Posts tagged ‘Conditioning’

Fitness and Skills Testing

In next week’s podcast on I discuss the preseason training routine that I perscribe for my players. One way to ensure that they actually DO the preparation is to test them at the start of the season. I also test them at the end of the season.

I use the testing put together by There are six tests; one fitness test, three skills tests and two speed tests.

I’ve found these to be a great indicator of how ready my players are to train. The test we do at the end of the season also tell me if what we have done has improved the players technically and physically. There is only so much we can do to improve speed, you either have it or you don’t but one of the Continue reading ‘Fitness and Skills Testing’ »

Recovering After a Tournament Weekend

The end of the year includes the most important tournaments of the year. We played one over Memorial Day weekend and our State Cup competition begins on the following Friday. I usually plan to train for an hour one each of the days in between the tournament and State Cup.

The first session is purely for recovery. I want the players to get together get warmed up and go through a couple of easy, non contact exercises and fun games to get players loose and rejuvenated after having played four games over the long weekend. The tournament was an Continue reading ‘Recovering After a Tournament Weekend’ »

Dynamic and Active Warm Up Variations

A good pregame warm-up should get a team physically and mentally prepared to play from the first whistle. You can look for some patterns that may point to a need to change how your team warms up before matches.

Does your team often have a slow start or go down a goal early?

Does your team always play better in the second half?

If you answer yes to these question then the issue may Continue reading ‘Dynamic and Active Warm Up Variations’ »

Situational Agility: Face or Turn Back to Player

This post from our Soccer Conditioning Experts at SoccerFIT highlights an area that I’m always working on with my players: Facing up or Back to Pressure.

This post is taken from Sub Chapter 5.11- of our SoccerFIT Yearly Program, where we are talking about body position as it relates to soccer speed/agility, specifically regarding the ability to anticipate a situation and make subtle changes to the hard wired agility patterns based on desired tactical outcomes…

Body Position in Relation to Other Players: The third developmental coaching point is Continue reading ‘Situational Agility: Face or Turn Back to Player’ »

Ball Orientated Conditioning

During the summer I spend some time combing through new training ideas for the upcoming year. As I begin to assemble my training calendar for the fall I’m always on the lookout for economical drills and exercises that incorporate conditioning aspects along with technical and tactical elements. With only two days of training per week, I don’t want to spend 30 minutes just training conditioning to get my players fit for soccer again after the summer break.

With my older teams (U13 to U18) I hold a series of preseason conditioning sessions to give the players a base of fitness that we can work from. With my younger teams (U8 to U12) Continue reading ‘Ball Orientated Conditioning’ »

Recovery Session

We’ve had a lot of games rescheduled this season because of the crazy weather had. We even had snow the first weekend in May that caused the fields to be closed.

My U14 girls play in a local league as well as the Midwest Regional League (MRL) in addition to the occasional tournament. But all of that leads up to the most important tournament of the year, State Cup. The winner of State Cup goes to Regionals to play the 21 State Cup Champions from our Region. The winners of each of the four Regions in the U.S. progress to the USYS National Championship which will be held at the Overland Park Soccer Complex this summer.

I originally arranged our schedule so that the games were spaced nicely with sufficient time for training, rest and recovery but the rained out games have piled up and now we’re looking at about 15 games in 27 days. Warm-ups, cool-downs and Continue reading ‘Recovery Session’ »

Developing Confidence in Young Players

This weeks post is inspired by a post from our Soccer Conditioning Expert, Scott Moody with Soccer FIT. He talks about the spiral that occurs as a result of a player either being confident or lacking confidence. Players that lack confidence will also lack motivation, be more reluctant to try and as a result have perform low level of skill. This will confirm the players lack of confidence and the spiral continues. But we, as coaches, can turn this spiral in the opposite direction by encouraging them to attempt a small part of the skill, praise them when they Continue reading ‘Developing Confidence in Young Players’ »

3 Simple Rules for Youth Coaches

As a coach I focus most of my session planning and design around the techniques and tactics that my players need to improve their performance and reach their goals. Reading this post from Scott Moody, our Conditioning Expert at the Soccer FIT Academy, I was reminded that it is not enough to coach the physical and mental part of the game. It’s my responsibility to trigger the players imagination and passion for the game so that they will continue to enjoy the process of training and playing. Without this passion they are more likely to give up playing because Continue reading ‘3 Simple Rules for Youth Coaches’ »

ACL Injury Overview (Research Review)

Today’s post if from our Conditioning Expert, Scott Moody with Soccer FIT Academy. This post was interesting to me as a coach but also as a father of a high school aged soccer player. I’m all for anything that can help reduce the risk of injury while also improving performance.

In the past, we have put up several posts on ACL injury, rehab and risk reduction exercises, but I ran across a summary of research articles (Serpell, Scarvell, et al 3160-3176) compiled in the NSCA’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that I wanted to break down for you. The following is a brief breakdown Continue reading ‘ACL Injury Overview (Research Review)’ »

Maintaining Soccer Fitness Indoor

The indoor season provides a change of pace and focus that I think is good for player development but you don’t want to completely lose the base of fitness that was built during the outdoor season. The challenge is that you have a limited amount of space to work with when you’re training indoor. We use a school gym, and a small one at that. I look for exercises that mimic the movement patterns of the game while using space as economically as possible.


The warm-up below is from Dave Tenney and included in our Ultimate Soccer Conditioning Training Pack. It includes all of the movements that occur in a game and can be adjusted to focus on whatever area is important to the coach.


Movement Progression
Exercise #1
Setup – jog, shuffle, spring, jog

Coaching Points
Decelerate – slow, stop, prevent muscle pulls

Exercise #2
Setup – back peddle, sprint, turn inside sprint, stop, job

Coaching Point
At the highest level turning is the difference between making it and not
making it .

Exercise #3
Setup – shuffle, spring, turn sprint, stop, jog
Open gate

The series of runs can also be done with a ball to add a technical element. Another progression is to add passing and movement as shown below.

Exercise #4
Setup – pass, set, play target – back to beginning

Coaching Points
• Part of speed is getting a rhythm of passing
• Hard pass vs. lay off
• Be precise
• Long pass is with inside of the foot
• Soccer fitness is the ability to be fast, be fast often and the ability to
recover between moments when you were fast.

These and many more conditions sessions are included in the Ultimate Soccer Conditioning Training Pack.

Have a Great Day!