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Imagine Yourself Scoring Everyday

Posted December. 15, 2004 23:00,   


“Before I went to bed, I did image training everyday for 10 minutes. You imagine a situation where you can score, and think about various ways to get the ball into the net repeatedly,” says Lee Ki-geun of his know-how on getting a goal.

Lee, current head coach of Gaegun Middle School’s soccer team in Yangpyeong, is a former soccer player who had the most number of goals in the professional soccer league in 1988 and 1991. The secret to getting many goals is eliminating errors. It is important to practice over and over again in order not to repeat the same mistake in the next games to follow, Lee said. Of course, a thirst for goals is a must-have. Lee said that when he was playing for POSCO, he got into a huge fight with his fellow teammate Cho Geung-yeon because they both wanted to get goals. Cho heads a soccer team in Sunmoon University.

Cho, who scored the most number of goals in the 1989 professional league, said, “Before a practice session or an actual game, I always used to promise myself to score at least three times.” As a matter of fact, Cho recorded a hat trick three times in his professional career, while many struggle to achieve hat trick even once throughout their whole careers.

The members of “Golden Feet,” a group of Korean professional leagues top scorers, gathered in the Suwon World Cup Stadium on December 15 to tell their secrets of scoring to the members of Suwon Gyeongsu Youth Soccer Club. Park Yoon-gi, the league’s top scorer in 1983, who currently heads Seoul Fitting’s soccer team, initiated the foundation of the group. Out of 20 successive top scorers in the league’s history, including this year, there are 14 active members in the group. Kim Yong-se, who led the league in scoring in 1985, emigrated and no one has ever heard of him since, and five foreign players did not participate. Beginning with the soccer clinic held that day, the Golden Feet’s hope to hand down scoring know-how to young soccer players by publishing guide books and other various activities.

The Golden Feet members said that image training was very crucial. Cha Sang-hae, the league’s top scorer in 1993 and currently coaching a soccer team in a high school in Japan, said that he used to think about how to receive the ball within the penalty box and connect it to the goal net whenever time allowed him to do so.” Kim Do-hoon, currently playing at Songnam Ilhwa, said that image training is absolutely necessary in order to be able to shoot in any situation.

Yoon Sang-chul, head coach of Kyungshin High School’s soccer team, who had the most number of goals in the professional league in 1990 and 1994, emphasized the importance of composure and boldness. Composure is needed in order to spot the location of goalkeeper under any circumstances, and to focus on the ball until the last moment before executing a kick. Boldness is necessary to shoot the ball at an unexpected moment or location to fool an opponent.

Sung-Kyu Kim kimsk@donga.com