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Thread: Soccer training question

  1. #1
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    Soccer training question

    I received this question through PM and wanted to post it here for discussion!

    "I have been reading a lot in recent weeks and learning a lot from this great forum. I am a big fan of ther posts and what they say makes sense to me. I currently want to become the best soccer player that I can be. I have months to train and will be trying out as a walk-on for whatever college I will get in for 2013/2014 freshman year. They are mostly D3 schools I'm applying but that doesn't matter to me because I want to be the best possibly I can be and work my way up whenever I can.

    I am highly motivated to succeed, but have been struggling a bit with some questions. I go to my local park on Saturdays and Sundays to play pickup games of usually around 11v11. It's not intense as a real match of course but I suppose this is a cns high activity as well right? I like to play hard and give my best, but I will listen if you think I should train otherwise but I think skill and game intelligence is really important and I got some decent players to compete against and this is a way I can grow as a player I feel.

    I was thinking can I go play pickup games both days (Sat and Sun) and on Saturday I also do hill sprints in AM as you cant high intensity events done on the same day right? And then on tuesday and thursday are my speed,plyo, and strength days. I do speed and plyo mixed with some ball in my sprint work (Is that a good idea?) and my strength training full of compound movements and around 5-7 reps depending on the exercises. And then on monday, wednesday, friday I could do tempo work to improve my fitness. I will work my way up on the tempo and also can I do skill work in the beginning of my tempo like change of direction soccer drills, dribbling around cones etc. drills but I practice moving the ball as fast as I can. I suppose it's still cns low activity yeah? And can I also do free dribbling using my imagination and cutting and changing directions etc. or should I put this in my tempo work and make it as part of the tempo? Can you give me some idea of the best way I could train for soccer in my circumstances? I am in off season and I think college soccer is around September."

  2. #2
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    Re: Soccer training question

    Thanks for posting this ESTI and hello to everyone in this forum.
    I got some advice from xlr8 and as a soccer player I agree with him as skill training is priority and everything is supplementary especially if you are lacking in the skill department more than in acceleration or strength for soccer, so I will try to always do skill training first everyday and then add the general physical stuff to it. I will be playing pickup games on Saturday and Sunday and play at my best as game situations are very important to improve at soccer especially when you get older (I'm 18 now). I will do tempo on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and implement the ball in those tempos too. I will do quick touches with the ball and skill work in the beginning and I can dribble the ball for some parts of the tempo distance as well. What do you guys think?

    On tuesday and thursday I'll be doing my high days. Morning will consist of 3 sets of 5 reps countermovement jumps to get the cns firing and it will also help me with headers as well. Then i will do some sprints combination with the ball and also some sprints that are alone without the ball ofcourse too. I suppose I keep the volume around 250-300m (including the accelerating and turning with the ball?). On the evenings I will do strength training and some supplementary lifts like rdl, step up, and upper body work (overhead press, pull ups, db bench low incline, db one arm row).

    I suppose hill sprints will need to be done on thursday if I do flat sprinting on tuesday as doing on Saturday morning might not be good if I am gonna run and want to focus my energy for my games on Sat and Sun?

    Any opinions and thoughts?
    Thanks
    Last edited by dreambig; 01-21-2013 at 07:02 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Soccer training question

    Also do I need to worry about elasticity to improve my agility or will I already get that from doing sprints, countermovement jumps, soccer drills and soccer games?

  4. #4

    Re: Soccer training question

    I have been trying to help a friend of mine who plays college soccer. His team just started off season practices and they also play a game on the weekends every few weeks, so it makes it difficult to have a set plan and progression because you are always working around practices and games (the days that they practice also changes week to week). I have stressed to him that I believe skill is still the most important factor, but aside from that, we have been prioritizing sprint work and improving the aerobic system with multiple means.

    At this point, what I have suggested for him, was to use the day before practices to do some low volume sprint work (150-200m) plus low volume jumps and bench and squat, but no assistance work. And then on practice days, later in the day do some other full body general strength work, with the practices producing the endurance stimulus, and on other days adding in some aerobic work but primarily on the bike to save his legs a bit from the pounding. Reasoning behind this was that I think practice quality is a priority, so I didn't want him fatigued during those, but I also wanted him to get in some quality speed and power work. The practices just started, so we are kind of playing it by ear in regards to how much other work he can handle. If we figure that the intensity at practice isn't high enough to improve his endurance much, we may add in some form of tempo work on those days as well.

  5. #5

    Re: Soccer training question

    Quote Originally Posted by dreambig View Post
    Thanks for posting this ESTI and hello to everyone in this forum.
    I got some advice from xlr8 and as a soccer player I agree with him as skill training is priority and everything is supplementary especially if you are lacking in the skill department more than in acceleration or strength for soccer, so I will try to always do skill training first everyday and then add the general physical stuff to it. I will be playing pickup games on Saturday and Sunday and play at my best as game situations are very important to improve at soccer especially when you get older (I'm 18 now). I will do tempo on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and implement the ball in those tempos too. I will do quick touches with the ball and skill work in the beginning and I can dribble the ball for some parts of the tempo distance as well. What do you guys think?

    On tuesday and thursday I'll be doing my high days. Morning will consist of 3 sets of 5 reps countermovement jumps to get the cns firing and it will also help me with headers as well. Then i will do some sprints combination with the ball and also some sprints that are alone without the ball ofcourse too. I suppose I keep the volume around 250-300m (including the accelerating and turning with the ball?). On the evenings I will do strength training and some supplementary lifts like rdl, step up, and upper body work (overhead press, pull ups, db bench low incline, db one arm row).

