Whether your team has a scheduled preseason or you’re simply preparing to start the season, how you approach it can often dictate how the entire season goes. Here are some tips on preparing for your season.
- DO Prepare Physically & Technically. It’s vital to have trained hard and pushed yourself before you show up with your team to start preseason or jump into the season. You must acclimate your body to be able to handle the workload that you will likely face in the team environment. This usually means doing some difficult conditioning or even practicing fitness test(s), if you know you’ll have to do them. The stronger the fitness base you’ve built, through soccer-specific conditioning, and the more time you’ve spent with the ball, the better prepared you’ll be. You’ll also lessen the likelihood of getting injured during preseason or early in the season.
- DON’T Cram. Be sure to plan ahead, and use your offseason or down time wisely. Plan a ramp-up into the intense training you need to do, and also time to recover from it before you start with your team. Your body and mind cannot absorb the training if you attempt to cram it into the week or day(s) prior to the start of preseason.
- DO Taper Into Preseason. Although it’s important to train hard to prepare, you want to go into preseason rested and refreshed, mentally and physically. Your training plan and preparation will vary depending on how long of an off-season you have and how intense you think your preseason might be. Regardless, it’s important to wind down a bit before you ramp up for the season. Give yourself a few days at least of lighter work prior to beginning. Keep your sessions short and sharp, work on ball skills that are not as draining physically, and be sure to get plenty of rest. You can even try some of the Recovery Sessions in the Techne App.
- DON’T Forget the Mental Side of the Game. As you train technically and physically to get ready to perform on the field, don’t neglect your mind! You can do daily Mental Training in the Techne App to prepare yourself for the stress and pressure that can come with the season. The more you train to prepare for these things, the better you’ll be able to handle them when you’re busy and distracted and in the midst of the intensity of the season.
- DO Have Personal Goals. As you enter the season, it’s important to have some thoughts on personal performance goals. As you join your team, it’s easy to get lost in your team objectives and being competitive with your teammates. But don’t lose sight of your own development and the areas of focus you’ve selected for the season.
- DON’T Put Too Much Pressure On Yourself. While it’s great to go into preseason extra prepared and have very clear goals, be sure to take a long-term mindset. No one day or week of the season will define you. So if you don’t get off to the start you had hoped for, don’t let that discourage you. The same is true if you have an amazing start. Your season will be defined by what you do each day, week in and week out. So just stick with it and keep chipping away!