Tom Byer: Improving your game while social distancing

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BRYAN (KBTX) - With schools canceled and sports on hold, many athletes are wondering 'What do I do next?' They no longer have their normal routines, workouts, and team practices. World-renowned youth soccer coach Tom Byer explains how to stay on top of your game during COVID-19.

In this time of social distancing, practicing and playing team sports is impractical. But Tom Byer, who works with the Houston Dynamo and internationally on soccer player development, says this period of quarantine can be beneficial.

"This is a very good opportunity for players, specifically those that play soccer, to work on their technical skills," said Byer.

Byer's philosophy for player development is actually perfect for social distancing. In his book titled "Soccer Starts At Home," Byer explains the term isolated training: "Which means one player, one ball, and you can practice on your own. There are tons and tons of exercises that a player can do."

While the soccer starts at home program focuses on young children first learning the game, Byer says the principles can be applied to players of any skill level.

"With the older, more advanced players, what you're looking for is to do things a bit quicker. Doing them faster. Playing more with your head up instead of always looking down at the ball," Byer discussed.

And according to Byer, just as important as technical skill development Is studying the game.

"The best players in the world are the ones that both play and watch the game. They become students of the game. It's not enough nowadays to only play. You have to study the game. You have to study the systems, the tactics, the formations. This is a great time for kids to really try to up their game," added Byer.

While Byer focuses on soccer, he says athletes training in any sport could and should focus on developing those technical skills.