Traditionally coaches felt that the general soccer player could maximize all of the soccer performance improvements just by playing on the field. Today’s high performing soccer performers now must be Complete Athletes! They must have exceptional anaerobic and aerobic endurance, Strong Upper and Low Body Base Strength to resist challenges, and be explosively quick off the mark for 5 to 20 yards plus. Like many other popular sports in the modern era, Soccer has become much more explosive and physical and thus, combination of ground reaction forces and violent contact has made the sports one of the more susceptible sports for ankle, knee, groin and hamstring injuries.
General Soccer Performance Criteria
- Efficient and Productive Movement Competency. The average Player Touches Ball only 2 – 6% of the time, theses numbers are heavily dependent on position
- The Aerobic Energy System predominates and is responsible for 98% of the energy utilized
- Matches are typically decided at the highest speeds with ATP-CP and glycolytic Systems dominating
- Average Distance covered in game ranges from 10-13 km (6-8 miles)
Soccer Positions are primarily characterized by three categories:
Important: Modified Ground Based Stance so they can react to multiple directions – Explosive Horizontal and Vertical Jumping, Reaction Skills from all Positions, Defenders Steps (including Cross Over Steps) Linked to Jumping, Diving, Twisting, Landing, and Recovery.
Front-line Players (Forwards, Strikers & Midfielders)
Important: Able to link many different Skills to cover significantly greater distances then over players and they truly benefit from the ability to efficiently link multidirectional acceleration/deceleration speed transitions while receiving high intensity contact with other players.
Full Backs (Defenders)
Important: Able to Link many different Skills to cover Offensive Player. They benefit form the ability to efficiently link multidirectional acceleration/deceleration speed transitions (especially lateral and backward movements) while initiating, receiving high intensity contact with other players and ground contact from sliding tackles.
The number one priority is to keep the athletes on the field. Thus, Acute and Chronic Injury Reduction is the ultimate goal. Teaching/Training Quality Movement is more important than just having the athlete Move. An athlete who is Quality Mover and has developed Useful Strength, Power and Speed will dramatically reduce their chances for injury and will be better able to express that athletic ability over toward skill and tactical proficiency. To accomplish this, baseline assessments must first identify any Movement Dysfunctions (via Functional Movement Screen) and then to immerse the athlete in the program that will address and correct identified movement liabilities. This is accomplished by building the athlete from the entire kinetic movement chain up via the following training categories and progressions:
- Functional Movement Screen (predictive qualitative analysis of Movement) – Correct dysfunctional movement patterns and muscle imbalances based on results of movement assessments.
- Functional Core Stabilization / Balance / Proprioception (Neuromuscular Control) – Improve Range of Motion , Joint Stability and Neuromuscular Strength and Endurance
- Functional Mobility / Flexibility
- Functional Strength Endurance (Hypertrophy)
- Maximum Strength (converted to Power)
- Maximize Lean Muscle to Fat Ratio
- Increase Bone Density and Strength of Connective Tissues
- Power– Transfer Functional Movement Strength to Functional Movement Power
- Maximal Multi-plane Speed / Agility / Quickness / Reaction
- Plyometrics – transfer strength/power to Functional Power & Specificity
- Metabolic Conditioning– Interval training (Anaerobic alactic & lactic Energy Systems Development) – Improve Metabolic Conditioning and Proper Multidirectional Speed Mechanics under a State of Fatigue
- Speed, Agility, Quickness, Reaction – Teach proper Multidirectional Functional Speed Mechanics (Center of Gravity Training, ACL Preventative Training) and once taught, transfer learned mechanics toward greater SAQR Soccer Specificity
- Position Specific
- Rest / Restoration / Recovery / Nutrition
- Supplemental (Yoga, Pilate)
- Mental Conditioning (Sports Psychology)
Goal Keepers vs. Defenders/Mid-Fielders/Forwards have dramatically different requirements with respect to opposed Physical and Performance demands on the field and the Athletic Performance Training approach to meet those demands. In general: Lower Body Strength is required for a strong postural base of support (foundation for explosive speed, acceleration, deceleration, jumping, sliding, diving, tackling, kicking, and twisting. Upper Body Strength is required for administering and/or initiating contact, warding opponents, shielding the ball, and throw-ins. Overall A Strong, Mobile and Neuromuscular / Proprioceptive Aware and Athletic Body will reduce the chance of acute and/or chronic injury, maximize Efficient / Productive Movement, Transfer well toward developing and maintaining Explosive Power and Speed and ultimately offer the platform necessary to complement Skill and Tactical Skill Mastery.
We implement an Empowering Approach. Meaning that our focus is to Teach, Assist, and Direct the athlete toward a level of Athletic Performance Enhancement and Rest / Restoration / Recovery competency that they can apply throughout their athletic career and beyond. In short, developing athletes that are Interdependent / Independent not Dependent.
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