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Thread: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

  1. #1
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    Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    This was sent to me as a private message, but every time I tried to send a reply, the system hung indefinitely. Therefore I'm posting the question and my answer.

    Hey Flash,

    I have read a couple of really old threads of you talking about soccer training and sprinting and stuff. I am an aspiring soccer player and was wondering if you could offer some advice. The first question I had was generally when playing soccer, even a pickup game, I hit several moments higher than 75% of my maximum speed so would doing sprint training the day before or after playing soccer be detrimental to my recovery and not allow me the best way to become fastest.

    I play pickup games on Sat and Sun, full rest on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday are my speed and strength days and on Wednesday and Friday I do tempo in the morning and skill work in the evening (trying to stay in >75% of my max speed zone). Do you think it is necessary to do tempo in that case or can I fully focus my energy on skill work? Or will that result in not developing good endurance for soccer as I am planning on playing in college.

    Also for my speed work I was thinking of doing 3 sessions of acceleration work then 1 session of focusing on flying sprints and accelerations in the beginning. I was thinking this would be a good idea as flying sprints would teach me to relax while in top speed, which is a good skill to have like being relaxed when I am at high speeds and have to receive the soccer ball or dribble first touch etc. and this also offers a nice plyometric and elasticity components to my training. So something like doing 80-100m of acceleration and the rest devoted to flying sprints. What do you say about that? And about my acceleration work, how quickly should I transition from 10m distances to fully doing 30m's? And when I do 30ms fully should I still do a couple in the beginning (say 2 10m's and 1 20m) to get in gear to do a full 30m sprint?

    I would greatly appreciate if you could offer me advice on this.

    Cheers
    Overall I'd say your outline sounds good. Regarding flying sprints, that's typically how you would accelerate on the field anyway. You're trotting along and then there's a quick acceleration burst. Soccer players usually are not accelerating from a dead stop most of the time. It's hard to give a specific recommendation on extending from 10 - 30m, but I would definitely keep some of the shorter stuff in while adding the longer accelerations. The timing of the progression should be determined by your season schedule if there is one. I would also recommend doing your speed work on grass most of the time if you're not already. I'm not sure if you use a track at all, but the grass will be easier on your legs. It took me a long time to learn that lesson.

    As far as tempo is concerned, a lot of your skill work could fall under the categorization of tempo. If you have an off season you could do more structured tempo work like a track athlete and then gradually replace the tempo volume with more skill work as the season approaches. During the season I would imagine most of your tempo conditioning would be provided and maintained by your technical work as well as the games themselves. Charlie mentioned on several occasions that Mark McKoy incorporated a lot of his hurdle training into his tempo workouts.

    Ange would also be a good source of advice as I know she's recently gotten involved in soccer coaching.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    I had have same issue with private message.

    My reply is what Flash said ;-)
    Continuing to learn is one thing in life that has to continue.

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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Another thought that just occurred to me is in addition to the flying sprints where you would do a single 20m max effort after a 20-30m buildup, you could also use alternating in-out drills such as Easy-Hard-Easy, Hard-Easy-Hard, using 10-20m segments. This more closely simulates the types of running patterns that occur in soccer. I think 10m segments would be more specific to soccer. You could start with 20m alternating segments in the off season and progress toward more specific 10m segments during the season. 10m segments are not only more specific but less fatiguing because you wouldn't be hitting as high speeds, and if you kept the total reps the same you would also be cutting the total volume in half. Just an idea to play with.

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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Hey guys thanks for the responses. My apologies I only realized today my inbox was full lol. I am in off season right now and when I get to college I will just be playing intramurals until spring season where I will get to come out to the college soccer team. This is what the coach recommended I do. So my off season should be quite long. From my experience I have felt doing skill work only does not really help my aerobic fitness so once I develop my aerobic fitness maybe just one session or just the skill sessions and matches would take care of it like Flash said. Soccer is a very skill oriented sport so I try to get in as much as skill work as I can while still trying to improve my physical components. It is pretty tricky but I'm getting better at it. The problem I have is I've been dealing with lower leg/shin problems for like more than 2 years now and I've gone through rehab and everything but once I start training structurally they start coming back to me so I have to really watch how much work I do. Some days I start getting tenderness in my shin early or they start feeling fatigued and overworked and super tired right after I get my blood moving and warmed up well and start training. Do you guys think I should focus on tempo to condition myself better and that way I can carry out my skill sessions in the evening more easily also? I've found some occasions where it got better and that was when I stuck to my routine and did hill work and just conditioned my lower legs well so I'm trying to do something similar again. Yes I always train on grass expect when I do soccer shooting and trapping wall drills against the wall for a little bit before my tempo and speed sessions.

    The concept of flying sprints make sense and I do the buildup. 10m distances is best to be used I think most of the time at least and it's more specific to the game like you said and it would also be easier on legs.

    What do you recommend for a speed routine then? I'm still not quite clear on that part and want to do what would be best for my sport and my development. Should I include both flying runs and acceleration work in all my sessions? Or do it like 3 focusing on acceleration and one on flying sprints over the span of 2 weeks. Acceleration is really important as I am an attacker and I get into a lot of 1v1's and that first step has to be really quick and explosive so I think dead stop accelerations will help me as well but most of the time I will be moving with some speed or jogging as I'm dribbling the ball or moving into space.

