By Matt Sheldon CEO/Founder of Become Elite
You’ve just finished the last game of regular season; you’re tired, beat up, and sad that it’s over but, luckily, you have another season to look forward to the following year or maybe even in a couple months. Either way, you’ve now entered into the off-season.
We, here at Become Elite, hate the term “off season,” because it implies that you will take this time off from your sport. We do believe every player should relax for 1-2 weeks following the end of the season to let the body fully recover from the grind of the intense work in the season, but to suggest that the following weeks or months should be completely “off” is flat-out wrong.
If you want to become what we call an elite level soccer player you must train like the elite. The professional and collegiate level footballers all follow a strict off-season regimen to improve their game. The emphasis of their training is as follows:
Technical Skills Training
Explosiveness and Agility
Increase in Cardiovascular Endurance
Tactical Team Training
As you can see the emphasis is on improving as a footballer. It is improving your first touch, short one and two-touch passing, long range passing accuracy, tight space dribbling, 1v1 attacking skills, shooting, and team play/movements.
There is a medium level of focus on improving strength gains by weightlifting in the gym and medium level plyometric/agility training such as box jumps, ladder work, and short cone sprint work.
Finally, there should be little emphasis on tactical team training such as corner kicks, free kick plays, and positioning, and also on increasing players’ cardiovascular endurance. There is no need to increase your fitness level during this time. However, maintaining the current level of peak in-season fitness is definitely recommended in order to have a strong base to get even fitter for next season.
So, if you are a young athlete looking to work on your game in the so called “off season” your primary focus should be on improving your technical skills (dribbling, passing, shooting, etc.) as a football player through intense skills training. Your secondary focus should be on increasing strength and explosiveness through weightlifting and plyometrics and lastly, you should work on maintaining your current fitness level. Be sure your training regimen is structured with this order in mind.
To help you out, we at Become Elite have given you a sample day of one of our online technical training programs. This training program is centered around improving the tight space dribbling and first touch of the players and is rightly called The Supreme Tekkers Program. The full program can be found at www.become-elite.com under the programs tab. Be sure to check our weightlifting/plyometrics programs as well!
** All Drills are explained with text and video on our website www.become-elite.com under the “Training” tab