Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Endurance training doesn't have to be DULL

"Good endurance is the key to staying sharp and focused right up to the end of the game."

The fever practice sessions there in a week, the less time you can "SACRIFICE" for separate endurance training sessions. If you only have three sessions per week, then you should integrate endurance training into regular practice, using technical-tactical games and exercises with the ball. A comprehensive and interesting warm-up program can also help improve endurance. Of course, if you practice more often, then you have more freedom in terms of how you organize practice and what you include. You have a great opportunity to include more interesting types of endurance training exercises, without having to compromise other important building blocks such as systematic technical-tactical training.

It doesn't do any good to go all out with endurance training during the pre-season, only break it off as soon as the season starts. In order to develop basic endurance that will last for an entire season, players must first build it up over a long period of time (that is, over the entire pre-season) and then stabilize it with regular running sessions (at least once per week) during the season itself. But, again, in the youth soccer, stabilizing endurance must not be allowed to interfere with technical-tactical training. In this case, developing and maintaining endurance must take the form of "homework", exercises for players to perform on their own. Warm-up and cool-down runs before and after practice can also be considered part of endurance training.

In the youth soccer, if you prefer to use exercises to improve endurance, there are ways to organize the exercises so that the emphasis is on endurance. Since the field is relatively large, compared to the size of the teams, players face physical demands that are fairly heavy, but steady. In such a large playing area, direct (and physically intense) 1v1's are much less common, while safe combination plays are easier. You can encourage combination plays even more by making one team larger than the other, e.g. 8v6, 7v5. Finally, the playing time should be relatively long, to make sure all players work hard.

The importance of endurance training:

The importance of basic and specialized endurance in soccer cannot be stated clearly enough. A player with well-developed endurance can:

- play entire match at the high speed and with tactical control, alert and focused right up to the last minute of play
- handle short bursts of extreme exertion (explosive sprints and jumps, changes of direction, high speed dribbling) more easily. and also recover better after practice and matches.
- stay fresh enough to avoid the risk of injury in many situations

Problem with endurance training:

Because endurance (basic and specialized) is so important for performance in soccer, it's absolutely essential to work on it systematically, especially (but not only) during the pre-season. This is all the training theory we really need. But, there are still a number of obstacles to endurance training in youth soccer. Many coaches still consider running laps to be good endurance training; obviously, this takes the fun out of soccer even for the most motivated player. However, as soon as we start to look around for practical, interesting exercises and training methods , these "obstacles" disappear immediately, because there's a whole range of attractive alternatives to choose from:

- endurance training exercises
- combinations of running and exercises
- endurance parcourse (running plus related extra tasks)

Basic principles of youth soccer endurance training:

Endurance practice should be:

- involve the ball whenever possible
- focus on being comprehensive, not intense
- be interesting and fun
- take advantage of a variety of training tools and methods
- be different from the rest of the practice (different running groups)

Any thoughts?

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