Soccer is a game that is very demanding and requires a lot of training and conditioning. Not many sports are played on such a large field and lasts as long with few rest periods as soccer does. In a single match, the average soccer player covers about 5-8 miles, that consists of walking (frontward and backwards), jogging, sprinting and moving with the ball. This is why soccer players have excellent endurance. Endurance training and strength training are important parts of soccer training. It is not sufficient to exercise just 3 sets of 10 repetitions to build up strength in soccer. This is because soccer requires a balance of explosive power and muscle endurance and so players have to concentrate on converting their strength into the right power for soccer. The training program for soccer players constitutes the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, leg strength and functional agility.
The aerobic energy system is one where you engage in intense exercise for two minutes, it is also called stamina training. Training for this involves two or three steady cardio sessions within a workout, and for your best results outdoor running or running on the treadmill are strongly encouraged. With the anaerobic energy system, it is possible to stop and go during a game of soccer. Training for this involves one or two interval training sessions, which means you have to run as fast as possible for 30 to 60 seconds, to reach a period of light activity, where you jog, for a few minutes, maintaining 30-45 minute workouts. These bursts of sprinting need to be repeated 6-8 times. This training increases your capacity of handling lactic acid which reduces fatigue.
Agility training is also an important part of the exercise program for soccer players. Various exercises include bilateral drills, forward walks, high knees, unilateral drills, lateral push slide, X-Over, the lateral pull slide and the trail leg, all of these exercises are completed with a rope attached to a weight sled. All of these exercise should be done 8 to 12 times for two sets. Bilateral drills are done with a rope tied to each leg, where your bend over, get on your hands and knees to pull the sled on the ground behind you, much like a bear crawl. In the forward walk, each leg has to be snapped while walking. The high knee is similar to the forward walk; however you only have to raise a knee as moving forward. You have to walk laterally with a slow and controlled step in a lateral slide. In the unilateral drill, one leg is tied to the rope. The forward walk is like above, but only one leg is tied. In the lateral push slide, the sled is attached to the lead leg to be pushed over the other leg laterally. The same motion is done in the X-Over where you instead, cross over the lead leg. In the lateral pull slide, the rope has to be attached to the trail leg where a large step is made with the lead leg. The trail leg then has to be brought to the lead leg without crossing.
Strength training is the last part of the exercise program for playing better soccer. The traditional strength training exercises have to be done for a strong and powerful lower body. Each of the following exercises has to be done for six repetitions while focusing on as much weight as possible. The weight has to be passed through the range of motion as quickly as possible to develop both leg strength and power.
In the barbell squat, you have to stand with a barbell resting on the back of your shoulders. Then you have to slowly squat down with the knees in line with the toes. In the stiff-legged deadlight, you have to stand with feet shoulder width apart and then grasp either side of the barbell found on the floor with legs straight. Then you rise to a standing position and lower again. Holding dumbbells in your hands while taking a long step forward are called lunges. You then have to lunge down to rise up as fast as possible. In the hanging knee raise, you grasp an over head bar to lift yourself off of the ground wherein you raise your legs 90 degrees using your abdominal muscles.
Soccer is difficult to train for; as you have numerous goals to achieve. However, with the right training, it is possible to focus on an area at a time to make it less stressful on the body and reduce the chances of any injury. Take a week off to help the body recover and on following these points, you will be ready to take on your next soccer season.