If you’re new to soccer, you might find yourself getting slightly confused by all the technical terms used during the game by commentators, referees, and the fans themselves.
It takes a bit of adapting before you’re familiar with all the soccer lingo, but we’re here to help you out!
‘Brace’ is a term that you might have heard quite a lot, and if you don’t know what it means, you’re probably very confused as to what it’s referring to!
Usually, you will hear the word ‘brace’ in a sentence such as ‘this player scored a brace’.
The word actually refers to when a single player scored two goals throughout the same game, so it’s basically just like saying that a certain player has managed to score twice during a game.
It might seem weird to use ‘brace’ instead of simply stating that someone scored twice. Where does the word come from? Does it have other meanings or connotations?
Well, let’s take a closer look at it!
Origin and Meaning of the Word ‘Brace’
When people hear the word ‘brace’ outside of a soccer context, they tend to think of ‘brace’ as preparing for an impact or situation, such as bracing yourself for a shock or specific dangerous situation or feeling. That is usually the main definition of the word and the one for which it is used most commonly.
However, the word has other meanings that can be used in other situations. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a good source to use when it comes to defining words, ‘brace’ has quite a few meanings. Other than preparing oneself for something, it can also mean to make something stronger or to furnish and support something or someone. Like bracing a drum.
It can also mean to put or plant something firmly, like when you brace your foot in the stirrup when horse riding. The word can also signify to waylay when confronted with a question or demand, and in a more archaic aspect of the word, it can be defined as fastening something tightly.
But what do any of these meanings have to do with scoring two goals during a soccer game? They’re pretty far from having anything to do with it, so using the word in a soccer context seems rather odd.
To understand the correlation between the word ‘brace’ and scoring two goals during the same soccer game, we actually have to go further back in time, all the way back to the origin of the word.
The word ‘brace’ was first used in the 14th century, and it belongs to Old English, which is why its first meaning isn’t often used in modern contexts, other than soccer. It was usually used to describe a pair, like referring to two animals. Popularly, it was used a lot by hunters to describe having caught two animals or shot down two birds, ‘a brace of birds’, for example.
The etymology of the word actually shows that it comes from Anglo-French, and it meant ‘a pair’. So it now makes sense why it refers to a pair of goals, right? But how did it become soccer terminology if its original meaning is so obscure?
Soccer first appeared in England around the 19th century. Whenever someone scored two goals in a single game, people would popularly say that they’d caught or scored a brace of goals, which meant two goals: a pair. Despite this meaning of the word fading with time, soccer retained it as a technical term, and this is why it’s still used nowadays!
The Use of the Word ‘Brace’ in Soccer
So, now that we know what the word ‘brace’ means within a soccer context, let’s talk about how and when it’s used!
Although it was traditionally used by those watching the game as an informal way to congratulate the player in question, it has developed into a technical soccer word that is used to talk about the game on a more professional level.
The word is used any time that a player has scored two goals within the same game. That is the only time you can ever use the word, as it literally means a pair of goals. That much is clear. But who uses the term, and how?
Well, anyone can use the term really, although only other people well-versed in soccer are likely to understand what it means. It’s most commonly used by commentators or professional soccer critics when reviewing a game and talking about the highlights and most important maneuvers and players.
It also tends to be used in official soccer game reports, as it’s the easiest way to indicate which player scored two goals.
Say, for example, that Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals. The commentator or soccer report can simply state that: Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace.
How to Score a Brace in Soccer: Tips and Tricks
Scoring a brace is clearly a good thing, as it means you’ve managed to score two goals in the same soccer game. In fact, it would be even better if you managed to score multiple braces! So how do you score a brace?
‘You score a brace by scoring two goals in the same game’. Yeah, yeah, that much we know. Duh! But how? As in, what tricks and tips will help you improve your chances of scoring a brace? It ultimately comes down to your own soccer skills and talents, as well as how the soccer game plays out.
Nevertheless, we’ve compiled a few tricks and tips that might help you score a brace if the situation aligns and your skills pull through:
Practice, practice, and more practice!
This might seem like an obvious one, but it really is the truth: practice makes perfect. All soccer players, even the best in the world, start out as amateurs.
If you want to be able to consistently score braces, you have to be able to consistently score goals, and that requires a lot of training and practice so that you develop your skills and technique.
Plus, the more experience you gather, the more likely you are to be able to score! Basically, work hard and you will reap the benefits (and braces).
Study some soccer strategy
Scoring a goal requires good teamwork and skill. However, scoring a goal can also be a matter of luck or timing. Scoring two goals in the same game...that’s a little harder.
A lot of soccer players focus on skill and technique, sometimes forgetting that game strategy also plays a big part out on the field.
After all, soccer is a team game! Studying some strategic maneuvers will help you develop a quick understanding of gameplay, and it will help you become better at analyzing the situation and taking advantage so that you’re more likely to score. To score a brace you definitely need consistency, so time to do some studying!
Look at how professional and famous soccer players are scoring their braces
As well as studying and analyzing some game strategy, it’s always good to see what has worked for those that can consistently score braces.
Big and well-renowned players, such as Ronaldo, Messi, or Neymar, are able to score braces almost on a regular basis. Why not look at how they play?
What kind of circumstances are common to all their braces? How are they executing the goals? Basically, ask yourself how they do it, and then follow suit!
Play in a soccer position that increases the chances of you scoring
Soccer is a team sport, so not everyone on the team will get the same chance to score braces, as there are different positions to be played.
If you want to be the one scoring the braces, get yourself playing in a position that makes scoring goals possible!
As in, don’t play goalkeeper or defense! If you prove yourself as a consistent goal scorer, you’re likely to be given the team opportunities to score more consistently, and that’s the way to achieving braces!
Keep trying and don’t give up!
It can be easy to get discouraged if you struggle to make the process as fast as you would like or if you keep scoring once but not twice. Don’t give up. It’s vital that you keep trying!
Progress is not always visible, but trust us, you will get there eventually! You should also avoid comparing yourself to other soccer players, as that never ends well.
Focus on you and your journey, and celebrate the little steps and accomplishments! As cheesy as it might sound, you have to believe in yourself. Channel your inner Ronaldo or Messi!
So, to wrap this up. What is a brace in soccer? It’s a technical soccer term that refers to someone scoring two goals in a single game. A brace is a pair of goals, simple and straightforward.
The word sounds odd to those unfamiliar with its use in soccer because the original meaning of ‘a pair’ has evolved into other uses and definitions that are used nowadays.