Soccer Fitness & Conditioning – Be Specific – What You Train is What You Get

One of the major challenges facing coaches of young soccer players in terms of soccer fitness and conditioning is that soccer is a game that requires players to have a high level of fitness in many different areas in order to play to the best of their ability. There are many fitness elements required to be an effective soccer player including endurance, speed off the mark and over distances up to 50 or 60 metres, agility, jumping, power and flexibility. So, if you only see your players for a few hours each week how do you ensure they are in a condition to play? What exercises do you choose? How do you conduct your training sessions in terms of fitness and conditioning?

One of the most recent exercise science studies that has been conducted in relation to athletic performance indicates that using sports specific exercises for fitness and conditioning can improve a performance by over 20 percent. So, obviously that makes it vital that you use exercises specific to soccer in training your young players. For players up to about the age of 12 ข่าวฟุตบอลทั้งหมด I use small sided games to train the elements of fitness and conditioning that they require and I also build elements of fitness and conditioning into the training drills that I use at soccer training. I do this to maximise the time that I have available for training. As I have stated in many previous articles my number one goal for each training session for young soccer players is to maximise the number of touches of the ball that each players gets at soccer training. For older players I start to use some sports specific exercises, and depending on their level of ability and desire may also set them a home training program.

Soccer is a game that requires many elements of fitness including endurance, speed, agility, jumping, power and flexibility. It is possible to incorporate each of these elements into your small sided games by changing the setup of the game. If I am seeking to incorporate an endurance element I will use a larger field, and I will have less players on the field. I may also choose to reduce the breaks in between games as I will usually have multiple games running at the same time. For an agility session I will reduce the size of the field and increase the number of players on the field. For example I may have a 4 versus 4 game on a small field, whereas if I was looking to train endurance I would use a 1 versus 1 or 2 versus 2 game on a larger field. Speed off the mark can be trained by having players start outside the field so that they have to run to the ball located on the field. I would usually do this with 1 versus 1, or 2 versus 2 games. Power can be trained by making players shoot at goal from outside a certain area. In most of my small sided games I make players run the ball through the goal in order to score but when teaching power or shooting techniques I do not do this.

How you structure your session will largely be dependent on what elements of soccer fitness and conditioning you want to focus on. What does your team need to play to the best of their ability on game day? All sessions must include an effective warm-up and cool down period that players will also follow on game day. Warm-ups should start slow and build up. I usually start with a light jog with a soccer ball for each player. I then move to a faster jog involving some changes of direction. I then incorporate some jumping and short sprints. And finally I finish with some dynamic stretching. This routine should take no longer than 15 minutes. My cool down routines will usually start with some running with the pace being gradually reduced to a brisk walk, followed by 5 minutes of stretching, so that the routine takes about 10 minutes.

Leave a comment