Soccer Fitness Drills

By: Munya Chinongoza

It's known as 'The Beautiful Game', and is the most popular game around the world. Enjoyed everywhere from playing fields to streets to high schools, soccer is a game everyone can enjoy. However, as fun as it is, to play it properly you need to be fit as well as skillful, and this is where dedicated soccer training comes into effect.

Yet even this needs to be done properly, in order to get the maximum benefit from your soccer training. After all, it's no good being the fittest player on the park if you have to come off with a pulled muscle because you didn't warm up properly beforehand. Therefore, making sure you have a set routine for your soccer fitness training is crucial to get the best results every time.

- Warm up. Just like any exercise, you need to make sure your body is completely warmed up before you start your soccer fitness training. This not only loosens up your limbs for the training ahead, but will stop you from injuring yourself. Warm ups can include light jogging, stretching, gentle bouncing on the spot, and even a quick mini-game of kicking the ball back and forth.

- Speed training. Any good soccer coach will tell you that speed is just as important a quality as overall skill. If you can run at defenders and pass them at will to get a cross into your strikers, that's an added weapon to your team's arsenal. Set up two cones 50 yards apart, and practice your sprinting between them and back again. This is excellent for a cardio workout, as well as building your leg muscles.

- Stamina training. Another key to any good player is the level of stamina they possess, and this is where dedicated soccer fitness training can help. After all, a game of soccer lasts a minimum 90 minutes, not including extra time if required, so ensuring you can last the pace is crucial. Jogging around the soccer pitch itself a few times will help build up your stamina as well as your overall fitness.

- Aerobic and cardio training. Although the phrase aerobic may bring to mind girls in leotards exercising to music in a hall, you would be surprised at how this can be adapted for soccer fitness training. You obviously don't need the leotards, but you can still use music to accompany a strong aerobic workout (it's a proven fact that loud music stimulates endorphins, which in turn give you extra energy). Do quick and intense circuit training exercises for the best effect.

- Five-a-side soccer. Perhaps not surprisingly, one of the best ways to benefit from soccer fitness training is to play the game itself, and this is even more so if you play indoor 5-a-side soccer. With a small play area and fast, intense games, this will give your whole body a superb workout, and increase your fitness and stamina levels immensely.

Whatever level of player you are, by taking your soccer fitness training drills seriously you'll become not only a better player, but a healthier one as well.

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