    I've heard it is important have progression in your sprint work so that you don't plateau but I'm not sure how much of that is true for me as a soccer player who's main focus in on short bursts of accelerations and trying to get to high speed quickly.
    Last edited by dreambig; 07-27-2013 at 09:36 PM.
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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Quote Originally Posted by dreambig View Post
    Hey guys thanks for the responses. My apologies I only realized today my inbox was full lol. I am in off season right now and when I get to college I will just be playing intramurals until spring season where I will get to come out to the college soccer team. This is what the coach recommended I do. So my off season should be quite long. From my experience I have felt doing skill work only does not really help my aerobic fitness so once I develop my aerobic fitness maybe just one session or just the skill sessions and matches would take care of it like Flash said. Soccer is a very skill oriented sport so I try to get in as much as skill work as I can while still trying to improve my physical components. It is pretty tricky but I'm getting better at it. The problem I have is I've been dealing with lower leg/shin problems for like more than 2 years now and I've gone through rehab and everything but once I start training structurally they start coming back to me so I have to really watch how much work I do. Some days I start getting tenderness in my shin early or they start feeling fatigued and overworked and super tired right after I get my blood moving and warmed up well and start training. Do you guys think I should focus on tempo to condition myself better and that way I can carry out my skill sessions in the evening more easily also? I've found some occasions where it got better and that was when I stuck to my routine and did hill work and just conditioned my lower legs well so I'm trying to do something similar again. Yes I always train on grass expect when I do soccer shooting and trapping wall drills against the wall for a little bit before my tempo and speed sessions.

    The concept of flying sprints make sense and I do the buildup. 10m distances is best to be used I think most of the time at least and it's more specific to the game like you said and it would also be easier on legs.

    What do you recommend for a speed routine then? I'm still not quite clear on that part and want to do what would be best for my sport and my development. Should I include both flying runs and acceleration work in all my sessions? Or do it like 3 focusing on acceleration and one on flying sprints over the span of 2 weeks. Acceleration is really important as I am an attacker and I get into a lot of 1v1's and that first step has to be really quick and explosive so I think dead stop accelerations will help me as well but most of the time I will be moving with some speed or jogging as I'm dribbling the ball or moving into space.

    I've heard it is important have progression in your sprint work so that you don't plateau but I'm not sure how much of that is true for me as a soccer player who's main focus in on short bursts of accelerations and trying to get to high speed quickly.
    Get the Edmonton download if you haven't already. Also, the Bike Tempo workout is invaluable. ESTI has a ton of experience preparing college aged soccer players. Once you have a solid understanding of Charlie's multi-sport principles, perhaps he can guide you a little in implementing them in a real-world way. The key is, you need to keep things SIMPLE- it sounds like you think too much.

    Watch the Edmonton download 15 times (I'm not at all joking here, it takes at least ten views to truly internalize what Charlie is saying on any given topic I find), come back, and ask more questions when you have internalized the principles.
    Last edited by T-Slow; 07-29-2013 at 12:57 AM.

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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Quote Originally Posted by T-Slow View Post
    Get the Edmonton download if you haven't already. Also, the Bike Tempo workout is invaluable. ESTI has a ton of experience preparing college aged soccer players. Once you have a solid understanding of Charlie's multi-sport principles, perhaps he can guide you a little in implementing them in a real-world way. The key is, you need to keep things SIMPLE- it sounds like you think too much.

    Watch the Edmonton download 15 times (I'm not at all joking here, it takes at least ten views to truly internalize what Charlie is saying on any given topic I find), come back, and ask more questions when you have internalized the principles.
    I already downloaded the Bike tempo before. I am tight on my pocket and saving for college so I won't be able to do that edmonton download but I'm not sure how much of that information would be valuable for a soccer player. What do you mean by keeping things simple? I am trying to keep it simple that's why I'm asking advice for what is best
    I just want to be me. The best me that I can be.

  7. #7

    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    I've noticed soccer players have a short step length, even the elite ones.

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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharmer View Post
    I've noticed soccer players have a short step length, even the elite ones.
    Yeah the shorter stride helps them change direction quickly and accelerate so it is beneficial to have this for this sport. Sharmer you have have any comments on the structure of my soccer training?
    I just want to be me. The best me that I can be.

  9. #9

    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Quote Originally Posted by dreambig View Post
    Yeah the shorter stride helps them change direction quickly and accelerate so it is beneficial to have this for this sport. Sharmer you have have any comments on the structure of my soccer training?
    Aerobic fitness is big component of soccer, if you’re playing 2-3 games a week, I probably wouldn’t do much more in terms of speed, but fartlek training could have some benefits. For instance run 200 jog 200 repeats.

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    Re: Question on Structuring Training for Soccer

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharmer View Post
    Aerobic fitness is big component of soccer, if you’re playing 2-3 games a week, I probably wouldn’t do much more in terms of speed, but fartlek training could have some benefits. For instance run 200 jog 200 repeats.
    The games are not like real games tho.. they are just pickup games in a small area (not even a real size soccer field) and I don't even sprint much cause it's crowded or not enough space. Lately I've been playing more intelligently trying to use more skill than my physical abilities. I've looked into Fartlek before but I feel like tempo work is sufficient for endurance. Can you comment on the speed sessions? Do you think I should combine acceleration work and flying sprints in one session or seperate them like I did giving each it's focus. Maybe I should do 1 acceleration and 1 flying sprint focused session per week as I progress?
    I just want to be me. The best me that I can be.

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