We work with a lot of soccer players at Evolution.
We are very fortunate that soccer is a sport that is taken very seriously around us. Most of the girls and boys that we train are/were in the mix for a state title.
It is nice when the athletes compete at a high level and take their training seriously because they want to be successful.
Now that the season is over or winding down we can get looking to the offseason. Kind of.
Soccer doesn’t really have an offseason anymore. Most athletes compete year round in some capacity. This can get tough from a programming standpoint.
One season just finished and they will be back into the spring season in about 3 months. Luckily, 3-4 months is a decent amount of time to get a lot of good work done.
There are some things that soccer players should focus on during this offseason time.
1. Get as Strong as Possible
Strength training is the best way to build durability. Soccer seasons are long and the injury rate is insane. Staying healthy is a must.
Strength work should take priority in this short time period. The program should be designed to improve upper, lower, and core strength. Special attention needs to be played to the glutes and hamstrings. Typically these areas end up being pretty weak. They are also responsible for preventing a lot of lower body injuries.
2. Work on Running Technique
Now is a good time to start building good habits again. Working on good speed and agility technique will obviously help you get faster and quicker.
The underrated aspect of good technique is how it affects conditioning. Efficient running technique means that you will use less energy when running. You can then use this energy to run longer or faster.
A lot of times, athletes are “out of shape.” Too often the athlete is really just shooting themselves in the foot with poor technique.
Many atheltes are fast in a pre programmed, rehearsed speed drill. They are not very good when they have to break that mold and react to something.
Soccer is all reaction. It is simply not good enough to not be able to make decisions on the fly.
Take norma speed drills and get a partner to make you react to different directions, cones, or movements.
4. Beware of Over Conditioning
This can be a potentially dangerous time of year for certain athletes. Many will feel as though they are out of shape at this point. I am sure their conditioning is probably not as good as it was in the preseason for those that trained in the summer. It is just too hard to maintain without training. And no games and practices are not training.
A huge mistake would be to go all out trying to get it back as quickly as possible. This results in too much being done too quickly. Some athletes will try to run miles, play games, practice, and train all at the same time. It is too much.
Focus your efforts on one thing and go all in on that a few times a week. That will allow you to get back in shape with a lower injury risk.
If you are looking for some speed tips, I have put together a download of 10 of them. Click below to get yours.