    I suppose hill sprints will need to be done on thursday if I do flat sprinting on tuesday as doing on Saturday morning might not be good if I am gonna run and want to focus my energy for my games on Sat and Sun?

    Any opinions and thoughts?
    Thanks
    This plan looks good. If you can find a partner, or a wall, the number of skill drills you can do increases a lot. Also, what position do you play or desire to play---sprint speed is more important for wingers and forwards, while tempo requirements increase in the midfield and on defense.

    If you are playing twice a week and doing skill and dribbling drills, you likely don't need much more agility work. Just remember that skill is more than just dribbling; it is also receiving the ball and turning quickly with that first touch. These types of drills, playing, etc should be enough agility work.

    What is your height and weight? Besides core work, which can be done daily and with a medball, strength work will be last on the list of attributes. Try to pick exercises that hit a lot of muscles, keep your body in proper posture, and don't leave you with too much soreness.

    Best of luck, sounds like you have a good start on your plan.

  6. #6
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    Re: Soccer training question

    Yes, unfortunately the only time I will have access to a wall to do drills would be at school and it would be difficult for me to execute that on a regular basis, but maybe after lifting at school I might be able to. I might go in the mornings of my game days and do light work against the wall on Saturday and Sunday as the school will be a lot less busy and there won't be other students around most likely or a few only.

    I play a winger/forward position high up the pitch and am left footed. I like to score goals a lot so touch is very important for me. I'm 5 ft. 7 and weigh 140 pounds. If I get more stronger then there is lesser chance for me to get pushed off the ball but I also need to work on my body positioning and proprioception and awareness of the ball which I will get from my games. I have realized the best way to improve my core is from heavy lifting and that has helped me and the rest of the sprinting and soccer drills and games I do I think I already have enough core work and I do some individual exercises from time to time for core and glutes activation and a bit of lower back strengthening.
    I just want to be me. The best me that I can be.

  7. #7
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    Re: Soccer training question

    So do you guys think I need to adjust my volume for tempo or sprinting.. what I mean is how much distance should I cover using the ball and how much just without the ball. Like how do I work around the volume as I will have drills incorporated on both tempo and sprinting days should I count the dribbling drills and work I do with the ball as part of my volume for my overall tempo and sprint work? If I do then how much of it should be focused on with the ball and how much off the ball. I want to do the right amount of work that will benefit me but I don't want to overtrain as it took me nearly a year for me to overcome a terrible lower leg overuse injury that I consistently had and would not end.
    I just want to be me. The best me that I can be.

  8. #8
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    Re: Soccer training question

    btw can I train without eating anything in the morning and eat breakfast after? The reason I am asking is I am in a tight schedule and have school starting some days of the week at 8:30, but it varies from week to week. So I need to get up and train and then have time to shower and eat breakfast. If I eat something I suppose I need to wait 45 min to an hour (like if I eat a banana) for my food to digest and then go to train for an hour and come back and shower.

    The other option would be to wake up real early and eat and wait an hour or so before going out to train, but some days I might need to stay up late for school work, but I will go through it.

    What are your guys thoughts?
    I just want to be me. The best me that I can be.

  9. #9

    Re: Soccer training question

    When did you start playing soccer? What sort of athletic experience did you have up to this point? Compared to other guys your age that you've played with, do you consider yourself better, worse or about the same when it comes to foot skills with the ball? Answer these questions and it'll make it a little easier to advise you on how you should structure your workouts. You can make your life on the field easier by having good quality foot skills as was mentioned already. I would focus primarily on general fitness first so that you're able to last physically, and try to incorporate as much passing/receiving into your training as possible. You could be the fastest guy out there, but if every time you go to receive a ball it bangs off your shin into touch or you pass it to the opposition, it doesn't matter HOW fast you are!

    As for your question about food, everyone reacts differently. If you can eat a full breakfast and then go train without any adverse effects, go for it. That being said, you might have better luck eating a smaller light meal before and then follow it up with a more protein rich food after your workouts in the morning. I know I was never able to eat anything more than a small bowl of cereal or a bit of toast before a tough Saturday morning workout.

  10. #10
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    Re: Soccer training question

    Hello,

    I'd approach these questions based on your actual Soccer training & development age - how many years have you played? How much coaching have you received?

    As mentioned in a post above:- the fitness aspects should be supplementary to your technical development.

    I'd suggest seeking out a club/team where you will be coached and can learn and develop your skills and knowledge of the game....you can comfortably build up your sport specific fitness over the coming months but it takes many months/years to develop excellent technique, situational awareness and movement. (I've played/coached for over 20 years and would always promote skill development as soon as possible, for example:- you'll stand out if your the quickest player on the team but will look foolish if you cannot pass a ball 10yds, whereas a solid technical player can dictate a game with only the basic levels of conditioning).

    Once you have developed your skill and integrated into a team you can work on maximising specific ares of your game, such as speed, agility etc.


    However, if you are stuck and cannot get coaching/join a team - i would suggest you determine what position you want to play. Then read up on coaching/drill manuals for that position, you can pick up some useful information and it'll help point you in the right direction. There is a wealth of fitness/conditioning training knowledge on this site from some great coaches, alot of this can be utilised when training soccer players.

    If you want some ideas of individual sessions integrating ball & fitness work feel free to message me and i'll try to help.

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