Soccer demands a unique level of fitness. In the sport you'll need endurance and stamina, but also strength and explosiveness. Being in "soccer shape" is much more than the traditional concepts of cardiovascular endurance and strength. Many players at the top level will play the full 90-minute match, only breaking at half time! "Soccer shape" encompasses a combination of skills that sets soccer players apart from athletes in many other sports. At Techne, we design our training programs to contribute to the mastery of total soccer fitness. You can find all of the following covered in the App:
Exceptional cardiovascular endurance is the core of "soccer shape". Soccer players cover vast distances during a match, constantly sprinting, jogging, and even walking. The ability to maintain a high level of this intensity throughout the 90 minutes, with the possibility of extra time, is crucial. Long-distance running forms the foundation, but interval training and high-intensity sprints are equally vital to simulate the unpredictable nature of the game. In the App this is covered in Physical Training, there's always a running session that is soccer specific including sprints, bounding, and interval training. Players can also increase their endurance while working on technical skills by using the 1-minute timer on dribbling drills and pushing the pace to maximum intensity. Taking ample breaks and maintaining quality while fatigued will build your endurance.
2. Agility and Quick Reflexes
Soccer is a sport in which split-second decisions can determine the outcome. Being in soccer shape requires agility and quick reflexes to navigate through defenders, evade tackles, and react swiftly to changes in the game's dynamics. Drills focusing on lateral movement, change of direction, and reaction time are integral to achieving and maintaining this aspect of fitness. The Weekly Dribbling Sessions in the Techne App offer a variety of drills and progressions for players to work through and improve agility.
3. Strength and Power
Contrary to the misconception that soccer players don't need strength, being in soccer shape demands a level of strength and power. Players must be able to hold off opponents, win aerial duels, and execute powerful shots. Strength training, particularly focusing on the lower body, core, and upper body for stability, is a crucial component. Great soccer workouts will focus on the types of exercises you need to build strength and power.
4. Skill Mastery
Soccer shape is not only about physical prowess; it's about mastering the technical skills that define the sport. Ball control, dribbling, passing accuracy, and shooting precision are skills that need to be honed continuously. Practicing these skills under various conditions, such as fatigue and pressure, is vital to ensure that a player remains effective in any situation. The Weekly Juggling, Dribbling, and Wall Work progressions in the Techne App offer everything you need to build your technical skills.
5. Mental Toughness
Soccer is not just a physical game; it's a mental battle as well. Players need to stay focused, make split-second decisions, and maintain composure in high-pressure situations. Mental toughness is a key element of soccer shape, allowing players to push through fatigue, overcome setbacks, and stay resilient throughout the match. Getting started with Mental Training is easier than it may seem! The Techne App offers several Mental Training Sessions with audio tracks designed to support players in building confidence and mental toughness.
6. Team Chemistry and Communication
No player exists in isolation in soccer. Being in soccer shape also means having a deep understanding of team dynamics, effective communication, and seamless coordination with teammates. Understanding each other's movements, anticipating plays, and providing clear communication on the field are aspects that contribute to being in soccer shape at a team level.
In the world of soccer, being in shape is much more than the typical physical aspects of fitness. It involves a holistic approach that combines endurance, agility, strength, skill mastery, mental toughness, and effective teamwork. Soccer shape is a continuous journey of improvement and adaptation. Aspiring soccer players should recognize the multifaceted nature of this fitness, and understand that excelling in soccer requires a combination of physical and mental attributes that make the beautiful game truly unique.