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Eric Johnson's Tips for Keeping Soccer Skills Sharp

We have recently connected with one of Redding’s own soccer community influencers, Eric Johnson! Many of you might know Eric as a coach for Competitive Development Soccer through RYSL and North State Soccer. As many of us are stuck at home, we asked Eric how he has been spending his time while physical distancing from others. This is what he said.

“I try to exercise every day – a run or bike ride. Right now on weekdays they replay old English Premier League games on TV at 3pm – I often catch those. I’m imagining what sort of soccer drills and games we could do when we get back on the pitch with physical distancing. And I get up to a family cabin in the mountains a few days each week”

Although we are not able to get back on the soccer field quite yet, we agree that this shouldn’t stop hardworking players from reaching their soccer goals at home. Eric has a few ideas about how players can do just that!

“I’m thinking about passing and receiving. If you have a family member who you can pass the ball with that’s great; if not, see if you can find a wall to pass against. I live a couple of blocks from a middle school – on the outside of the gym/multi-use room there’s a wall, 10’ tall with no windows – it works great to pass and receive against! Try to get at least 100 touches with each foot. 200 is better. One-touch passing, two-touch (receive with one foot and pass with the other), receiving balls that are bouncing to you. Set a ‘target’ - either your partner’s receiving foot or a spot on the wall – and try to hit it with your pass.”

We hope to inspire players to keep working hard, so that they can come back to the soccer field feeling confident in their abilities and ready to play! As we all look forward to the upcoming season, we hope you are also looking forward to checking out our new fields! As a coach, Eric is happy that “players (esp. goalkeepers) will be able to slide on the ground without ending up with bloody knees.” He also thinks it will be a great way to impress traveling team opponents and maybe make them “a little less reluctant to make the trip to Redding!”

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