The Importance of Off-Season Training

The following is an excerpt from Best of Amplified Soccer Training 2. Our second issue of Best of Amplified Soccer Training is even bigger and better! Get 72 pages of soccer coach focused resources from the top coaching educators in the game at all levels. This issues features off-season training information and drills, speed training, small-sided games, functional training, psychology, sports science, nutrition and more. Preview Here


From Performance Conditioning Soccer (www.performancecondition.com/soccer

By Tom DeNigris, Owner & Director Total Soccer Fitness & Training, LLC

Tom DeNigris is the Owner & Director of Total Soccer Fitness & Training, LLC, a professional training company based in Colts Neck, NJ. A former professional sports writer who covered professional, collegiate, high school and youth soccer, Tom is a certified Speed, Agility & Quickness trainer and a licensed soccer coach. He is also the coaching director for the Colts Neck (NJ) Soccer Club.

With the Fall Soccer Season finished, coaches are now organizing their off-season plans. Because of the unpredictable weather here in New Jersey, at Total Soccer Fitness & Training, we look to get into a facility or school gym to conduct our sessions during the off-season months of December, January and February. But inside or outside, off-season training has become an integral part of club soccer. Our theory at TSFT is to use the off-season to hone technical skills, review and practice tactical concepts, and most importantly, work on fitness and endurance both with and without the ball.

We break our sessions down into three phases:

I. Basic Fitness

A. Warmup

1. Speed Ladder

2. Hurdles

B. Dynamic Movements & Stretches

C. Proper Running Mechanics

1. "H + A + L + F = PRM"

2. Posture

D. Speed, Agility & Quickness

1. Linear Movements

2. Lateral Movements

3. Stopping, Cutting, Turning

II. Technical Fitness

A. Individual Work with the ball

B. Small Group Work with the ball

III. Tactical/Match Fitness

BASIC FITNESS

Before going into any of our drills, we first run the team through a Speed, Agility & Quickness warm-up featuring speed ladders or hurdles, and many times using. Speed ladders and hurdles are both valuable tools to teach proper running mechanics. When using a combo of the two we start first with the ladder using this progression:

  1. Two-Step (both feet into each rung);
  2. Single-Step
  3. Lateral 2-Step, right foot in first
  4. Lateral 2-Step, left foot in first
  5. Two-Legged Hop
  6. Single-Legged

We then move to hurdles doing the same progression. We like ladders first since it trains quick footwork. Hurdles follow and train the players to drive their knees.

DYNAMIC MOVEMENTS & STRETCHES

Since our winter training regimen does not include serious match competition - 11v11 or 8v8 matches, we use a Dynamic Movement and Stretch routine to prepare the players for the practice session. The Dynamic Movements include a lot of skipping since we feel that skipping is a great way to teach and hone proper running mechanics. The Dynamic Movement and Stretch routine is done at 10-15 yards depending on the age and skill level of the athletes. 

Get the rest of this article plus off-season drills and lots more in The Best of Amplified Soccer Training 2


Our second issue of Best of Amplified Soccer Training is even bigger and better! Get 72 pages of soccer coach focused resources from the top coaching educators in the game at all levels. This issues features off-season training information and drills, speed training, small-sided games, functional training, psychology, sports science, nutrition and more. Get It Here

Includes:

Analysing Your Game – Get Tough on Process by Dan Abrahams, An Internationally Recognized Sports Psychologist

Functional Training for Central Midfielders, Flank Midfielders and Center Forwards from Jeff Tipping, Former NSCAA Director of Coaching Education

Include Stop and Start Activities in your Training; Acceleration/Deceleration Exposure Required to Recreate Match-like Loading by John De Witt, Head Sports Performance Coach, Houston Dynamo Academy, Assistant Coach, Houston Dash and Assistant Coach, Afghanistan Women’s National Team

The Roles and Responsibilities of Each Player in the 7 v 7 and 9 v 9 by Wayne Harrison, Founder of Soccer Awareness

Playing Between the Lines: Teaching the Fundamentals with a 3 v 2+1 Game from The Triangle Training Method

See Full Table of Contents

Comment

Performance Conditioning Soccer

Ken Kontor is founder and president of Performance Conditioning Inc. His company is the world’s largest single source of sports-specific conditioning information. Among the educational resources provided are Performance Conditioning Volleyball, Cycling and Soccer newsletters now in their 14th year of publishing and 15 sports-specific conditioning books and training card systems. He is a founding member of the USA Volleyball Sports Medicine and Performance Commission and was instrumental in the establishment of the Volleyball Conditioning Accreditation Program (V.C.A.P.) curriculum offered through the USA Volleyball Coaching Accreditation program. Among his contributions to this program was writing the curriculum. He has established the Off-bike Conditioning curriculum promoted by USA Cycling. In the past he has worked with USA Roller Sports and USA Triathlon producing conditioning specific newsletters. Prior to the establishment of Performance Conditioning Inc., Mr. Kontor was a founding father, executive director and publications editor of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) for 14 years an organization of over 16,000 sport conditioning professionals. He was an original member of the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist committee that established the internationally recognized C.S.C.S. credential. He has traveled extensively throughout the world including the former Soviet Union, East Germany and the Leipzig Institute of Sport, Hungary and Bulgaria with the purpose of introducing their strength and conditioning methods to the NSCA membership. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association Inc. and the National Strength and Conditioning Association of Japan. He has lectured extensively on the conditioning of athletes throughout the world.