How To Train for Soccer In the Off Season

Soccer is an incredibly demanding sport.  You must always stay in optimal shape in order to be able to perform.  Ideally, you should be able to show more determination and be stronger than your opponent.  During the off-season, it is important that you stay in shape. There is no formal football activity but you cannot lie down and let your body go off shape.

But you should also take care of yourself and consider taking a week or two right after the season ends.  This will help your body recover from the pressure of the entire season.  Now, your workout has to be one to maintain your shape and without overdoing it.

Beforehand, you should prepare your off-season diet plan and workout for soccer.  This must include exercises that increase intensity over the weeks.

How to Get Started

The main purpose of an off-season soccer practice is not only to avoid your muscles lagging.  It is actually taking advantage of the fact that you can repurpose your workout and focus on what you need.  This is the best time to address your strength needs as well as honing your skills.

Maintain your focus on two goals – build strength and power.  The first thing to do is to establish your baseline.  You will definitively need to work the bench press.  Test your maximum number of lifts and write them down.   Measure your vertical jump and your sprint.

Now, work on this baseline and make yourself some goals.  Remember, you should make it a goal to aim towards more strength.   The stronger you are, the better you will get at resisting injuries and the more powerful you will be towards your opponents.  Start with the big muscles – chest, back, and hip – and then move on to the others.

Work on explosive, sudden, and compound movements.  Focus on improving your core stability.

A Good Plan

Most experts will recommend an off-season program that involves no more than three days per week.  This to allow some rest time to the body after a rather long season.  A good plan involves adding strength to your muscles and agility to your legs.

Let us bring it down to a very simple three-month plan that you can use during the summer.  This plan is appropriate for both high school and college students.

Month 1

On these first four weeks, you should start with three days a week.  The focus here is to develop strength, speed, agility, and endurance.  Exercises here will include back squats, bench presses, pull-ups, sprint, and throw.

Month 2

In this month, you will have to increase the program to five days a week.  You already got your body accustomed to the demands of building muscle.  Now, you need to focus on strength and metabolic conditioning.  You still need to work on agility, speed, and plyometrics.

Month 3

We still work on a five-day plan that where exercises are more demanding and complex.  The purpose of this last month is to increase fitness levels.  You will include here all the exercises you did in the first two months with a greater intensity.

Common Soccer Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Soccer is a contact sport and at Vancouver Chiropractic Services, we encounter cases of players both professionals and newbies suffering from its most common injuries. These players want to be back to health the soonest but sometimes, the nature of injuries prevent that from happening. There are times when an injury has a previous cause and this time it’s just compounded. Here are some of the most common injuries that are experienced by soccer players.

  1. Sprain—This is the most common injuries experienced by soccer players. The most affected areas are the knee, lower leg, and ankle. The cruciate ligament is the most common ligament of the knee that gets injured primarily due to lateral movements and pivoting.
  2. Strains—Another common injury is muscle strain. Due to extreme contraction, excessive pulling against a resistance when the muscle is not warmed up enough, muscular injuries can occur. The groin the quadriceps and the hamstring is the most common muscles that get injured among soccer players.
  3. Fractures—Soccer is an activity that involves mostly the lower extremities and this is where fractures are likely to occur. The foot, the ankle, the tibia and fibula are the likely places that fractures occur among soccer players. Wearing protective gear with strong foam padding are strongly advised in order to absorb energy and prevent injuries.
  4. Head injuries—When players collide, injuries occur and its mostly in the head. It can also occur with improper heading technique. When you head the ball in the wrong places, not only does the head gets injured, the neck may also get injured.

Injury Prevention Tips for Soccer Players

What chiropractic care can provide in this case are injury prevention tips so that this can be avoided from happening. One of the most common causes of injuries is bad balance. When the body is out of balance, it will fall down the potentials for injuries are enormous. Chiropractic care improves balance by making corrections on the posture. When the posture is right, balance is right and hence, injuries are avoided.

Neck injuries often occur when you hit the ball with your head. Neck strengthening exercises are necessary to provide enough preparation for heading. You also have to use your hand to provide assistance when you head hits the ball. It is even better if you can wear a mouth guard similar to what boxers use to protect your mouth and teeth.

If you want to prevent injuries, proper warm-up is in order. This is because when the body is prepared for the activities ahead, it will respond in ways that are appropriate. It seems that the body knows the demands that you are about to subject it to when it’s properly warmed up. When it’s languishing, you can expect injuries to occur because its responses are also not good. So in order to prevent injuries from occurring, you have to have proper balance, wear protective gear and warm up adequately.