How to Train For Soccer During the Summer

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When it comes to middle or high school soccer, talent and game-breaking ability are very helpful, but the most important factors are conditioning and basic skills. During pre-season drills, coaches are impatient with any prospective player who doesn't come ready to play, in great shape, and demonstrating great ball handling. The following steps are critical for making the team and competing for a starting position.

Things You'll Need

  • Soccer shoes
  • Soccer ball
  • Soccer or athletic pants and shirt
  • Choose where you're going to work out for the summer. The athletic field at a nearby school is a good choice, especially if a soccer goal is set up there (which is unlikely unless it's a high school). Determine what schedule you are going to keep. Be realistic and certain you can spend 45 minutes to an hour once a day five or six times a week throughout the summer. Make sure you are not going where you will be interrupted by people you know or tempted with a pick-up game while completing your workout. Early in the morning after a light breakfast is a good example. If transportation is an issue, you need to plan and resolve this in advance. You cannot afford any dependencies that might delay or prevent you from your schedule.

  • Get up and get dressed for your workout. Never delay unless the weather is a problem or you are actually sick (no need to push yourself if you're suffering from an injury or summer cold). Follow a routine and get out the door with complete focus on what you are going to be doing for the next hour.

  • Either right before you leave your house or when you arrive at the field, spend at least 5-10 minutes stretching and as much as 15-20 minutes--depending on whether you have the extra time and if you're open to this kind of conditioning. Get a really good stretch before you do anything else. This stretching routine is actually the most important part of your workout. This alone does more to prepare you than you might imagine, and when combined with a rigorous workout, it prevents injuries and increases stamina.

  • Start with a jog around the track. Your goal is to work up to two miles without stopping at an 8-minute per mile pace. A little faster is fine and run a third mile if you feel like it. But make sure you run the two miles at a fast pace every time you work out.

  • After stretching and running, work on ball handling for 20-30 minutes. Practice dribbling, passing or any moves that you want to improve or learn. Run up and down the field as you practice, really concentrating on foot movements and ball contact.

  • Next practice shooting. Kick 100 shots from different distances and angles at different speeds. Chase down your own ball without hesitation when you overshoot.

  • After practicing ball handling and shooting, put the ball aside and start your windsprints. The objective is to run 10 goal-to-goal windsprints at top speed with as little rest between as possible. This is perhaps the most difficult and challenging step in this workout plan, requiring tremendous self-motivation, desire and focus.

  • Once you complete the windsprints, walk it off without dropping or resting. If you live close to the field, you can head for the house for your cool-down routine. If you're driving or riding a bike, spend a little time catching your breath and cooling down before leaving. A good plan is to walk once around the track. Now get out of there. You should not hang around wasting time. It's great if you have something planned to do next--maybe breakfast and a shower, going for a swim or going to your summer job. This workout is serious business, so you don't want to allow yourself to be distracted or to anchor yourself to any other leisurely activity at this location. Tomorrow will come soon enough.

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