also have to start reading the game quicker, by spotting potential areas of danger, and being in a position to cover these, by knowing the right time to select a pass, and being in the right position to receive a pass.

Player Concern 2: I’m not tall/ tall enough
If we think of the ideal athlete, they are tall and well built. Outfield players who are tall, are often dangerous in the air, better at getting loose balls, and generally have a dominant presence on the field.

But then again, football challenges the image of an ideal athlete; some of the best are only as tall as 1.73m, or even below – Messi, Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard and Agüero.

There is one distinct advantage that shorter players have over taller, built players: a low centre of gravity. This means that their body mass is closer to the ground, making them more stable and less likely to fall. Generally, this gives them the ability to change direction quickly, making it hard for opponents to get close. Skilful dribbling is also dependent on sudden changes of directions, and for that reason, a low center of gravity can be of great benefit.

So, this is where you overcompensate: exploit your low centre of gravity by working on your dribbling skills, your agility and your ability to change direction quickly. Build your legs, your glutes and core strength, and make it near enough impossible for your opponent to muscle you off the ball.

Player Concern 3: I’m not strong/strong enough
As much as football is a game of skill, physical battles are common place in the modern game. Strength is often of huge advantage, as it helps to shield players off the ball, and also to barge them off the ball if necessary. The question is how to deal with opponents who are physically stronger than you.

But football is also a game of intelligence, not brute strength. Strength training will help build your reserves of strength, but then again, there’s other ways you can compensate for your lack of strength outside the gym.

Learning to move the ball quickly, with accurate passing, fast decision making and creativity, will be of huge advantage to you. Work on this, and you are not only less likely to get into physical battles, but you are also going to raise the tempo of your team’s attacking play.

In addition, improving your agility, directional and dribbling skills will also make it difficult for your opposition to muscle you off the ball, as your movements will be far too fluid to track. Speed is king for you, both on and off the ball.

Overcompensate by making your movements quick and sharp, and you’ll become untouchable. However remember to add strength training to your regime, and eventually, you’ll also be immovable.

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