Soccer training question

Can dribbling fast be done on my tempo or “light days” as well? Can I not judge how my body and mind feels and train according to it? Like how would I even know if my cns was not optimal… if you say to yourself you need rest or your cns is not recovered then your brain will think that way which will influence your body so I think changing your thinking and not being stressful can help you train more as well. Thoughts?

Yes that makes sense I will just do my regular training and not worry about it then.

You see I have been a bit lazy recently and only been playing weekend games and I have been busy with school work so I have had a hard time following a schedule of training, but will definitely start soon so once I start training regularly again with the ball I think that won’t be a problem. My school is 5 minutes from my house and on the mornings of my weekend games would it be okay to do some wall drills and I guess it can be a sort of warm ups in the mornings of game days for me. How long should it last btw?

I think you are mixing things up. What Charlie suggests is obviously very fine, but it’s there to be adjusted depending on your needs. The volume given for tempo is for professional players, from what I remember. But overall, tempo volume should be higher vs. a short/long sprinter, that’s the point.

If you are in doubt regarding intensity, keep it either very low or very high. Don’t expect your body to dictate your mind -it’s the other way around…

Place those things first that are of priority depending on your plan. E.g., if speed is your number one priority for that day, do it first. If skill comes first, place it before tempo. In any case, technique should come first, generally speaking.

On more practical matters, I think Angela was referring to your Saturday match and the need for a short warm-up in the morning of that day. Try this first and see how you feel on both weekend days. Then you decide.

And stop being a bit lazy! :slight_smile: (joke)

Sounds awesome. So since I do soccer skill work in the beginning I am doing some aerobic fitness so can my tempo work be less? And for some parts of the tempo I think I should dribble the ball at around 70-75% percent intensity as well.

Yes warming up in the morning prolly would be good. I’ll try it… maybe I’ll go to my school and do some wall drills as well with the ball to keep my coordination and awareness of the ball sharp, but will keep in mind that it’s a warm up. I’m going on vacation on Friday for a couple of days so when I return I will prioritize my training and be strict about it :smiley:

70-75% of what? Of your dribbling skill max or of your grass-speed max? Ha. Re-read that thread -I think there is a talk with regards to bringing the ball into your conditioning or not. It’s probably up to you to make up your mind on this…

Skill training is a priority for me. Tbh I am already physically good enough to play the sport except my endurance but its my skill that lacks behind but if I can improve my speed and strength as well while I’m improving my skill it will make really stand up and help me take to the next level I believe. I meant 70-75% of grass speed max. If I am dribbling at my fastest would that still be 70-75% max of my sprint speed or what? I’ve read the thread many times but can’t really find info about ball incorporation except duxx saying there are high and low cns soccer activities which I’m not sure I even learned from that thread I think it was from a different source (his soccerspecific powerpoint has it). He says dribbling is a low cns activity but I’m not sure if it is easy going dribbling or match speed dribbling.

Only a stopwatch can tell you the intensity…

OK then, there is a discussion with regards to whether conditioning training should be done with or without the ball. Both can work or has worked. This forum’s opinion by those with some experience at the highest level was that conditioning would be better achieved without the ball. Search the forum as best as you can (via google, too).

Conditioning is better achieved without the ball for those at the highest level because they don’t need the extra ball work. For those not at the highest level, if you can incorporate the ball into some of your conditioning, the extra touches will be helpful. Some conditioning should also probably be done without the ball.

I think this is the best way. So guys again should my skill work and dribbling with the ball compromise my volume for the amount of tempo work I do? What I mean is doing those drills and stuff should not mean I do less tempo work right or what do you say?

And so practicing free dribbling and cutting and turning can be done on tempo or light days as well then? Do I really need to worry about this?

Awesome replies everyone! Soccer chats on here are fantastic.

Having prepared players from the high school level to play college, I can say for certain there needs to be an element that prepares you to do well on the coaches fitness test, whatever that may be. Nearly 20 college coaches my athletes played for always started fall off with some type of fitness test. This alone can separate you from the team being in top shape, as many of my players would set team fitness records as incoming freshman doing tempo.

I would recommend reducing to 1 game weekly. I have timed my athletes in actual games (not pickup) and found most possessed the ball less than 90 seconds of a 90 minute game. To me, skill mastery is important, (as was stated previous). I would look to add skill training sessions where your quality and quantity of touches will far exceed those in a pick up game. I would also try to figure out how much fatigue a pick up game causes. My guess is not much.

In the past during the summer, I have used this weekly set up with my players with long training history with me

Monday: AM: Speed & wts PM: tempo
Tuesday: AM: skill training (or practice): PM: tempo
Wednesday: Speed & wts
Thursday: Am: skills (or practice) PM Tempo
Friday: Tempo:
Sat: Game(s)
Sun off

Part of this was set up not ideally, but due to other issues. I also might replace Friday’s tempo with the athlete’s fitness test. I felt it was important at least every 2 weeks to test them so they can see the improvement and for them to get comfortable with the test. In many cases, athletes playing time was determined on their fitness test score so this was important to the ultimate goal (getting them playing time).

