Like any athlete, soccer players need to be at their best physically, mentally and emotionally in order to be successful. The sport of soccer has a specific skill set. You are in constant movement on the field. You primarily use your feet and might have to make several quick decisions in a matter of seconds. There are several things you need to work on in training to be a better soccer player.
In soccer, being explosive is as important as being fast. The most effective way to build explosive power is to perform plyometrics as part of your training program. Do your plyometrics work before any endurance work so that your muscles will not be fatigued. In addition, mixing in sprints along with distance running can help you develop explosiveness. Add sprints after a three- to five-mile run — or during that run — to help train your body for quick burst of speed.
During a game, you cover a large part of the field at anywhere from a light jog to an all-out sprint. Being in shape is essential to success. Running during the off-season to build up endurance is a start, but moderate weight training also helps to build strength and endurance. Being fit makes you better prepared for the quick bursts of speed the sport requires.
Because you use your feet to control the ball as well as move around the field, good footwork is essential to success. Nothing is better than working with a ball at your feet. Quickly tap a stationary ball with each foot or jump over a ball to help create quicker feet. Working on individual moves is also helpful. These are all drills you can do anywhere. Agility drills using an agility ladder help you develop flawless footwork and strengthens your proprioceptive abilities.
There is never an off-season when it comes to learning about your role on the field. You can develop your skills and knowledge during practice and games. Don’t be afraid to ask a coach or teammate if you are unsure of something. Even the best players in the world are still students of the game. Expand your knowledge beyond your own role. Knowing offensive tactics can help make you a better defender, and vice versa.
Adults who play soccer see increased health benefits. Women who play soccer increased their maximum oxygen uptake to 15 percent, compared to a 10 percent increase for runners. You also need to eat well to maintain your level of fitness and to help your body recover after practice and games.