5 Skills That Defenders Can Learn from Julie Johnston
A couple of years ago Julie Johnston was a rising star in women’s soccer.
She didn’t make the cut for the squad for one of the tournaments and it really affected her confidence and made her question her future in soccer.
Since then, she’s trained extremely hard mentally and physically preparing to represent the United States at the Rio Olympics. Today, she is one of the best defenders on the team and a household name.
Here are five skills defenders can learn from Julie Johnston:
1. Have confidence
Julie has said that she started gaining confidence by just changing her mindset going into every practice. As the competition gets tougher and tougher it’s easy to put yourself down and realize you’re not as good as you think you are.
The growth happens when you learn how to set those feelings aside and play confidently.
2. Ask questions
USWNT coach, Jill Ellis, has said that this is something Julie does often and it helps her become a better player.
If you ask questions it shows you are invested in your own improvement.
3. Tackle hard
One of the more visible things you can learn from watching Julie is how she tackles. She never tries to get out of one. She doesn’t shy away from a tackle.
If you hesitate while tackling you risk not winning the ball and possibly even injuring yourself.
4. Be tenacious in the air
Julie is fearless when she goes up for headers. For this reason, she is very hard to score on and it’s very hard to keep her from scoring.
She uses her athleticism and mental toughness to win nearly all of the balls in the air near her.
As a defender this is one of the most important traits you can possess as it helps keep the opposition from getting behind the back line.
5. Don’t overlook the basics
The basics are what every other skill is built on. Julie demonstrates this with her training regimen.
She focuses on being great at the fundamentals. This can be as simple as adjusting the way you are training a certain skill. Sometimes you have to break a bad habit you’ve made over the years.
Repeatedly working on the little things creates confidence. Being confident in the basics will help inspire leaping into harder skills and becoming the best player you can be.