Soccer Shot

The strength & conditioning program for soccer is highly specialized to meet the specific needs that are required for all soccer athletes to reach their full potential. Special attention is given to improving all aspects of speed (Forward Speed, Multi-Directional Speed & Agility, Decision Making Speed, Reaction Speed, Perceptual Speed, and Speed Endurance), as they relate to the game of soccer. The average sprint in soccer is 12 yards with most sprints actually being of shorter distance. There is hardly enough time and space dictated by game conditions to allow the soccer athlete to reach top speed during a game. Therefore, the development of acceleration is crucial for all soccer players when it comes to improving soccer performance. Acceleration is defined by how much time it takes to reach top speed. A program to improve your acceleration will focus on correct running posture, arm action, and leg action. Specific drills will be utilized to help facilitate the development of these components of acceleration. Advanced Acceleration/Speed training techniques utilizing resistance belts, running parachutes, and running sleds will be used as one advances through his/her conditioning program. Development of multi-directional speed and agility is also vital, as soccer is a sport which requires constant directional changes, both with and without the ball. Acquiring decision making speed allows you to make plays with the ball or move to a space, while you are assessing game situations with minimal loss of speed. The development of reaction speed improves your ability to react to a specific action made by a teammate or opponent. The development of perceptual speed helps improve one’s ability for using the senses to recognize when to apply speed during game situations. It is also important to maintain your speed, while maintaining the skill of obstacle avoidance. This includes avoiding tackles and players lying on the ground. Although, soccer is a high speed skill game requiring quick starts and quick stops, there is constant movement during the game which leads to fatigue. Therefore, it is also important to have speed endurance, allowing the player to utilize speed in the later stages of the game. Drills focusing on your footwork will improve your quickness on and off the ball. Training will also focus on balance to improve your ability to regulate shifts in your bodies center of gravity while maintaining control. Because soccer is a sport, which requires power and explosiveness, your program will also consist of plyometric training to help develop these components as they relate to soccer. The resistance (weight) training component of your program is specific to meet the demands of soccer. Most of the physical strength demands of soccer require using the lower body, whether it involves making a powerful kick or the strength needed to improve the previously mentioned speed components. Your resistance training will focus on those needs by utilizing complex multi-joint/multi-plane movements that best transfer from the weight room out onto the pitch for functional strength. However, as for all athletes, it is vital to develop a strong core (low back, abdominals, & obliques). Soccer also requires you to have a strong upper body for skills such as throw-ins or jousting with opposing players to establish a position during a play. The other benefit of your resistance training program is injury prevention. Most serious soccer players are involved with the sport year round as members of club teams, and therefore are more vulnerable to developing injuries due to the repetitive stress of constant play. Essential knee/ankle stabilization drills to help reduce the risk of knee and ankle injuries will also be emphasized in your program. These balance drills are utilized to help improve proprioception. Proprioception is a neurologic process. It is the awareness of body segment positions and orientations. Balance drills are used to improve proprioception by training the brain to recognize the segment position of the body at all times. Balance drills to improve proprioception are utilized for athletes, who are rehabilitating knee/ankle injuries. However, these drills can also be utilized by healthy athletes to decrease the risk of future injuries, by training proprioception pathways more effectively during athletic competition. Peripheral and central nervous system receptors, including mechanoreceptors within muscles, tendons, and ligaments need to be activated to help prevent knee/ankle injuries. Balance drills assist in making this activation happen faster and more effectively, which will reduce the time between neural stimuli and muscular response. So while these balance drills will help improve athletic performance, utilizing these drills on a frequent basis might also decrease the risk of knee/ankle injuries. You will learn to utilize proper warm-up and stretching for the various components of your training session (e.g. specific warm-up and stretching for a training session focusing on multi-directional speed & agility). All individual and 2/3-athlete programs are 30-40 sessions in length minimum, but you will be educated on how to utilize a proper year round strength & conditioning program for the off-season and in-season. To participate in an individual or 2/3-athlete strength & conditioning program, you must at least be in 7th grade, but will be eligible to start a program during the summer prior to entering 7th grade. Michael also offers group sports conditioning programs for interested club and school teams through an alliance with Scott Singer(First Team Fitness). These group programs focus on sports appropriate strength, ACL injury prevention/knee stabilization, acceleration, multi-directional speed, agility, footwork, balance, and plyometrics. Group programs are held at the First Team Fitness facility which also has its own turf field for speed, agility, footwork, and plyometric drills.

See the Training Locations link for more information on this facility used for the group programs. Soccer clubs can also inquire with Michael Rose about setting up these group conditioning programs for specific age teams (e.g. u14, or a few participants from different age groups that are close together, e.g. u12-u14) with their clubs. Club teams can contact Michael Rose for signup information, group program fees, discuss available days/times, and to obtain required forms to be completed by each participant for all group conditioning sessions. No matter what skill level you are at as a soccer player, the only way to reach your maximal playing ability is to include a proper strength & conditioning program as part of your overall soccer training program. Contact Michael Rose to set up an initial consultation for individual or 2/3-athlete programs.