November 12th, 2010 by Admin
Players are humans after all and therefore it is obvious that they too suffer from stress in many different forms arising out of continued activity, training sessions without sufficient breaks, wrong training techniques and so on. In addition, when soccer conditioning is not given proper attention, players suffer from prolonged physical and mental stress. So it is important to include predetermined breaks and recovery techniques into the overall training program.
It is unanimous among coaches today that physical and mental stress in soccer workouts needs to be addressed. However, they find it difficult to control it owing to increased competition, more tournaments and so on. So, how do you fight over-training and stress resulting out of it?
You must first identify if the players are being over-trained? If they don’t feel motivated to compete or train, complain of fatigue, suffer from muscle soreness and stiffness, and their performance begins to decline due to all this, you should gather that they are suffering from the over-training condition.
It is advisable to create a smart conditioning program that not only fills them up with renewed energy but also brings them back to a stage where they start enjoying the game. Soccer conditioning means a mid or long term soccer fitness program that improves the physical condition of the players.
In order to develop an effective conditioning program, you just take into account 5 factors that influence the conditioning levels; warm-up, strength, endurance, agility and speed. These are the building blocks of any conditioning program. Lets discuss each of these.
Warm up : It comprises of 3 phases that have an impact on conditioning. It prepares the body for a training session. It puts a stop to muscle pulls and strains. And finally, it helps the players improve their flexibility.
Strength : Importance of strength can hardly be exaggerated in soccer. Only the best players with a great bodily constitution and energy help the teams win matches. You must include a lot of weight training in training which in turn helps players build muscles and strength. Good strength also improves speed, balance, shielding, dribbling, headers and shooting abilities.
Endurance : It is the ability of the players to keep going for the entire duration of the match. If there isn’t enough endurance, exhaustion will set in and nothing can be worse than that for your team’s prospects. Include a lot of aerobic activities such as sprints, forward runs, long passes and so on in the training session that help build endurance. The players should also do a lot of running both on and off the field.
Agility : This ability of the players helps them both attack as well as defend. If the players are agile, it can make all that crucial difference between a successful dribbling and a turnover. It may also result in a vital tackle and a penalty kick. Agility is as important as skill building. If the players are not agile, you should make it your first priority to incorporate routines in your training that help them develop agility.
Speed : Speed is crucial in soccer and this is what creates opportunities on a soccer field. Players who are fast runners and can make quick moves help the teams win matches. So it makes sense to include drills and exercises in soccer workouts that help the players develop their speed.
Now, let’s quickly discuss a couple of simple fitness drills that can get your players in perfect shape.
• Create a triangular grid with 3 cons approximately 20 yards apart from each other.
• At your instruction, the players start dribbling the balls around the cones for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Ensure that when the players reach the grids, they sway away a little to prevent bumping into each other.
Sprint Lateral Shuffle
• For this drill, set up the cones parallel to each other in a pattern of stairs.
• Ask the players to start at the first cone, sprint forward to the next, drag their feet to the third cone and then sprint to the fourth one.
• Then, drag their feet towards the fifth cone and so on.
This must be repeated in the opposite direction also so that the other feet is used in the process.
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Yours in soccer,
Conditioning, Drills, Program, Smart, Soccer