Three main areas for soccer players to focus on in their offseason training.
TRAINING TIME: Tim Rudd for IYCA
The 2014 World Cup is in full swing and I can’t think of a better time to cover the importance of offseason training for soccer.
If athletes want to improve their skills as a player, they need to improve their athletic capacity, and becoming the best soccer player possible requires that they improve upon these three qualities in the offseason:
IMPROVE MOVEMENT QUALITY “” No matter the age or experience of an athlete, virtually every one of them can get better by improving movement quality.
An athletic preparation facility is a great place for athletes to learn what good movement looks and feels like in a slow and controlled environment. This will have a huge impact on their performance and health.
GET STRONGER “” One of the biggest predictors of injury for most athletes is when they fail to strength train in the off-season. Also, in order to become faster or more powerful on the pitch, they must get stronger.
As I’ve mentioned in previous columns, getting stronger has a direct impact on performance “” giving athletes the potential to be faster, more powerful and explosive.
IMPROVE CONDITIONING “”Trainers who conditioning or testing athletes with tests that have them going 25, 30, or 35 or more seconds per bout, are making a mistake.
The scientific literature clearly shows how misguided this is, showing that the average sprint in soccer takes 2-4 seconds, followed by up to 90 seconds of down time. If your athletes want to be prepared for the actual demands of their sport, they should begin with low-intensity, higher-volume methods building a sufficient aerobic base.
Once that’s been improved, shorter explosive bouts of running can be utilized, which better simulates what really happens on a soccer field.
The off-season is the ideal time for athletes to gain the physical tools necessary to succeed. And if they don’t take the time to build their athletic capacity in the off-season, when will they?
Check out this article in the digital edition of SportStars Magazine… Pitch Prep
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