For speed work days, I usually did 2-4 reps of resisted sprints (tires orsled, no hills around), did many medBall throws found in GPP, push up sprint variation (including visual reaction into sprints), and change of direction drills emphasizing technique mastery (placement of feet relating to hips etc), not just running around cones. Since they practiced and played 3 days a week, I figured this into their weekly schedule as “agility” days and felt no need to add this to workouts.

Maybe Duxx can comment on his experiences, I never used balls for tempo work as I felt it was more kick and chase. I believe Duxx has developed some interesting ball drills.

You know this has always been a dilemma for me… whether to decide to play an extra day or use it for recovery and have other quality training days alone where I can get more touches on the ball by training alone than with others. My pickup games depends but usually it is more intense nowdays than before, but I try to limit my running because I don’t want to work myself out, but maybe if I go once a week then I can give my best and use the next day as recovery and there is nothing holding me back and I can go all out without worrying about recovering tomorrow as it will be a rest day tomorrow. It also depends on your condition as I haven’t done any aerobic work so ofcourse it’s gonna seem tiring to me, but once I get more fit the games are not gonna be as tiring, but that’s good because I will be able to play with more intensity and improve as a player. It’s not intense as a real match, but I will try to treat it as such so I can make it more realistic and improve myself.
Also I’ve been wondering because at this age I think most of my development will come best if I played in game situations more so wouldn’t playing both days actually help me with my positioning and awareness of the ball and spacing and working on my first touch to setup for a goal or when to pass or shoot…all those decisions that are critical to make you a better player. What do you say?

I like your setup. So you don’t do any skill training on Friday then? Just tempo? May I ask why? Is it okay to do skill training that day too? And for Monday you do speed and weights and tempo in the evening? How are your experiences with that? I don’t have resistance sprints so hill running is my best option, but that is only available at my school, but if I go to my school then I don’t think I will be able to use their field to do my soccer training as that is used for the school team athletes and plus it will be in the morning where school is going on, but I will be able to lift right after doing hills so doing speed and weights at the same time will work for me that day. My hill is really steep and around 12-15 yards I think. Doing 10 reps with 1 minute rest and then taking 3-5 minute rest and lifting would suffice I suppose? Or should I do 2 sets of that instead of 1? On the evening I can do skill/tempo work I guess? Could I focus on skill instead of tempo as that is more of a priority for my development as a player? What do you think?

I’ve looked at alot of Duxx’s stuff. His drills are related with training a team so it doesn’t really help me :(.
And what type of skill training or team practices did you conduct? Can you do stuff like dribbling up to a cone with speed and acclerating away as skill training on your lower intensity days? I suppose that’s not that bad yeah.

As for tempo work with the ball I’m still not sure because I don’t know how going at that pace during a match will really help. Maybe it is better to do it without the ball and most of the running you do in the game is ofcourse without the ball as well so it makes sense. Maybe for 1/4 to 1/2 of the tempo work I can do it with dribbling a ball even if I am not going fast. Getting more touches will help me get better contact on the ball I suppose.

Here’s a thread I found duxx talked about tempo with ball

I guess I can do it for some parts and another question I had was how do I judge it is tempo speed? How do I know it is 70-75% of my grass speed that day? And while running with the ball my grass speed would be actually slower because I will always need to stop to take a touch and move the ball forward so my actual dribbling speed can be more high, but in comparison to the grass speed it could still be in tempo range? Like even if I’m going 80-85% of my full dribbling pace it might be still in the tempo range speed (75% of my max grass speed that day).

Also for speed can you tell me more about change of direction drills as I know running around cones that are already marked won’t really help you develop game agility. I think doing linear sprinting and doing ball drills with acceleration probably would take care of everything in my opinion but I’m open to see what you do for change of direction work. Also, for my speed days I also incorporate the ball in my sprints (e.g. sprint 10 yards w/o ball and turn and sprint back 10 yards with a ball) as I think it’s important to practice going as fast as you can with the ball as well. Do you agree that I should also incorporate this in my speed days or is that unnecessary and I can do that type of stuff on my skill training days?

Some extra touches won’t hurt you under the circumstances you describe, i.e., your level and basically being on your own. But stay focused on what you want to achieve overall as part of your preparation and/or on a certain day.

Starting tempo with some touches and finishing the rest without the ball can work. If you feel you are behind and you need some good tempo workouts, leave the ball aside for that day(s). Tempo, according to the definition given by Charlie and for this forum, is at 70-75% of your maximum intensity on the same surface, i.e., grass in your case, I guess. If timing yourself on grass does not apply to you for whatever reason, you should finish your session in the same way you start it, if not slightly faster, considering you are ‘warming up’ in the first few reps. When in rhythm, count your steps for a certain distance and stay there, despite feeling you can/‘should’ go faster. Better safe than sorry. There is always the next day for assessment and adjustments, if/when needed (e.g., a speed or a game day can tell you that).

