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BLOCK THREE: JULY 15th - AUGUST 2nd

A warm-up that will teach your players practise dribbling the ball with two feet and help them to learn how to change direction quickly MORE. This session sharpens an array of soccer skills at the beginning of a season when players need to get their bodies back into balance and refresh their technique on the ball. This is a great session to use for sharpening awareness and coordination.

A simple warm-up to get your players thinking about speed — both when running without the ball and when dribbling with the ball. Coaches and players alike will be planning for pre-season over the summer months — it is good practice to prepare yourself and your players for the physical push towards the new season. Share this Share. Related Pre-season: staying fit in Email newsletters , Fitness and Diet , Pre-season Don't just dig out your boot bag the day before training is due to start and polish your boots MORE Work on your pre-season at the beach in Fitness and Diet , Pre-season You don't have to be on a football pitch to start your pre-season — players and coaches alike can be a bit creative at the beach and set themselves some targets for the holidays.

MORE Fast feet in Arrival activities , Warm Ups A warm-up that will teach your players practise dribbling the ball with two feet and help them to learn how to change direction quickly MORE Diamonds sharpen skills in Arrival activities , Warm Ups This session sharpens an array of soccer skills at the beginning of a season when players need to get their bodies back into balance and refresh their technique on the ball.


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MORE Bounce and go in Arrival activities , Warm Ups A simple warm-up to get your players thinking about speed — both when running without the ball and when dribbling with the ball. MORE Get in shape before pre-season in Email newsletters , Fitness and Diet Coaches and players alike will be planning for pre-season over the summer months — it is good practice to prepare yourself and your players for the physical push towards the new season.

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P: possible difference; L: likely difference V: very likely difference; A: almost certainly difference. Letters a, b, and c correspond to differences from U15, U17, and U20 age-categories, respectively. Figure 2 depicts the comparisons of the sprint velocity VEL in 5, 10, and 20 m among the different age categories. Comparisons of the velocity VEL in 5, 10, and 20 m among the different age-categories of soccer players.

P: possible difference; L: likely difference.

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Figure 3 shows the comparisons of the ACC between , , and m among the different age categories. Comparisons of the acceleration ACC in , , and m among the different age-categories of soccer players. L: likely difference; A: almost certainly difference. In this study, we examined the differences in physical performance of elite soccer athletes, who played in four distinct age-categories i. From a general perspective, as expected, throughout the prospective development of these players, the power-related capacities i.

On the other hand, although these athletes performed specific strength-power training programs in accordance with their respective ages and necessities, surprisingly, the younger players i. This is the first study to show this important impairment in maximal acceleration performance in the early phases of the development program of the investigated cohort of athletes. Recently, a series of studies has been developed to investigate changes in neuromuscular performance which occur during the prospective development of soccer athletes.

For instance, Loturco et al. However, due to the absence of differences in relative muscle power i. Similarly, Mujika et al. Actually, this lack of improvement in speed ability throughout the soccer age categories seems to be an important contradiction in sport science, due to the increased speed demand in contemporary soccer Barnes et al. The reasons behind this noteworthy training paradox may be related to two different factors: the interference phenomenon caused by the progressive increase in the volume of typical soccer training i.

In fact, several authors have reported the inherent difficulties involved in maximizing speed and power abilities in elite soccer Loturco et al. For instance, whereas we noticed meaningful physical improvements from U17 to U20, we detected an unexpected lack of speed enhancements between U20 and senior players. Accordingly, likely impairment in ACC m Furthermore, during this prospective period, an absence of positive responses was also noticed in the unloaded vertical jump performance i.

Indeed, it has previously been reported that the transition from lower to higher sprint velocities results in shorter contact times with a simultaneous and substantial increase in vertical peak force Loturco et al. Thus, athletes capable of applying higher levels of force against the ground in the vertical direction should be equally effective in jumping higher and accelerating for longer than their weaker peers Loturco et al.

Since our players did not present any improvement in vertical jump ability from the U20 to senior category — even presenting a decrease of 1. Surprisingly, the youngest and theoretically less specialized players i. More recently, Barnes et al. Thus, to cope with this increased demand in professional soccer, it is highly recommended that players progressively enhance their maximum acceleration capacity throughout the age categories, achieving their higher levels of performance at senior stages. Indeed, some authors have suggested that the low percentage of total training time dedicated to strength and power development, and especially dedicated to speed development may be considered as a partial explanation for the absence of significant improvements in sprinting speed in professional soccer Jeffreys, ; Loturco et al.

