To be great at sports, you must be physically fit; there is no question about it. Sports require a lot of physical strength, flexibility, and a lot of determination. This is why you find so many professional athletes at the gym, before and after practice, to keep pushing their own bodies to be the best they can be.
When I was in high school, I was interested in playing soccer. Usually when you think of a soccer player, you think of a tall, lean person who is really fast. This was what was in my brain and I lucked out in that I was indeed that: very skinny, very fast, and tall.
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However, my coach at the time said in order to play at a college level I was going to have to really boost my weight. I was shocked, but he said it takes great strength to become the best soccer player you can be.
My coach was indeed right, as he usually is. If you watch any professional sports player, male or female, take a look at their core, arms, and legs. They are all extremely fit and at an extremely healthy weight with muscle mass. Muscle is incredibly important for soccer players especially in the lower body.
Your strength from the waist down is required to endure kicking the ball, jumping for headers, tackling an opponent, and also turning on a dime at an incredibly fast speed if there is a turnover. If you have proper weight training for soccer, it will enhance your playing ability, no matter if you are the goaltender, defense, midfield, or power forward.
I took it upon myself to follow a strict weight training regime when I was in high school and university to become the best soccer player I could become. Before you go to the gym and start working out, you need a plan to follow.
You need to know what reps you are going to do, and focus on different areas each day, so you don’t burn out and round out your body! This is incredibly important. I will now walk you through the various weight training for soccer focuses I had to boost my game.
In the gym, when someone uses the term “absolute strength,” that means the most weight at one time that a single muscle group can lift. If your bicep can curl 50 lbs. in one rep, that would be its absolute strength. When playing soccer, you need to focus primarily on your legs’ absolute strength, and build on it, in order to have powerful shots and also run faster.
However, with your highest possible strength, many people at the gym do not factor in how much time they are doing it. If you can press 250 lbs. with your legs, but for only 25 seconds, how good will that be on the field during a 2-hour game? You need to concentrate on increasing your speed and your endurance over time. Aim for lighter weight and go for more reps.
In weight training for soccer, you need to build the power to have great strength but also increase your speed. You need to focus on your contractions while lifting weights. If you are contracting slowly, this is not beneficial for a soccer player.
Focus on lifting the weights as fast as possible to increase your speed and enhance your dynamics for playing soccer. This type of weight training is called “plyometric,” and I highly recommend looking into various workout routines that include this.
I know I’ve stated this before, but this is the most important focus for anyone who is beginning weight training for soccer. Soccer is an endurance sport, and you must build your strength to last a long period of time.
If you are winded and burnt out 30 minutes into your game, what good are you to your team? You need to build up stamina to last an entire game, and even in the final seconds, be playing like you did at the very beginning.
The key to weight training for soccer is to keep going and never miss a day. Commit to a plan and you will begin to see results!