Improve Physical Fitness And Conditioning In Soccer Players

FRISCO, TX - JUNE 5: David Ferreira #10 of FC Dallas dribbles the ball against Brandon McDonald #14 of the San Jose Earthquake at Pizza Hut Park on June 5, 2010 in Frisco, Texas. FC Dallas won 2-0. (Photo by Layne Murdoch/Getty Images)

"The dictionary is on the only place you will find Success come before Work"
- Vince Lombardi

First I should address an important concept. Becoming physically fit is as much a mental task as it is a physical one. Are you going to be mentally strong enough to get up early in the morning and go for a run? Are you going to be motivated enough to hit the weights and work on developing your strength? Are you going to have the disciple to spend the time needed to improve your flexibility? If you're serious about becoming a Soccer star, then you should have no shortage of motivation.
I know some of you may dread the thought of going to the gym, or running on your own time, but if you really want to achieve your dreams, it's something you're going to have to get used to. Give it a chance. Once you get into a consistent physical conditioning routine, working out becomes fun. Challenging yourself becomes like a drug (a good one), you'll become addicted. Oh yes kids, I forgot to mention: stay in school, don't do drugs! It's not good for your Soccer career. But seriously, once you get over that initial hump, physical conditioning can be a lot of fun, a stress reliever, it does wonders for your self confidence, and not to mention it is a crucial ingredient in achieving your full potential as a Soccer player.
Contrary to popular belief, fitness is more than just running endless laps and doing sprints. There are several components of being physically fit. For the purpose of this book I have separated Physical Soccer player development into four categories:
o Strength & Power
o Flexibility
o Endurance
o Speed

Below are a set of examples of how you may improve each area of your Physical fitness. Realize that these are only examples; you can implement them into your training regime or come up with your own. The choice is yours.
Strength & Power.

If you're not already on a Weight training program, you need to get on one. Be sure to focus on "functional training" rather than "body building"; looking good is one thing but performing well on the field is a whole different topic. Use full body movement exercises like, squats, dead lifts, bench presses, and clean & jerks.
If you're below the age of 14, can't afford a gym membership, or don't have access to a gym, you should focus on body weight exercises. Different variations of Pushups, Squats & Lunges, Chinups & Pullups, and different core exercise, can be used to improve your physical strength and power.
Whatever the case start today, even if you're doing 20 pushups, 20 situps, and 20 squats, every other day you need to start now. I would suggest at least a day of rest between training the same body parts.

Realistically you should stretch every day. Stretching does wonders for your general health & fitness as well as improves on field performance. Take 15 minutes out of your busy day and stretch the major parts of your body. Hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds and focus on breathing. The stretch should be slightly uncomfortable but not unbearable.

The game is 90 minutes long. Can you play at a top level for that long? The best way to improve your endurance is by running. You can run every day, if you're really committed. You should start with at least 3 times a week. All it takes is 15 minutes. Over time you can increase the length of your runs and the speed at which you run.

To increase your speed you will have to focus on sprint training. Do a combination of Hill Sprints, and flat ground sprints (30, 50, and 100 yard variations). I would recommend at least twice a week. Focus on quick starting accelerations and once you get to top speed, hold it. Aim to go a little faster every time!
Don't make the mistake of neglecting any aspect of your physical fitness.

All of these areas work together. Improving one area will in turn improve others. Improving all areas of your physical fitness is going to take commitment, dedication, and hard work, but I know you can do it. Now get off the couch and put in some work! Actually, read the rest of this book first, then you can get to it.

By: Dylan Tooby

Complete Guide To Soccer Conditioning

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