Why Your Off-Season Training Could Be Hurting You.
If you’re constantly getting hurt, it’s not your fault…
Most off-season soccer training makes one or both of these mistakes.
1. All conditioning is centered around endurance training.
2. There is little to no strength training.
Soccer is a sport that requires multiple physical abilities.
- Skill: A game of skill, but top players only have the ball at their feet for 1-3 mins per game
- Speed: Sprint at speeds of 28-32 kmph, but able to cover 9-11 km per game
- Strength: Tackle up to 30 times per game
- Power: Jump/Head the ball between 1-12 times per game
- Agility: Change direction every 15 seconds – at minimum
You don’t need a degree in Exercise and Sport Science to see endless endurance training won’t make you a dominant soccer player.
I get it, I fell into the same trap.
I had plenty of coaches tell me to “get more fit” and their only advice was to “just go run more”.
But that didn’t get me fit.
It got me hurt. Over, and over, and over again.
3 surgeries in 3 years.
On top of that. The strength training I was given wasn’t specific to me. Or to soccer.
Does any of this sound familiar?…
- Inappropriate training loads with “the big 3” (squat, bench, and deadlift)?
- No mention of connective tissue health to support soccer’s dynamic movement patterns?
- Hours and hours spent doing skills work?
- Under-eating? Hard and long training with little to no recovery strategy?
This is why you are constantly hurt.
It isn’t your fault, the fact of the matter is most coaches these days are still fairly old school, but there is a better method of training.
I mean, if those methods were helping you achieve your goals – you wouldn’t be here in the first place.
So what are the training needs for a soccer player?
- Max Speed. Which includes appropriately, long rest periods
- Endurance. Which include varying speed changes over an accumulated distance covered.
- Strength. Weight training which increases your power output as well as maintains healthy muscular range of motion and protects your joints through stronger connective tissue (ligaments and tendons).
- Technical/Position Specific. Strength training should maximize your ability to train, not exhaust you for your specific soccer training.
- Games or Small Sided Pick Up: Off-Season training should include fun, but competitive, minimally structured play. This is where creativity, confidence, fun, and new skill is born.
So What Would It Feel Like Being Fit For Preseason?
Approaching the beep test as “what will I get?”
Instead of “just get to level X?”
Can you imagine the freedom you’d feel?
The confidence you’d have going into every practice and game?
Do you feel the lightness of it?
Instead, you worry if you’ve trained hard enough. Tell yourself to stick with the middle of the pack. Just blend in.
Instead of focusing on standing out as a top player, you worry about not standing out as a bottom player or worse, getting hurt.
You’ve worked hard all summer long though. Why is it like this, again?
I’ve been in your shoes. It’s not your fault.
You’ve put in the work. You’ve just been led down the wrong path. Running miles on end won’t make you a better soccer player.
Running distance only gets you one of those. It allows you to blend in with the middle of the pack.
Aren’t you tired of that though?
When is it time for you to stand out as the dominant All-star?
Now, now is the time!
No more concerns on fitness day.
No more getting subbed out 20 mins in.
No more nagging injuries throughout your season.
You may be thinking this sounds awesome, but who are you to tell me how to train?
Fair question, my name is Maria Lubrano and I experienced each of these things (multiple times) during my career at UNC Chapel Hill. Injury also ended my professional playing career in Italy and my trial time with the NC Courage.
Since hanging up my cleats I’ve spent years crafting the art of performance training for speed, endurance, strength, and injury resilience.
That’s why I’ve created Get-Soccer-Fit. A 10-week step-by-step strength and conditioning off-season program to keep you healthy and dominating your season!
You don’t have many more seasons. Will you let this one go to waste as well?
Sign up for Get Soccer Fit Below…