Soccer-specific strength and fitness training for soccer players is a hotly debated topic. Off season strength training for soccer athletes has been the source of debate for many years and it still unresolved. The first question to be addressed is whether there really is an off season for top flight soccer players? At any level? Male or female? In my opinion the answer is no! Should there be? Well, that’s a topic for another article or series of articles and is part of an ongoing and intense debate.r soccer streams
For the purposes of this article, let’s assume there is something of an off season, even if it is simply a period when a soccer player plays less often. Once established, then the next issue to be addressed is: What sort of training will provide the greatest edge when the next season begins? The answer is complex but, in addition to continuing to keep your foot on the ball, and yourself on the pitch, at least a couple of times a week minimum, it is time to hit the gym!
I receive interesting questions and comments from time to time on this topic. Interestingly, many soccer coaches are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to strength training for soccer players.
I routinely receive and letters from colleagues and the information I receive generally falls into three categories:
1) The old soccer training school: “All you have to do is play soccer!”
2) The conservative soccer training school (usually voiced by parents): “My child is already doing too much, he (or
she) doesn’t need any more training!”
3) The informed soccer training school: “I realize the players are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before and if I want to compete at the highest levels, I need an edge!”
It shouldn’t take a genius to guess which position I take on this subject? Yup, number 3!
The most misinformed comment I have received to date came from a “coach” who was critiquing an article I wrote on leg training is illustrative of the first school of thought, the old school. The coach maintained that because soccer players do not engage in muscle movement similar to the muscle movement used in the performance of a specific exercise, or use the muscles to prompt such movements in exactly that way on the pitch, there is no need for leg extensions and leg curls!