These days, the modern day soccer player doesn’t just need talent to be successful, he or she also needs to maximize their endurance, speed and agility, flexibility and strength to prepare their bodies and compete during a 90-minute match…
Here are the four hidden skills needed to stay strong for the full 90 minutes…
Yes, soccer players are out on a field each game for 90 minutes (sometimes more). But, have you ever really thought about how much territory they end up covering during that time? Check out the data from Business Insider on Mexico’s World Cup win over Germany: defender Hector Herrera ran over 7 miles, even goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa ran almost 2.5 miles, all in just the one game! To sustain yourself, focus on interval training and different types of terrain when running, both of which will help prepare the legs for the up and down rigors of a full soccer match.
2) Speed and Agility
Distance is one thing, but all players must be ready to explode and run at a moment’s notice. The modern game moves very quick. Top goal scorers aren’t just the ones with the strongest legs, they are also the ones who can quickly distance themselves from defenders.
Added agility will allow you to cut through defenders and create openings needed to set up the best possible shot. To improve agility, work on short yard dashes to help increase short bursts of speed.
Obviously, being flexible will help the chance of injury. However, in a sport where you can’t use your hands, being super flexible will help you compensate by putting your feet and legs into the awkward positions needed to strike the ball or leap into the air and contort the body and head. Similarly, range of motion is huge for soccer players.
The focus in soccer tends to center around the above traits, but strength building can go a long way in being a sustainable, 90-minute player. The right routine can help players gain energy and explosiveness, while also reducing the risk of injury. To learn more, check out this article in Men’s Journal, for a range of weight training workouts that can build the right areas of your body specifically for soccer.
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- Pat Riley