Soccer activity is buzzing on StriveFar, as athletes have been busy booking coaches for individual and small group sessions to help them get ready for tryouts, tournaments and the upcoming season.
The question we have debated around the office is, when is the right time to start training for soccer tryouts and the upcoming season? While a few weeks before the tryouts/seasons is not too late, it is also not ideal. Let’s step back and look at the many areas where your athlete has an opportunity to make improvements:
Scheduling individual and small group sessions a couple of weeks before the start of the season/tryouts is not ideal, but it may be your reality. When we speak with our coaches, they encourage athletes of all levels and ability to start preparing a few months in advance to insure proper training and conditioning. This allows your kids to learn the proper form and, equally importantly, practice it enough to know when they are doing it correctly and what they are doing incorrectly.
“Guided training” with a good personal coach is critical to developing proper form and technique.
If you are limited to only a few weeks, your three-month window has passed, but don’t throw in the towel. Here are a few suggestions to get ready for the season and tryouts.
Everything we suggest can be done on your own or with a personal coach. We recommend a hybrid approach – schedule a few individual or small group sessions with a private coach so you learn the proper form under his/her supervision, and then work on your own in between sessions.
Remember, know your limits, do not go too hard leading up to the start of practice/tryouts. You do not want soreness or tired legs to affect your play and opportunity.
Strength & Conditioning – should be your primary goal. If you are out of shape, your technical and athletic ability will not matter. It is hard to beat your man, win a 50/50 ball, or make a run when you are out of shape. Proper conditioning allows you to:
- Hustle: Run, don’t walk, from drill and water breaks
- Determination: If you lose the ball, run hard and win it back
- Toughness: Get knocked down, get right back up
Ball Control & Touches – You can never get enough touches. Attach the soccer ball to your foot and juggle, pass, dribble through cones, volley against a wall every day all day. Some coaches advocate 10,000 touches a day – Start with at least 1,500 touches per day.
Check out this great video from our friends at Beast Mode Soccer on how to get 600 touches in 6 minutes: https://youtu.be/REyRmHapZFg
Your ability to control the ball helps your confidence. Confidence allows you to show your ability on the field and portray a positive and confident attitude. Yes, drills and juggling can become boring at times. No problem, find a group of friends to work with and schedule a few small group session with a coach, and then replicate the drills with your friends on your own. There are many options to add variety to the workout. Just make sure to keep your eye on the goal and make sure you get at least 1,500 touches a day.
Hydrate – August is one of the hottest months of the year, so make sure you are drinking enough water. Drink water before, during, and after training. How to know if you are drinking enough water.
Sleep Sleep Sleep – is often overlooked and underutilized. You need to be physically and mentally sharp, make sure you are receiving AT LEAST 8 hours of sleep per day.
Stretch – often forgotten and rarely repeated because it is not fun. You may be waking up muscles that went to sleep after the last tournament game in May. The muscles are not happy and they will let you know! Improve your flexibility and mobility with a daily stretching routine. Use a foam roller, the TV can be a nice distraction while you are stretching.
Good luck and remember to smile, soccer is fun.
- StriveFar Co-Founder talks about his experience finding a private coach for his son
- How To: Strike A Soccer Ball
- Youth Soccer: Differences between Development Academy, ECNL and Competitive
- Do We (the founders) use StriveFar?
- Soccer Drills – All you need is a wall and a ball!