Here is Factor #4 of Tactical Intelligence
Do you really want to put yourself in the spotlight as a player? Do you want to show that you're a great player?
Then, listen up. A SUPER secret to taking your game to the next level is advancing your proficiency in your ability to make optimal decisions.
Woah, what's that really mean?
Simply put ---> Get *really* good at making the best choice.
It's easier said than done, but I'll break down some ideas you can obtain this soccer holy grail.
For growth in this area, here are some of the best tips:
Study professional football
I've said it before and I'll say it again, learn from the pro's! Study the players who are top class. Learn how they tick. When you're watching a game, ask yourself (and try to answer) why do the players make certain passes and other actions on the ball? Why did they make that decision? In answering this, you'll be putting yourself into the role of the player, and in a sort of empathetic way, you're developing your brain to understand the critical thinking it takes to make the best choices.
Mistake your way to success
Trial and error is a great way to learn, since you're training more than you play in games, that would be a awesome time to work on your decision making. If you make a poor decision, like playing a high risk pass, try to figure out which alternatives could have been better. Did you have support behind you to retain possession? Did you forget to scan the other side of the field where a player was open/making a run? Learn from your mistakes, and and you'll quickly become more successful in choosing the best option.
Add restrictions ---> +/-
If you reduce the number of touches you're allowed to have on the ball, it forces you to make decisions quicker (if you don't, you're screwed! hehe). Start thinking about what to do before you have the ball. Being able to anticipate the play (see Sight vs. Vision) will help you destroy your opponents. As a bonus, playing quicker will improve your touch too! As a visual cue, you can write +/- on your wrist during training, and if you see it, you'll know to "add less" touches.
These tips aren't going to just help you automatically become better at making decisions. It's not an overnight thing. In the long run, over time, your training to make optimal decisions will add up and improve your tactical awareness and ability as an individual.
What can you commit to today? Will you watch more football + study it? Will you check in with yourself after making mistakes? Can you force yourself to become quicker in your decision making?
If you want to take your game from an amateur level, to top class, decision making is a key factor. Work on it, and you'll get better!
P.S. When in doubt, here's a handy-dandy flow chart to help you make your decisions.
I love helping players optimize their soccer careers + lives through actualizing their potential.