Soccer skill importance

Any input would be appreciated, but people that have played soccer at a competitive level would understand how important skill and ‘game intelligence’ is to succeed in this sport.

From my experience in college here, I have realized that skill work, game awareness, passing, and movement is the most important thing in soccer. There are weekend games here and also pickup or indoor games during the weekdays. Sometimes I get really confused on whether I should sacrifice my physical training routine with the tempo and strength/speed days planned in them to go to those on the weekdays. I usually play once a week or maybe twice but what do you say? I mean I feel like I will get better if I play with other people as this is a team sport, but at the same time I need to get physically better as well so that I’m ready to play for the college team probably in the spring time or I might come out for winter practice as I have talked to the captain about it. In one end you feel like you will get better if you develop your tactical and technical skills and awareness from playing with others in pressurized situations but in another end you want to get physically better as well (strength, speed, stamina wise).

Any suggestions? Flash has told me the simple way would be to call all my games as tempo/skill day and work my strength/speed days around those. I like this idea and was thinking of trying something similar but I definitely hit intense moments (more than 75% of my max speed) various times during the games so I suppose it would hinder my speed/strength gains? What do you guys think?

Skill is definitely the most important element. Physical fitness allows you to apply that skill properly. There might be times in the off season for you to place relatively more emphasis on physical conditioning over skill, but as competition rolls around skill takes the front seat. Occasionally going over 75% during games shouldn’t put a huge dent in your speed training, but even if you do have to scale back slightly at the next speed workout, it’s not that big a deal. It’s like a sprinter scaling back a weight workout after a hard track session. Where is the priority? The whole reason you’re doing speed work in the first place is to enhance your game. Don’t put the cart before the horse.

Yes you are right right now I’ve been leaning more towards games to improve my team play and game intelligence and doing better in pressurized situations. I was thinking this would be a good mean to develop a general fitness base for the game and like two months before I come out for the team I can do rigorous tempo work so that I make sure I am fit enough to be in the team. I suppose trying to play smart would be a good way to go about my games so I don’t waste excessive energy but at the same time I don’t want to hold back. So do you think my CNS would do fine if I followed this method and managed my workouts according to my energy levels (like scaling back on speed/strength work when I had a tough game) and was eating and sleeping well? I suppose this method is better than doing speed/strength work in the late morning and doing a pickup game in the evening and having a recovery day the next day?

It would help if you had a coach to monitor you and pull you back as needed. The more games you’re playing, the less supplemental tempo work you need. I would keep your speed workouts on separate days from games, and use the games as tempo. But that means prioritizing your games. If it’s a light pickup game, then it’s not a priority. Treat it like a tempo workout and adjust your effort accordingly. But the fact of the matter is, we don’t know your exact schedule. Most mortals do well with two speed workouts and two or three tempo workouts per week. If you have a pickup game in the middle of the week, count it as a tempo. If there’s no pickup game, do a tempo workout.

CNS fatigue is always a possibility. That’s why you have to be conservative with your workload and adjust as necessary. Listen to your body, not the workout on paper.

For example, off season might look like
Mon. Speed/weights
Tues. Tempo/skill
Wed. Rest or light skill work
Thurs. Speed/weights
Fri. Tempo/skill
Sat. Rest
Sun. Rest

Mon. Speed/weights
Tues. Skill
Wed. Tempo/skill or pickup game.
Thurs. Rest
Fri. Speed/weights
Sat. Tempo/skill or pickup game
Sun. Rest

Mon. Speed/weights (maintenance)
Tues. Skill
Wed. Pickup game or tempo/skill
Thurs. Speed/weights (maintenance)
Fri. Light skill
Sat. Game
Sun. Rest

I play recreation flag football and this is what I do:

Use a rolling training template
Have (2) low intensity/ext tempo days - let your body gauge how much volume to do, you do 3000m in a session preseason but to maintain during the time frame you are playing games go with 1000-2000m. Integrate pool or general endur circuits when needed.
Have (2) high days - one accel emphasis, one speed emphasis.

I do routes and db drills, medball, plyo, and lower body (if I actually do lower body) on the hi days in addition to sprint reps.
I do upper on the low days almost all year long.

When playing a game drop one of the hi days.

The BIGGEST key imo is…when you just don’t feel like doing something DON’T! If I am mentally not ready to do lower body weights I just skip it. I have noticed no lack of performance and in fact play faster in games than I did a year ago.

I credit James smith with this template and plan.

My schedule is I currently have an intramural game every Sunday that is 30 min (15 min per half). Sometimes there are games on Saturday (like club games), but that is not such an issue. Now I am open to tweaking my speed/strength days on the weekdays and fit in pickup game(s) in there as well. The pickup games don’t usually have a set time but I get the feeling usually Friday or Thursday people will play. Should I schedule it around so that I am freshest for my first speed session (meaning I rested after the game on Sunday and have not played a pickup game) because the weekend pickup games I can give attention to my speed/strength days and fill up on the pickup games after those are done. Any suggestions on how to implement a routine with this would be great.

How often do you play flag football and do you do regular amt of volume of sprinting in addition to all that work? (around 300m) I’ve always wondered how it would be to split the upper and lower body and do upper on low days but I always felt like full body workouts twice a week would be better and just keep it in the high cns days. What are your experiences? And yeah you make a good point about listneing to you body as well. So that is 4 days of training and the other 3 days you rest?

If you’re only playing 30 min. games, it doesn’t really matter that much. There shouldn’t be much residual fatigue. I would just do speed workouts on alternate days. Juggle the schedule as needed. Two speed workouts, two games, and the odd tempo/skill workout per week should cover the bases without being too much work. Do not overthink this.

yeah the 30 min games are only on sundays tho other pickup games in the weekend are longer. So you think if I have a game on Sunday at 7 pm I could do speed/strength on Monday at 10 am or would that be too soon of a gap? The thing is that I am trying to wake up early like 5:30 or 6 so I could do speed/strength at 10 a.m. fine and I end all my classes at 10 am on Mon, Wed, and Fri so I could do speed/strength and later on in the evening I could do some light skill work on that day. If I do it later in the afternoon I’m afraid I won’t have much recovery to do the light skill work. Or what I could do is do tempo/skill on Monday and on Tuesday I could do speed/strength in the afternoon and do light skill work after that? Would that be fine? I really need to get some individual touches on the ball as well so I’m trying to fit that around also.

The only one who can answer these questions is you. It relates to fatigue management, and only you can make that judgment. You have to figure it out as you go along based on general principles. Begin with a very conservative program and see how you respond. Tweak the schedule as needed. Until you actually implement some plan and do it, this is just an exercise in mental masturbation that will lead to paralysis by analysis.

The late Jack Kilby, who invented the integrated circuit had a great piece of advice for engineers, build a product and sell it. Don’t wait until you’re at version 10,000.0 to release it. Same thing with athletes and coaches. Put together a simple, conservative program and do it. Make adjustments as you go.

Sounds good. Charlie principles are sound proof. I have notice my body performs better when all hi intensity elements are done on the same day unless it’s in the gpp phase. Same goes for weight lifting circuits - after studying my hrv scores/readiness I notice the circuits twice per week wasn’t helping under my current situation etc. No weights for me on tempo days.

Yeah good point. I’ll get on with this new routine.