T Nation

Training for Soccer

Hi,

I have been gathering information from this site for a couple of years. I particularly like the articles that Dan John, TC, and Shugart have writen.

I have been lifting weights since the 7th grade (about 5.5/6 years), started wrestling in 8th, and just last June started an interest in the highland games. My high school wrestling team here in Palmer, Ak (the Colony High School Knights) went from one of the worst teams to one of the best by the time I was a Junior.

When I left that school Colony had won 2 state champions and look much tougher this year than last because they have a lot more freshman who won middle school state. As for my highland games experience, this year was my first year so I completly sucked ass. I took 5th out of 7 and the thing that saved me from taking last was that dispite my lack of experience, I did fairly well at the caber toss.

Well, aside from my love of guns, friends, and family that is pretty much me. My questions are in regards to soccer and the type of conditioning that comes with it. The reason why I ask is because my girl friend plays it and she seemed kinda winded. She only really trains once a day but I plan on changing that.

Now judging by the way that she plays and the fact that these are short, indoor fields that aren’t very large Im going to assume that its mostly anerobic and that she should be doing sprints, burpees, kettle bell swings, ect.

I plan on having me and her doing this on Tuesday:

Tabata sprint/burpees

In other words its 20secs of sprinting and 10secs of burpees.

I also plan on having a training session with her on Thursday. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

tl;dr


The first thought that came to my mind was Tabata front squats.

I was in Palmer in late April 06. My buddy lives there. We went camping in the Talkeetna’s. It snowed.

[quote]Loose Tool wrote:
The first thought that came to my mind was Tabata front squats.

I was in Palmer in late April 06. My buddy lives there. We went camping in the Talkeetna’s. It snowed.[/quote]

Yeah I thought about that (lowerbody strength training), But shes got some pretty damned strong legs. Granted she probably can’t squat more than her body weight, but she can kick the ball from one end of the court to the other and the indoor court is like half the size, if not more, of a normal field. And she doesn’t seem to get fatigued so much as winded and she seems intrested in increasing that part of her training.

Oh and btw, what else did you do in Talkeetna? Snowmachine (you might know it as snowmobile), hunt, or just see what its like camping in the winter?

There are better ways to measure leg strength than how far you can kick a ball…

[quote]gi2eg wrote:
There are better ways to measure leg strength than how far you can kick a ball…[/quote]

Unless you are a soccer player… and then most other kinds of leg strength can become rather moot.

as far as soccer goes, its just conditioning conditioning conditioning. especially on a short indoor field. there is no time for standing around and recovering. i suggest doing these things called hourglasses.
they are kinda hard to explain but basically you are gunna wanna jog the short distances, (the “top” and “bottom” of the hourglass), and sprint as hard as you can on the diagonals.

start in one corner of the soccer pitch and sprint to the opposite corner, jog the goal line until you get to another corner. sprint to the opposite. jog to starting position. repeat 6-10 times

other things that are good are your old fashioned line touches or suicides.

incorporating sprints and situps or pushups together are also a wonderful conditioning combo.

remember to do warm up jogging and stretching before any of this!

p.s. keep ball work out of conditioning. its detrimental to soccer conditioning. do that on a different day.

sources: 15 years of competitive league play.

stop calling it SOCCER!!! it’s FOOTBALL!!!

[quote]dsg wrote:
Loose Tool wrote:
The first thought that came to my mind was Tabata front squats.

I was in Palmer in late April 06. My buddy lives there. We went camping in the Talkeetna’s. It snowed.

Yeah I thought about that (lowerbody strength training), But shes got some pretty damned strong legs. Granted she probably can’t squat more than her body weight, but she can kick the ball from one end of the court to the other and the indoor court is like half the size, if not more, of a normal field. And she doesn’t seem to get fatigued so much as winded and she seems intrested in increasing that part of her training.

Oh and btw, what else did you do in Talkeetna? Snowmachine (you might know it as snowmobile), hunt, or just see what its like camping in the winter?
[/quote]

No snowmachine. Showshoeing in Hatcher Pass for three days. Then we went to Homer, camped on the beach and went halibut fishing.

Thanks for the replies, I was never really that knowledgeable about soccer. From what I gather from you guys its basically just anaerobic conditioning, and lots of it. Which is great because thats the kind of conditioning that I do. Thanks again!

running 200s or 400s will help a lot, aim for about 8 in 45 mins

[quote]dsg wrote:
Thanks for the replies, I was never really that knowledgeable about soccer. From what I gather from you guys its basically just anaerobic conditioning, and lots of it. Which is great because thats the kind of conditioning that I do. Thanks again![/quote]

yup you got it. being really well conditioned gives you a superior field advantage especially if you have two or three games to play in one day for a tournament.

Not a big deal, but whatever… I’ll add my two-cents.

I don’t completely agree with abcstorz on keeping ball work separate from conditioning (just as I don’t agree with keeping conditioning aspects out of ball work), unless, of course, you don’t have a trainer/partner and the proper facilities to run a few drills.

Some ball work should be almost always be incorporated into every session whenever possible – this is especially critical in-season – and can easily be incorporated into almost any kind of conditioning drill.

(However, if you, the OP, are going to be partaking directly in the conditioning with your girlfriend yourself, then you can largely forget what I have to suggest adding…)

Using the hour-glass drill, for example, you can incorporate a one-touch pass (back to a trainer lobbing the ball to the player arriving at a corner) before or after a sprint (you could keep girlfriend guessing by randomizing when and how you deliver the ball to her,

Whether it’s with a bounce, to her feet, knee-high, head-high, even telling her how many touches to use before passing back – 1 or 2); this won’t reduce the conditioning aspect (a neglible amount unless the lobber has no sense of timing/aim), and combines the all important aspects of skill, control and mental alertness during a fatigued state.

This is incredibly important because the first touch a player gets in indoor soccer (even moreso than in a full-sized game) is often the only clean touch they’ll get, and, assuming you’re able to pass it away cleanly, should almost always be followed by a sprint into clear space to receive a return or wall-pass when attacking.

Mindless running/sprinting just never happens in-game, so avoid training like it does.

Also, if you can’t deftly handle a ball after a series of all-out sprints, any steps you manage to get on the opposition will be easily negated with one single bobble or misstep. Just by introducing a one-touch aspect into any of the suggested exercises (burpee headers!) can make things a whole lot more interesting, difficult and sport relevant.

But, yeah, the key concept is clear: don’t waste any time dribbling or doing steady-state cardio for soccer, unless it’s part of your warm up jog around a field

(in which case, take a ball with you, keep it out far ahead of you so it doesn’t reduce your speed, but enough that it gets the timing of your run onto the ball and your touch flowing naturally. And if you can’t handle a ball during a jog… uh, well…). With indoor soccer, you need to be explosive almost all of the time.

That being said, mental conditioning (staying alert, coordinated and using/honing skills in a fatigued state) is almost as important as straight physical conditioning when you’re already in-season.

Save the grunt work only stuff for out of season; if you’re starting mid-season, you’re too late–unless you’re playing in non-competitive league, you should be saving your max effort for game day, not for conditioning earlier in the week!

Good luck!