Top 15 of 2015

Here are the top 15 viewed articles that you read the most in 2015 from Amplified Soccer Athlete. We look forward to providing more articles and resources in 2016 to support you in the journey to #AmplifyYourGame. The countdown:

15. Improving Neck Strength

By Chris "Trainer" Gorres

Here are a few neck strengthening moves that I do with all of our athletes.  Many people will think of neck strength as something that is just for guys or just for football players.  The truth is concussions happen in every sport.  There are just as many concussions in girls youth soccer than in football. These exercises certainly don't guarantee safety but they can definitely help. Keep Reading

14. Confident Passing & First Touch

From SoccerFit Academy

Being able to control the ball at your feet requires balance, rhythm and great foot eye coordination. In the early stages of our program, you need to develop a strong foundation in these aspects before the drills get too complex. As you perform the drills in this section, think of them not as skill drills, but as coordination and stability drills. Focus on how you position your body around the ball. If you find yourself reaching, leaning back, getting stuck in awkward positions, etc. slow down a bit and work on staying in an athletic rhythm, positioned in such a way that you could accelerate out with the ball at any moment. Keep Reading

13. Becoming a Soccer Optimist

By Dan Abrahams

There is an enormous amount of scientific evidence to suggest that being an optimist in sport is a healthy, happy and optimal way to become the very best you can be. Optimism has been linked to all kinds of exciting factors including better performance, an ability to overcome adversity, maintaining motivation, reduced chances of burnout and more wins. In contrast, pessimism has been equated with a greater chance of depression when things go wrong, underachievement, poor responses in stressful situations, and under performance during pressure moments. Keep Reading

12. Over Use and Under Development

By Chris "Trainer" Gorres

The 3 sport varsity athlete may soon be on the list of endangered species.  More and more youth athletes are playing one sport, all-year round.   Sports like soccer, tennis, and even basketball with AAU leagues have been this way for a while.  But now, even football, which was once just a fall sport, is year-round with 7on7 tournaments.  The type of schedule and specialization that was once reserved for college level athletes is now happening at the HS and youth levels.  Keep Reading

11. Becoming the Complete Player: Training Advice from the Pros

Featuring Yael Averbuch, David Copeland-Smith (Beast Mode Soccer) and Trainer Gorres

These three leaders in soccer training spent some time with Amplified Soccer Athlete discussing how to "Become the Complete Player" in this Google Hangout. Watch Now

10. Taking Care of Your Body and Mind

From Perfect Soccer Recruit

Being a serious soccer player requires you to take care of your body and mind 24/7. It’s not only what you do while on the soccer field, but more importantly the habits you create off of it. How dedicated you are to maintaining your body is what will determine your soccer success. Here are five things you need to do to get through the Rookie wall, and develop the habits of a soccer pro. Keep Reading

9. From the Magazine: 7 Technical Tests of the U.S. Youth National Team

U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Team Director April Heinrichs and her staff have identified and refined the following protocols which can be used as tests, homework and training exercises. These tests were designed with U-12 to U-20 players in mind, are geared towards motivating players to spend time on their own improving their ball control, short range passing, speed and agility with the ball, and, the use of their instep for driven balls and shooting. A player that controls the ball is a player that helps control the tempo of the game, advance the ball and contribute to the team’s tactical abilities. We hope you find these technical tests fun, challenging and rewarding as you see the daily improvement in your game! Keep Reading

8. USWNT: Training, Fitness, Nutrition, Motivation

Prior to the U.S. Women's National Team kicking off their 2015 World Cup campaign, we released a special edition of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine to get inside the minds of the coaches and players, current and former, of the most physically fit and mentally tough team in the world. They told us what it takes to compete at that level, how the game has changed, the future of the technical side, and what motivates them to be the best. Keep Reading

7. Chico State "YBMI" Fitness Test

The California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) is considered to be the toughest and most competitive NCAA Division II Conference in the country. By that measure, the Chico State women's soccer team is among the toughest of the tough. This program has seen a great deal of success over the years under Head Coach, Kim Sutton. At the beginning of each season, players at Chico are expected to complete all three fitness tests while passing two of them. The "YBMI" is one of these tests and it is designed to evaluate the fitness and recovery levels of players. Keep Reading

6. What Makes Up a Championship Team?

By Yael Averbuch

I have been fortunate to be part of various championship teams throughout my career. Each experience hoisting a trophy is vastly different. Each team has a different personality, mentality, and method behind its success. Each journey to the moment of victory takes an unpredictable path. This season with F.C. Kansas City was uniquely special. As I drove back to the East Coast, I thought about the elements that allowed us to succeed, as well as all the moments never seen and people never acknowledged. Keep Reading

5. The “Gauntlet” KU Women's Soccer Fitness Test

KU’s success in 2014 can be attributed to numerous things, but one major change that occurred was the required and grueling preseason fitness tests. For more than ten years the team would have to run two fitness tests, the Beep Test and a shuttle test. The players would only have to pass at least one test to play and receive gear, but if they passed both tests, they did not have to participate in extra running during preseason. This yearly traditional routine changed in 2014 with a switch in strength coaches and in philosophies. A test called the “Gauntlet” was implemented. However, it is different from most fitness tests out there, having no required times to reach; all you have to do is finish it. Keep Reading

4. Nick Shackelford, The life of a semi-professional soccer player in the United States

The transition of college to pros can be similar to getting recruited to college. There are 100 clubs across the country spread between USL, NASL and PDL. Those clubs don’t have scouting budgets like the pros so it becomes a lot about networking and finding ways to get noticed. Nick had coaches trying to help and was able to get a spot at the Pro Direct Soccer Combine in Florida that all of the NASL and USL teams attend. Following the combine and reaching out to clubs, he received responses from Railhawks, Pittsburg, and others, but no firm offers. At this point, he had moved back to California, was putting together a highlight tape and beginning to look at opportunities overseas. He had his bags packed hoping for a call. Keep Reading

3. Appalachian State’s Mountaineers Superwoman: Freshman Kelly Flanders

When you think of college soccer, you think of big-time universities such as: The Florida State University or UCLA, but the SunBelt Conference holds an upcoming college soccer star rising through the ranks who can change that mold all-together. Appalachian State University Freshman Kelly Flanders is poised to make an impact after an outstanding freshman year for years to come. Keep Reading

2. Beast Mode Soccer is Changing Individual Soccer Training and Everyone is Taking Notice

David Copeland-Smith is part of a new generation of skills specialists, alongside others like Scott Moody/AthleteFIT and Chris “Trainer” Gorres that are becoming their own training brand while changing the way that individual athletes take their game to the next level outside of the standard team and individual training. Keep Reading

1. Civana Kuhlmann, a new 99er

Since she has performed with both club and country since 14 years of age, Kuhlmann has been placed in the upper echelon of young up and coming U.S. girls who could take over in the future for those such as Abby Wambach or Alex Morgan. As for the next step in her development, in October 2014, Kuhlmann signed her letter of intent to play at Stanford University. This decision to play at Stanford comes with a bit of a shock considering the fact that at the age of 16 years old she knew exactly what she wanted in a university as well as what she needed to do to maintain her long term goal of continuing to play for the United States. Keep Reading