I am sometimes asked, “What is the primary difference between professional and collegiate soccer?” The answer is Speed of Play and overall dedication. Speed of play is so significant that if you will watch the different professional league games televised from around the world you will notice this to be true. Even in differentiating the best leagues and teams. Therefore, when I am asked by an aspiring soccer player, “What is the most important thing I need to do to be ready for the season?” My answer is also, “Improve your speed of play and work on your own before preseason training.”
Below you’ll learn 5 ways to improve your game before and during preseason training.
1. Be light on your feet by eating right
Nutrition is a key component of the any person’s success.
This is a key lifestyle habit to acquire ASAP. If you are tired and sluggish on the field, your technical or athletic ability can only take you so far.
2. Build endurance for preseason training
Your fitness level must be better than that of others – especially as soccer is ALL running. There is not anything you do that does not require constant movement. Endurance builds on nutrition and hydration status.
Mix up your preseason training with short and longer distance running. In regards to long distance, I’m talking 25 minute runs where you sprint 20-40 seconds every 3-4 minutes. This gets your heart rate up high. Then during the 3-4 minutes of running it stays up. Try to keep your heart rate between 160 and 185 during these runs.
3 great sprinting exercises: [short and long]
- Doggies/lines. Sprint 5 yards there and back. Then 10, 15, 20 and 25 yards. Do at least 5 sets. These are great to do after a pick-up game or training session.
- do 2400 yards of sprints. Break it up in 4 sets. Each set sprint a 300 yard, 200 yard and two 100 yards sprints. Between each sprint walk a total of 40 yards.
- Sprint diagonals across the field and jog the goal line (flag to flag). Do 10 of these. Not fun:) but it builds endurance.
3. Have a good first touch
Nothing else matters if your first touch is not good.
The fitness and nutrition are necessary to play and will be called upon if you lose a ball. The key is to receive the ball well so that if you are pressured to make a fast play you have control and if you have time to make another move you also have control.
One of the best ways to improve many areas of your game is by finding a wall. Read this blog post to get ideas on using a wall to improve passing, shooting and first touch.
Watch this short video on ways to use a rebounder.
4. Get your mindset right
Spending hours kicking the soccer ball against a brick wall and improving your touch will do a great deal for your mindset. Why? YOU KNOW you’re putting in the time, doing the right things, and becoming better on the ball.
Right choices and lifestyle go a long way toward confidence and being ready. You walk away feeling satisfied.
Just remember to learn from your mistakes, but meditate on your good moments [think positive].
5. Give yourself time for preseason training
Season preparation cannot be achieved in 2-3 weeks. Leaving such an important aspect of your game to the last minute insults yourself and others. ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’ [Lao-tzu] ~ creating a path for success will enable you to make better choices that add up to a big difference [& yes – you can still have fun too!].
As you can see, there is no ‘easy way’ or ‘shortcut’ to success but when you make a habit of good choices then you free yourself to focus on the ONE BEST THING necessary for season success.
Improve your skill on the ball
We get several athletic players who have good speed, but lack the smooth skills to match.
If you are one of these players looking to improve your ball control get my courses! You’re going to improve fast!
Get my ball control courses now. Ad free – Safe platform – Self paced – Easy planner – Track your progress
Bonuses: Nutrition – Injury Guidebook – DIY Highlight Course – Header Course