How to Train for Pre-Season Soccer

For athletes of all ages and activities, proper training in the off-season is crucial for making strides in one’s game and endurance.

It is easy to differentiate those who have been working hard from those who have been slacking off over the summer. Whether you’re out of shape, not up to game speed, or a combination of both—you will get left behind. That’s why off-season preparation is so important! See how two collegiate athletes train during the off-season to prepare for the fall soccer season.

Meet Isaac.

College: Colorado College 
Position: striker / winger
Go-to refuel snack: protein smoothie with chocolate, peanut butter, and banana                                
Pump up song: “Stick Talk” by Future

Meet Campbell. 

College: William and Mary
Position: midfield
Go-to refuel snack: chocolate milk
Pump up song: “Right Above It” by Lil Wayne

Training for game play

A soccer player runs an average of 7 miles per game. Isaac trains with three interval runs a week and alternates between short sprints and longer, endurance-based intensive runs. Campbell runs one – two times per week and alternates between sprints and interval training. 

Strength and conditioning coaches recommend building total body strength for maximum performance. You’ll see improvements in your agility, speed, and quickness. A few key areas to focus on are your legs and back. Strong leg muscles help protect your legs from injury, increase your ability to jump, and help to increase your speed during game play. A strong lower back increases your agility and ability to twist and turn away from your opponents. Isaac and Campbell lift weights two – three times a week, focusing on total body strength, explosive power, plyometrics, and ballistics. A typical workout includes bench presses, squats, box jumps, pullups, and shoulder presses, to name a few.

Lastly, team play is crucial to improving one’s performance during game play. Practicing with different individuals allows you to hone your communication skills and focus on your ability to form bonds with new teammates. Isaac and Campbell are both involved in a summer soccer league that helps prepare them for the fall season. 

Approaching the season with the right mind set

Physical preparation is not enough. To be adequately prepared for the fall season, you need to mentally prepare in the off-season. The physical and mental aspects of training are intertwined, strengthening—and in some cases—diminishing one another. The more one trains, the more confident one will be going into pre-season. The right amount of confidence can only enhance one’s performance. 

Players must approach the season with the mentality that they have been honing their skills and working hard during the off-season through physical and mental training. Once the player arrives for the first day of practice they should be thinking to themselves, “This is what I have been working for all summer. Now it is time to see all of that hard work pay off—let’s do this!”

Interested in learning more about sports performance training at acac? Talk to a personal trainer today!