Backyard Football

Backyard Football

One of the reasons that football is the most popular game in the world is the sheer simplicity.  The rules are easy to understand and all you need to play is a ball.  In a regulation game each side can have up to 11 players on the field at once but in backyard football the rules are a bit more flexible.  As longs as you have an even amount of players on each side you’re good to play.

Learning to Play

Football is an incredibly easy game to learn how to play, developing the skills you need to be a major league footballer is another matter however.   The backyard is where every footballer first learned the game and so can your kids.  The objective is simple, put the ball in the other teams net without ever using your hands to do so.  The other team (as well as yours) will have a goalie in the net whose job it is, is to stop you.  The goalie is the only one that is allowed to use their hands.

Practice Your Skills

Soccer has a few basic skills that you need to learn and the first thing you need to learn is how to control the ball.  That means that you need to take the ball and keep it under control while you are running across the field or while the other team is trying to take the ball from you.  You can practice this in the yard without any equipment besides the ball.  Here are some tips on practicing your skills.

The second thing you need to learn is how to kick the ball, initially you might think all you do is kick.  There are several techniques in kicking the ball properly you want to make sure that you can send the ball accurately to a team mate. Keep practicing and pretty soon you will be able to ‘bend it like Beckham’.  You really don’t need any special equipment to practice kicks although a net is helpful since it will stop the ball for you and in a real game that is what you are trying to do anyway.

Backyard football games are a way for kids to practice their skills and to get outside and get some exercise.  Backyard football is a national pastime and we need to absolutely encourage it, spend time with your kids and teach them how to dribble.

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.