Blog

Fitness Programs for Soccer Players

Fitness a single factor, which can determine the gap between winning and losing soccer matches. A team that is physically fit can play the matches with minimum risks of injuries. The players can communicate better with each other and score winning goals. Tackling the opponents and passing the ball at critical times become simple procedures. I have been coaching my young and energetic teams for the past several years and I do understand the importance of fitness in every aspect of sports life.

Nervous Fitness

I still remember the earliest days of my own training, when I used to be nervous before every session. The intensity used to be so high, that my hands and legs often shook while taking control of the soccer ball. I could hardly focus on the goal because of physical weakness. My coach always observed me closely.

Foods and Workouts

One large cup of guava juice early in the morning followed by four eggs and a veggie salad was my breakfast. I had to have them before starting my workouts. My coach insisted that I go swimming for about an hour. Then I had to work on dumbbells and speed jump rope. Then he put me onto soccer training session until late afternoon. Fish and lean meat was the standard formula for lunch.

Post lunch training was full of drills for dribbling, attack, ball control, shooting, and passing. Every evening we had team meeting sessions. The coach gave suggestions for correcting our mistakes and improvising on our strengths.

Field workouts were the most important aspects of our training. I often started at one end of the field and sprint to the opposite end. In the beginning, my coach was liberal with the timing. He became strict with it after a few weeks. At one point, I was asked to cover the field in 15 seconds and return. That meant I had to come back to the starting point within 30 seconds. That was tough.

Whole grain bread, chicken breast, and broccoli were the standard recipe for supper. Our coach often gave us the freedom to eat lean meat, dinner rolls, and spaghetti. Alcohol and smoking were completely banned for the entire training period. Of course, I had no problem with the ban on smoking, because I never did that. However, life without beer often made me sick. I soon found out many of my team members had the same problem. But we got our mind and body conditioned within a few weeks of training.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation were an integral part of our fitness training. Mindful breathing, emotional balancing, Yoga postures, and meditation gave me the patience and persistence that I always lacked. I got the opportunity to improve my focus and concentration during the training. My nervousness started reducing and ultimately I was able to go through my training without any anxiety and stress.

Passing the Gift

Once I got over nervousness, physical fitness and agility came naturally to me. Today, I am grateful to my coach for enabling to pass on the gifts to my trainees. I shall share more of my experiences with you in my next articles.

What Gets To Inspire Soccer Players

Soccer is very much a contact sport and even with the emergence of the all-female teams; it very much remains an all-male game.  Over the years, there have been some truly inspirational plays done on the field and during different tournaments too. Thus, it is only natural that folks get to try to understand what inspires players and teams as a whole. At the end of the day, the players are but human flesh and blood who have weaknesses like anyone else and the strengths too.

After having analyzed many a game and playing style, it has emerged that there is a set pattern to how the game is played and an effort is being made to better understand the mentality of the soccer player on the fields and off it as well.

 

Inspirational figures

When someone who has at least heard of the game of soccer is told to mention an all-time player, the first answer that they get is Pele.  Such was the domination that the player had over the game in the old days and often treated as the golden days of soccer. Many of the contemporary players tend to look up to the star to condition themselves and to better play the game of soccer on the field as well.

There are a lot of instances when a non-soccer player can turn to be an inspiration to the players. The instances are many.  In fact, the many come back players have been inspired by some of the true greats in the fields of politics and public life.

 

The role of corporate bodies

Most of the soccer teams of the present generation are but sponsored or actively promoted by some corporate body or the other. These companies, in turn, get to build strong brands around their soccer teams most of the time as well. Thus it is a win-win position both for the corporate bodies and the teams that they do sponsor on the field.

It is a fact that unless the corporate bodies hadn’t involved themselves so actively in sports and more specifically in soccer, the progress of the game would not have come till the space it has now.

 

The use of cult figures

Cult figures are always a top draw when it comes to any manner of sports.  One of the main events in soccer games is the creation of cult figures and this tends to apply to all levels of the games as such.  The corporates too are also involved in the creation of cult figures as well as has been seen in the past. There is a certain draw power for the cult figures when a big game comes to pass or is played out on the field.

 

Conclusion

Getting to be an inspiration for a whole lot of sports followers, like Pele is not so simple. But the ordinary folks have come to influence the game and the players in some form or the other and with good effect too.  There are the corporate bodies that tend to bring in the money as well as the much-needed inspiration as well.