Accordingly, Jones et al. For instance, it was recently reported that the implementation of training schemes based on the optimum power loads could be superior to traditional strength training for eliciting positive adaptations in sprint performance of professional soccer athletes Loturco et al.

How to Improve Your Soccer Acceleration

As such, the regular use of loaded and unloaded jumps during different training phases i. Obviously, these practices should be properly accommodated and distributed over the soccer training routine, in order to maximize the speed-related adaptations and reduce the undesired concurrent effects. The apparent contradiction of this study, however, lies in the substantial improvement in muscle power ability throughout the soccer age categories Figure 1. Since our data revealed significant impairment in the prospective development of sprint performance, owing to the close relationships between power and speed Cronin and Hansen, , a similar response could also be expected in these neuromechanical capacities.

Nevertheless, after analyzing the outcomes, we observed that the players presented meaningful increases of It would appear that simply focusing on strength and power attributes is insufficient to maximize speed development and that dedicated speed sessions should form an essential part of any soccer conditioning program Bate et al. In this regard, Kotzamanidis et al. This finding is also supported by other investigations Maio Alves et al.

Acceleration For Soccer - Soccer Game Sense Understanding For Success

Therefore, besides the recommended adaptations in the total training content i. Importantly, and similar to sprint performance, there was remarkable stabilization of muscle power capacity from U20 to senior, which was also noticed in a previous study involving these specific categories Loturco et al.


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  4. Although we observed a considerable increase in the total volume of neuromuscular training between these two age groups Table 1 , it is reasonable to assume that the disproportional intensification of typical soccer training i. As previously established Coutts et al. Thereby, to maximize the neuromechanical adaptations from resistance training in senior players, head coaches and technical staff should be aware of the importance of regularly implementing intensive but not extensive soccer-specific training methods i.

    This practice may reduce the possible impairment in neuromuscular capacities, since it has been stated that SSGs do not negatively interfere with power-related performance Loturco et al. However, it is unlikely that these will be able to provide the dedicated speed training needed for optimal performance, and dedicated speed sessions are likely required if a player needs to optimize maximal speed performance, also ensuring that the player is optimally prepared for the speed runs that will be encountered in a game Bate et al.

    Our findings are limited by the fact that only one professional soccer club was investigated, thus limiting the generalization of our findings. In addition, we did not consider the maturity groups within each age group to control for the effects of biological maturity status on the testing results Deprez et al. However, it is important to emphasize that dividing the players according to chronological age is an ecologically valid approach since soccer federation rules are based on this maturation criterion to regulate the competitions.

    Similarly, the study did not analyze training undertaken by the players, as this also has the capacity to affect speed and power performance.

    How To Improve Soccer Speed and Acceleration

    In summary, our results suggest that elite soccer players involved in development programs successfully improve their lower limb power-related capacities, as expressed by vertical jumping height and jump squat mean propulsive power, from the U15 to the senior category. However, the ability to accelerate over very-short distances m is highest in the U15 age-group, evidencing that from this early phase of their career, soccer players are not adequately prepared for high speed performance and potentially suffer from the effects of high volumes of technical-tactical training which appear to negatively interfere in the development of the neuromuscular ability to perform sprints.

    Contrary to the expected result, it appears that the evolution of speed performance in elite soccer throughout the prospective development of players is highly compromised by two distinct factors: 1 the ineffectiveness of the neuromuscular training strategies used by coaches, and 2 the imbalance between typical soccer endurance and strength-power-speed training. These data may have significant implications for creating more effective strategies to adequately increase neuromechanical capacities in this specific group of team sport athletes, frequently exposed to concurrent training effects, and all its adverse consequences e.

    Based on these findings, strength and conditioning professionals involved in soccer are encouraged to constantly revise their daily methods and implement modern strength-power and speed training practices i. Bate et al.

    Creating a Comprehensive Soccer Lesson

    Furthermore, soccer coaches should prioritize refining the sport-specific skills of their players and teams through the application of intensive but not extensive training loads, such as provided by the different forms of SSGs, and supplement these with speed specific development sessions. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List J Hum Kinet v. J Hum Kinet. Published online Oct Nakamura 5.

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