Having multiple skills is essential for a soccer player. But physical fitness is much more crucial if you want to excel in the game and dominate the field. Unless you’re fit, it becomes practically impossible to outrun your opponents and utilize the techniques you have to your advantage. Sorry to say this, but no matter how good your players are at ball control, dribbling, shooting, and all of that, they won’t add much value to the team if they are unfit.
Balancing the two is vital. That’s why it’s essential for coaches and trainers to add conditioning drills for soccer to other workout activities.
Most people tend to confuse conditioning with strength building. While strength training is exercising to build your physical strength, conditioning increases your cardiovascular system’s performance. Soccer fitness drills train and strengthen your heart and other components of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Fatiguing during the game is natural, and it happens to both amateurs and pros. But if your players have to catch their breath every couple of seconds, it will be tough for them to play on a competitive level. Soccer conditioning workouts help in building the high level of fitness that the game requires. This boosts stamina, which helps develop psychological endurance and confidence.
Bear in mind that the players won’t always have the ball in an actual match. Therefore, to determine which conditioning drills for soccer to add to your workout routine, you want to mix exercises that involve the ball and soccer cardio drills without the ball.
Pain shuttles, also known as yo-yo’s or doggies, are among the most popular soccer running drills for boosting endurance. This is a constant go-and-stop type of exercise that mimics the short races involved in soccer. Besides endurance, these soccer practice drills also help develop speed, acceleration, deceleration, and agility. You can also add a ball to the exercise, and this will increase the player’s ball control at speed too.
You can vary this exercise by asking the players to backpedal to cone 1 and sprinting while dribbling the ball. Encourage them to run at top speed for quick results.
The next exercise is worth adding to your soccer fitness training drills with the ball for several reasons. This is a type of interval run, just like the drill above, only that it involves touching the ball for some moment and getting some fitness off the ball the other second.
This drill sharpens your team's ability to run with the ball and change direction, speed, and pace almost instantly. Even good defenders have trouble dealing with a player who is capable of doing this. This means that your team will have more scoring opportunities at better positions.
As with other running drills for soccer, your team needs to give this workout 100% of their speed, energy, and focus. Ask them to accelerate fast when they touch the ball and be quick when going around the cones to get bigger gains. Check our other post on soccer drills with cones for more workouts of this kind.
Step jumps are good conditioning drills for soccer if you want to improve your team's overall performance. These exercises are comparably easier to perform than other activities in this list. Unfortunately, similar to other forms of jump training, they are also among the most misapplied. Misapplication could lead to injuries or failure to achieve the targeted results.
Conversely, when done correctly, step jumps will increase the players' ability to jump vertically and laterally. This movement is a huge part of playing soccer and will boost stability, balance, strength, and coordination.
Of most importance, ensure that the players have proper warm-up before participating in this activity. Another great idea is to perform it either in the middle or towards the end of the training session.
Throughout the 90 minutes of the match, players are either sprinting (with or without the ball) or jogging. This alone explains why sprint soccer conditioning drills are a must-have in your exercises. The benefits of sprinting drills in soccer are endless. As cardiovascular exercises, they improve your players' ability to utilize oxygen to sustain a particular activity for a given period. When done regularly, these are good fitness drills for soccer that will boost the players’ stamina.
You can make this drill exciting by pairing the players. Importantly, motivate the players to run at full gear when sprinting. Also, they should go around the flags as opposed to cutting corners.
The 3v3 workout activity is among other good fitness drills for soccer that condition players while training them to tackle their opponents. In this game, players are divided into 2 small teams of 3 players each. Each player is matched up with another player from the other team. Players can only tackle the opposing players that they have been assigned to.
Besides fitness, the other purpose of these soccer conditioning drills is to challenge the players to create a strong defense against their opponents throughout the game. Players also get a chance to employ various tricks and skills, including and direction and speed change, to outplay the other player.
These are team passing drills for soccer that require the teams to constantly move, pass the ball amongst the players, dribble to retain possession and try to score. These soccer team conditioning drills also need any team that loses control of the ball to sprint and touch the goal line before attempting to win the ball back.
As you can imagine, this is a high-intensity drill that trains the players to recover quickly and attack the offense team before it has a better chance at the goal. The complexity of the game also motivates communication between team players and teamwork when making decisions.
Blazepod complements your team's soccer conditioning drills with its reaction training system. This kit comprises Bluetooth-enabled pods with bright RGB LED at the top and the Blazepod App. The pods are smash-proof and waterproof and come with suction cups and straps. This allows you to set them up anywhere and create different workout scenarios that let your players push themselves to the limit. Learn why most athletic trainers, coaches, and players are great fans of the Blazepod and how you can use it in your exercises here.