Conditioning Tips & Drills For Soccer.

Check out these awesome conditioning tips and drills for soccer players. Practice drills and coaching tips included!

Call Out

Objective

Players jog around in an area while the coach calls out instructions.

Drill

Any number of players can be used.

The players jog around in an area and the coach calls out instructions, such as push-ups (players must do a certain number of push-ups), or dead bug (players drop to their backs and hold their feet and arms up in the air) Use your imagination for calls so it stays fun.

If you have even numbers assign partners and call hi-five, in which they hi-five their partner.

Submitted By: Meralee Crowl


Center Of Gravity Drill

Objective

Increases stomach muscle and helps a players balance.

Drill

The game of soccer is very much a game of balance. Being able to elude defenders, jump over tackles and just control your own body can be at times a difficult challenge. By creating a strong center of gravity and building one's stomach muscles, they instantly increase their sense of balance and control over movements.

Creating a strong midsection will also benefit your shot. With strong abdominal muscles your shot will be much harder and travel with a greater velocity. Here are a couple of sit-up drills to help you create and maintain a solid midsection.

Bent Knee Crunches - lie flat on your back, put your legs perpendicular to the ground and bend your knees. With your hands lightly supporting your neck, slowly move your head and shoulders up toward the sky. You want to keep your head facing the sky and not bent into your knees.

Straight Leg Crunches - Set up the exact same way as the bent-knee crunches except this time don't bend your knees. Your feet should be high in the air. Again, lightly support your neck with your hands and raise your head and shoulders to the sky.

Scoops - Sit on the top of a staircase or somewhere where your feet will dangle just a bit. Rest your hands just behind your butt and lean back, raising your knees to your chest. From this position slowly move your legs,straightening your knees, downward and in a scooping type motion.

As your feet are fully extended and scooping, pull your knees back to your chest and repeat the scooping rotation.This takes a little getting used to but is effective. Older athletes may want to put a LIGHT 2-to-5 pound weight on their feet to increase the difficulty.

Throw Downs - Grab a partner for this one. Lay down flat on your back. Extend your arms as far above your head as possible and grab onto the ankles of your standing partner. Raise your legs to a 90-degree angle, perfectly straight in the air.

Have your partner, try and throw your legs to the ground. You need to use your stomach muscles and keep your legs just inches off the ground and then raise them back up so your partner can throw them down again. Repeat this 10-25 times depending on age and strength.

Coaching Points

Coaches should always make sure that proper technique is used in every form of sit-up activity. You don't want to have any pulled stomach muscles, tight necks or back problems. There are many more stomach exercises that can be used as I'm sure you know from watching infomercials.

These are just a few favorites. To make some more exciting you can have a one partner on his/her back while another holds their feet down with their knees. The partner holding the other down can toss a soccer ball to the athlete doing the sit ups and he/she can head it during each upward motion.

Only use this drill for athletes over 10 years of age though.

Submitted By: Coach Clay


Creative Dashes

Objective

Quickness and recovery speed.

Drill

Set two cones 10 - 15 yards (depending on age of athletes) apart from each other. Separate your team into five different groups and have the first player in each group form a line perpendicular to the first cone. Each player should be arm's width apart.

So you should basically have 5 separate lines, the first player in each ready to do the drill. The object of this drill is to make the athletes sprint from their present position, the first cone, to the second cone as quickly as possible. The twist to this drill, and the reason it builds quickness and recovery time is because the athletes must start in awkward positions.

For example, the first group of five athletes should start on their bellies. When they here you say "GO", the jump to their feet and sprint the 10-15 yards. As they are running, the next five pop on their bellies and listen for the "GO" command. After getting through all of the groups, you start over.

Do the same routine, on the bellies, for the next round as they sprint back to the original cone. When they complete that task, start round Three. Make them jump in place pulling their knees to their chest. You yell the command whenever you're ready and they must stop their jumping and start their full-out sprint.

Do this twice for everyone. Next you can have them do high knees in place, while they wait for the command. You can get creative and make them do anything you want before the sprint, as long as it is active.

Coaching Points

With younger athletes 8-10 reps is plenty of work. For older athletes ages 15 and up, you should have them do anywhere between 10-20 reps. This type of fitness is very devious because the distance is short and the players enjoy the creative beginnings thus they don't look at it as fitness.

If you have a great practice, but still feel that your athletes need to get some fitness in, this is the drill for you. It's fun and about as rewarding a fitness drill as fitness drills come.

Submitted By: Coach Clay


Doggies

Objective

Stop, turn and go.

Drill

Starting from the end measure outwardly 5 yards and place a cone. From that point measure another 5 yards (10-yard line) and place a cone. From that point walk another 5 yards (15 yards) and place a cone. Continue this action until you have put all 5 cones down and the farthest cone is now 25 yards from the end line.

Now line your entire team up along the end line. The cones should be set up from the middle of the goalmouth so everyone can see them. On your command the athletes sprint to the first cone, turn and run back to the end line. They then turn at the end line and sprint for cone #2.

They turn at cone #2, head back to the end line and then sprint for cone #3. They repeat this until they have sprinted to and from each cone, in successive order. Depending upon age and fitness level of your team, decide how many repetitions should be done.

For young athletes 3-5 sets is probably appropriate and for older athletes, anywhere from 6-10 reps(never more than 10).

Coaching Points

It is important that your athletes turn at each one. Keep an eye on them and do not allow them to cheat and stop early of the cones. This form of fitness is effective and builds strong leg muscles as well as a strong mind.

The athletes should be given approximately 1 minute between each set, and more time if you deem necessary. To increase the difficulty level for older thletesfree to lengthen the cones to 10 yard variables (cones being at the 10,20,30,40 and 50-yard markers).

Submitted By: Coach Clay


Drag Race

Objective

Players sprint to the ball to shoot at the goal.

Drill

2 or more players are needed.

A ball is placed on the penalty mark or the top of the goal area. Two players run from the goal line to a cone on the center line, and back toward the ball. The first player to get to the ball shoots at the goal.

Submitted By: Chris Frommeyer


Epidemic

Objective

Team work and bonding through conditioning.

Drill

Take four cones and make a square. Depending on how many players you have you may want to use an entire half of the soccer field. Place your entire team of players into the square and then pick one player to be the "Carriers." This player now must try and tag their teammates and help the epidemic spread.

Once the "Carrier" tags somebody, that tagged player must link hands with the "Carrier" that tagged him/her. Now these two players, attached at the hands, must work together to try and capture another player and build on their chain of disease.

When they tag a third player, that player must also join in on the chain of disease and now the three of them must work together, running around the square trying to spread the Epidemic. The object of the drill, besides building fitness is to create a gigantic chain of athletes, linked by their hands, chasing after free bodies.

By the end of the drill you should have 1 long line of players working as a team to close off an area of the square to contain and capture the last free player.

Coaching Points

This drill is a ton of fun and allows the athletes to get fit, while building team unity and having a blast. It is important though that you, the coach, mandate a rule that states, all players must jog at all times or they are automatically linked to the carrier. With younger athletes this isn't a problem, but as the kids get older they get smart and try and stand in a corner or something of that nature.

Just keep your eye out and make sure their having fun, but also make sure they are getting the fitness that the drill is designed for. Also, if you have a big group of players, 20 or so, you may want to start the game with 2 "Carriers."

By doing this their will be two separate lines at the end, having to work together to capture the last "disease free" athlete.

Submitted By: Coach Clay

Be sure to also check out:
Goalkeeping Tips & Drills For Soccer.

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