Why Soccer Players Should Strength Train
Via STACKThe weight room can be an intimidating place. Especially if you're the youngest, smallest or weakest player on your soccer team. High school soccer players often get the reputation of being petite and weak. And if I'm being 100 percent honest, my high school soccer team used our weight room hours to flip through soccer catalogs and find the coolest pair of boots. We figured we were soccer players—we needed to be small and quick on our feet, not a bunch of muscle heads, right? In most high school soccer programs, weight training is a foreign concept. Many coaches grew up in a time where proper training wasn't taught, and strength and conditioning coaches weren't available, so naturally, they may not find it important to get their team inside the weight room. But this doesn't mean the modern high school soccer player doesn't want to train. In fact, when I brought a proven strength training plan to my high school soccer kids, they were all-in on the concept. They had no former training with the exception of a few Bicep Curls in their basement done with the intent of filling out their shirt sleeves. They were essentially a blank slate, and we had a chance for them to improve many areas where their games were lacking. The players welcomed the new challenge and the results were tremendous. This group of players went on to record the best record and the most wins in school history. Although those achievements cannot be solely attributed to the strength training program, I believe it played a key role in their success. Soccer is a grueling game. It entails 80 to 90 minutes of constant running, hard contact with no pads, constant cutting, elevating to win 50-50 balls, trying to kick a small ball as powerfully and accurately as possible, etc. Choosing to run countless miles in the offseason is a popular conditioning option for most soccer teams, but consistently winning one-on-one battles during the course of a soccer game takes a whole lot more than good endurance. That's why I believe strength training is crucial for every soccer athlete. So let's say you've decided you want to take your training seriously and prepare for the upcoming soccer season. Your coach doesn't know much about training and your school doesn't have access to a strength and conditioning coach. How do you go about getting stronger? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.