Youth Soccer Coaching: Easy Workout Techniques
As a soccer coach, your main aim is to see your team winning and taking home as many trophies as possible. Young players have a lot of new techniques to learn, coupled with continuous practice, and you can lead them to fame and victory in the upcoming games.
Creating a competent and fierce soccer team doesn't require complex drills. However, for beginners, you can apply the following easy workout techniques to improve the players' strength, flexibility, speed, shooting ability, and other essential skills.
Working out around the cone is recommended to improve the player's ball control. Set the cones in a straight line or circle, then encourage the players to dribble in and out of the spaces.
Ensure the players keep the ball close to their feet throughout the cycle to increase their ball possession and precision. Encourage them to start slowly and keep improving their speed until they adapt to the movements. This workout technique is also crucial for fitness.
A soccer player covers up to six miles when playing a 90-minute game. Speed is vital to keep up with the opponents and other team players while controlling the ball towards the goal.
The running lines work out technique trains the players to maintain enough speed, covering short or long distances within the field. For this exercise, call your players into a straight line and ask them to run laps or cover the distance from one end of the field to the other. You can incorporate fun activities like kicking randomly stationed balls between the runs to keep the players engaged.
This technique helps the players practice how to pass the ball in different parts of the field. You can pair them and ask players to pass the ball to their partners in turns. Encourage them to try different angles as you increase the distance between the players and monitor how each kicks or receives the ball.
Ball-passing exercises are easy but vital skills as you can gauge the player's ability to shoot accurately and control the ball when it's kicked. Advise the players to kick from the inner or front of their feet to increase precision.
Core Workout and Lower Body Lifting
Soccer requires a lot of contact between players, and having a strong lower body may not be optional. In addition, players' legs must be strong enough to bear the impact of running after the ball, blocking defenders, striking, and shooting the ball accurately.
The players also need a strong core for balance, support, and agility when kicking the ball. The simple workout techniques designed to strengthen the lower body and core include squats, weight lifting, step-ups, and lunges. These techniques give your soccer team players strong torsos, back, and muscles to keep up with the opponents' pace and control the ball.
Warm-up stretches come in handy before the actual practice and the game. The players must keep their muscles active to avoid fatigue and lactic acid build-up when the muscles stretch beyond their ability.
You can initiate simple stretches like standing quad stretches where the players stand straight and bend one leg at the knee joint until the heel touches the buttock. Seated inner thigh and groin stretch is also effective in muscle training and warming up. The players can work out this stretch by;
- Sitting on the ground with their legs stretched out at the front.
- Bending the right and left legs at the knees and pulling them towards the waist until the left and right feet touch without lifting from the surface.
- Resting the elbows on each inner thigh and maintaining a straight back for up to one minute before resuming the first step and starting the process.
Interval training is a workout technique where players combine intense and simple activities at various stages. As a coach, you can divide interval training sessions into simple and challenging drills, escalating the impact at each level.
In the first level, let your players run short distances slowly before increasing the speed and breaking into a sprint. Through these alternations, your players learn to be resilient, apply different speeds when needed and train their bodies to tackle various hurdles in the field.
Playing Small-sided Games
Before setting out for the real soccer game of 11 players on each side, you can help your team practice the skills you taught them by playing a small-sided game. Then, depending on the players' strengths and weak points, you can place them in a balanced team of six or less and create two teams that'll play for a shorter period than the actual game.
After monitoring the small-sided game, you'll understand each player's unique talents and ability to shoot, drop off, tackle, control the ball and handle the pressure of the game. A smaller team is easier to guide through communication and awareness. Keep alternating the players in the group and mixing them up to gauge their ability to work together or apart and see how well they can handle their positions as opponents.
Soccer training is a continuous event combining various workout techniques to keep your team strong, fast, and stable. Cone exercises, running lines, stretches, weight lifting, and interval training are some effective workout techniques to test your team's skills and correct their weaknesses. Small-sided games also help during practice as you gauge the players' talents and rank them for the actual game.
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