Youth Soccer Conditioning Drills
While in general, the best training for soccer is soccer, specific conditioning activities can help enhance a players' physical skills. The more time a youth player spends in conditioning work, the more he or she will have the requisite strength to fend off challenge on the soccer pitch.
Movement in soccer requires speed, agility, acceleration, deceleration and multidirectional running. Shuttle runs as a conditioning tool require the use of five cones set 10 yards apart. Direct the player to run from cone one to two and then back to one as quickly as possible. This is repeated from one to three, one to four and one to five. For a variation, your kid can run backward or sideways.
Soccer requires a strong core and strong legs. To condition, these areas, place a ball or cone on the ground and have the player stand next to the ball. Instruct your kid to keep his/her feet and knees together while jumping over the ball to land on the opposite side. Quickly jump back to start position. The player should repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.
To increase power in a soccer player’s legs, have the players stand tall with their feet lined up underneath their hips. Direct the player to bend his/her knees into a squatting position, bring his/her arms behind his/her body, and immediately jump up and forward. As soon as your kid land, he/she should minimize contact with the ground and jump again. This can be completed across the width of the field.
Traditional pushups help to develop core and upper body strength. Your athlete should kneel on the ground with his/her hands underneath his/her shoulders. If your kid has the strength, instruct him/her to straighten his/her legs and press toes into the ground, otherwise, he/she should remain on his/her knees. On an inhale, your player bends his/her elbows, lowering his/her chest towards the ground. Using an exhale, the player straightens his/her arms returning to start position. This can be repeated based on your player's comfort level.
Circuit or interval training uses a combination of movement and strength exercises. Athlete alternate a speed drill with a strength drill at various increments of time, for example, two minutes of shuttle runs followed by two minutes of pushups. This can be repeated or followed by another grouping, such as pendulum swings and ball jumps.
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