Youth Soccer Team Spirit

Team spirit is a great asset of the youth soccer team. I have experienced the practical results during my high school and college day sporting days. Ranking among the high school teams was a matter of great prestige for us. So, our coach always insisted on team unity right from the days of training days. It helped in planning the positioning of the defenders, midfielders, forwards, and the others according to a specific strategy.

Our coach always insisted on frequent ball passing between the players to keep the opponents in a state of disarray. None of the players was in possession of the ball for more than one minute. We had planned an accurate strategy much before the start of the match. The techniques worked so well that, we ended up with the maximum goals in almost every match.

American Soccer Principles

Sacrifice

I had the word “sacrifice” many times during the initial days of training. But it made no sense to me until I started team training. Our coach always said that we have to keep our personal interest way behind the team. For example, all of us had the desire to score the maximum number of goals in each match. We often competed with each other in doing it. Many times it proved to be a setback for our team during important matches.

Our coach must have observed the trend among us for a long time. One fine day, he called for a training session in which our team was split into two halves. He asked us to compete with each other. There, he started guiding us on how to pass the ball to the others in the line until it reached the final player nearer to the opponent’s goal.

It made all of us irritated because we could not get the opportunities to score as frequently as before. Our coach seemed to sense our thoughts. He started to replace the position of each player after every 2 two or three training sessions. So, we realized that every player gets many chances to score goals. So, our confidence levels started soaring with each match.

Coordination

Our coach emphasized much on the need for perfect coordination. He said the players should be like the eyes, hands, legs, and the mind of a professional soccer player. The reflexive action from each player from the defensive to the offensive positions should work like one body. He tried hard to induce that discipline in each player and the team as a whole.

Practice

Practice can condition the entire team into playing like an individual player. We practiced the principle so hard that we could get it within a month or so. Winning became entertainment and fun after we started implementing the methods.

Our opponents often got surprises and shocks from our on-field performances. They could not understand how sharply and quickly we reacted to any of their changes in the playing strategies. Even I have wondered how our thoughts and actions could synchronize with each other so well and sharply.

Conclusion

The soccer coach can play an important role in molding the team members into a solid structure, which can soon become a winning machine.

Training for the Youth Soccer Sport

Team spirit plays a vital role in motivating the players to perform. Every individual player seeks appreciation for performing well. He also needs someone to solace him when his performance is below the team expectations.

The psychological condition of the players always needs to be at the highest levels. A coach can be the motivating and elevating factor, as a catalyst in a chemical process. I have experienced the highs and lows of playing in youth soccer. So, let me begin with how to motivate the players during training sessions.

Inspiration as Energizing Factor

A newbie in the training program starts with plenty of enthusiasm and energy. He may lose the steam on the midway if he fails to get inspiration from the coach. So, the only way is to track his performance and counsel him regularly. The coach need not be always behind the player while training. He can assign the task of mentoring to a senior player.

The interaction between the senior and junior players could be more personal and open. The senior can suggest the various playing rules, methods, and tricks to the junior using practical sessions. After spending about a week’s time with the seniors, the newbie can interact with the coach.

He can also spend more time with his team on the field. The team members can challenge him to perform to his best levels. In the beginning, he may hesitate to play freely. However, he can come out of his shell and start playing to his true potential very soon.

Youth Soccer Training

Physical fitness is a critical factor for flexibility, agility, speed, and accuracy. The players can stay free from injuries and neuromuscular problems when their fitness levels are high. So, the coach needs to train them on walking, jogging, sprint running, and marathon racing. The exercises enhance cardiovascular and muscular strength at peak levels.

According to youth soccer coaches, swimming and cycling can extend the endurance and flexibility limits of the soccer players’ muscles and limbs. They can learn the art of ball and opponent tackling much faster and better.

I have seen youth soccer players indulging in weight training to improve their muscles. It is one way of developing strength and stability. But you should be aware of the type of weight training.  Your muscles should be strong and lean. But they don’t need to be like a bodybuilder. So, you have to focus on the duration and intensity of training.

Lightweight training with dumbbells, barbells, and bodyweight will be sufficient to keep your muscles strong and agile.

Youth Soccer Diet Plan

My suggestion is to start your day with one liter of pure mineral water. Eat plenty of veggies for breakfast with brown bread. You may also add salmon and catfish to the salad. They give you plenty of energy and proteins.

Choose lean meat, poultry, and pork for your lunch and supper. Use coconut oil or almond oil for frying. Consume plenty of water and veggie juices during the day.

Conclusion

What I have shared with you is a brief overview of the youth soccer training and diet plans. Keep reading my blogs to learn more.