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3 Important Things You Need to be Aware of As Your Start Your Spring Season




By: Kevin Butler

We have returned or will be returning from Spring Break. For some, you’ve gotten an early season tournament in, or already started league and State Cup play. For others, you’re just now starting your outdoor training, with your first match right around the corner. Either way, there are 3 important things you should be aware of.

Fitness level isn’t quite there

Players often enter the spring season, not being in the same shape they were when you finished the fall campaign. Many players (and parents) believe the playing winter sports (swimming, basketball, wrestling, gym class, weightlifting, etc) are great ways to stay in shape. And they are… but it’s not the same as soccer shape. Don’t worry, depending on your age group, there are different things you can do. First, incorporate more fitness into your training. We all know the rule of avoiding the three L’s (laps, lines, and lectures) and it fits here. Obstacle courses, relays, small group competition, small sided games all increase intensity and will increase fitness. For your players playing 11 a side, they can take responsibility outside of training to get back in shape. The simple rule: change it up. Running a 5k doesn’t look like soccer, so change up speed and duration for a more effective workout.

Touch & Rhythm is Off

We all know, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. With some of your players, you will see minor occurrences where something is missed or a mistake is made that they were not making last fall. For others, the errors will certainly be more prominent. Their winter soccer activity will likely have an impact on which you see. Even if they haven’t been away from soccer, most players still haven’t been in the same training environment that they are today. As a result, the team will need to knock off some rust. Recommendations: Success and Repetition. Both will quickly and effectively bring back a player’s confidence and familiarity with the task. Keep it simple and build up slowly. Find the positive and praise it!

Skill Level Seems to Have Dropped

At some point, puberty will affect every player. Growth spurts affect coordination and that coordination change will show up on field. Be patient with your player, encourage them to stick with it. Players will ebb and flow in their self-confidence, it’s our responsibility to support them. The move they struggle with today will be the skill they need in the game tomorrow. Stay the course!

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