As for speed, give more emphasis on your speed reserve and linear speed, extending from time to time the distance to more than just accelerations. Since proper team practices are missing at the moment, you could use an agility session, but this is not the same with acceleration/speed development as such.

Following on from a point made above by dreambig, i’ve a question for the forum in general:-

What are your thoughts with regards consecutive matchdays (In this case pickup games) when coaching developmental & young players?

From my experience i’ve always promoted them and let players compete (within reason), several reasons behind this;

  • At this level there tends to be less involvement with play (measured as an interaction between the player, the ball or an opposing players possession of the ball) and more general aerobic/anaerobic movement patterns, generally resulting in less injuries and fatigue (as oppossed to consecutive matches at a senior level)

  • The need to develop greater communication and understanding of the game

  • The need to increase the quantity & experience of “actual” match situations

  • Extra development of specific playing positions:- positions are learnt quicker & mistakes are rectified sooner i.e a mistake made on the first day is fresh in the mind and is less likely to be repeated than if several days/ a week has passed before a similar situation repeats itself

I wouldn’t advise playing consecutive games if the player was playing at a higher level, feeling fatigued, carrying any injuries or was due to play another match within 4 days.

Does anyone disagree with this philosophy - bearing in mind some of these young players could turn professional at 16 and be playing 3 full senior games per week and training in small sided games daily?

Modified tactical games within training and with instruction and coach-led education would be a better use of youth players time at that stage of development than whole games.
There is a greater probability and control in these situations eliciting positive learning outcomes in the youth, rather than other options.

Sounds good I was thinking doing match speed dribbling up to a cone and making a move and accelerating away would be a good drill to carry out on high cns day. On lighter days I can still carry some out though I think or maybe at a lesser intensity depending on how I feel. I will try do skill in the morning and tempo in the evening like ESTi’s template.

I am speaking from North American side of youth soccer.

I have seen your scenario where higher level youth clubs will practice 2x week and play 2-3 games on weekends, including possibly 2 games within 1 day, often 3 games in 36 hour period. And this is done close to half the year.

As far as I remember the US Soccer coaches program advocates technical development early on (not many games), progressing to tactical development (more game focused). I will try to dig out the info if I can find it, but i recall around age 14 they recommend physical preparation.

Teams around age 12 can handle such a weekend load, but I don’t think it should be done for extended periods of time. My belief is to use a “GPP”-“SPP”-“Comp” scheduling, twice a year. GPP in summer (physical preparation), SPP in early Fall (aug-Sept, technical focus, maintain fitness/speed), and comp would be maybe 6-8 weeks of more game focus. Depending in the winter/spring focus this could be repeated 1-2 more times. Technical training is a must year round. the “GPP” above might include short sprint work, med ball work, general strength, ab work, flexibility/mobility (especially around age 12 when puberty begins to cause chaos). I have seen too many kids get burned out with the current set up and “only the strong” survive often leads to many injuries (I have found more kids get hurt in the end of a long competition block).

(1) my set up was mainly based on their team’s schedule. I am not a soccer coach, and leave skill development to those much better versed. The skills training was either on their own, with a team, or with a skills circuit one of my college girls was tested in (mainly variations of juggling and dribbling work). I liked it because it gave them something organized to do that was purposeful. I feel skill training can be categorized. Juggling, touch work, passing (without much running around) is very low intensity and can be done often. Shooting is one many want to do alot, but I find they overdo, and leads to quad tightness. I always recommended shooting done on speed and wt days, keeping the “HI_LOW” theme intact, and tempo days was the lower intensity skills.

(2) Starting with 1 set and working to 2-3 sets of hills is do-able. MY track team has a 15 yd hill and we did 3 sets of 10 during fall GPP.

(3) I have kept things very simple and never tried to combine (soccer + speed drills) much into my sessions. I left that for their technical sessions with trainers who know more than me (Just like as a person versed in speed development, it drives me nuts watching soccer coaches do “speed agility quickness” training with teams, I prefer to not do soccer training in my sessions). I’m not saying you can’t, I just don’t. I did however, do testing of a cone course every 2 weeks to keep athletes on task with skill development with the ball.

The change of direction drills would be categorized similar to A skips, B skips etc. They are easy to do, and just require some attention at slow speeds and progression to faster speeds. The progressions may be difficult to understand through words. I came up with the 3 P’s for changing direction. Plant step (foot ideally perpendicular to the direction you want to go), Point (the not plant leg foot pointed in direction you want to go, while being placed under the hips), and Push (with foot under hips, you can now accelerate with proper mechanics). Most athletes can do the first 2 great, but the Push step is often a long reaching step landing way too far in front of the hips. I find these worked well. When ball work was done, the Push often led to a long reach step to maintain balance (but then again, maybe the touch was poor-me not being the skill coach).

I think it also depends on what the player needs to work on. For me, working on my first touch in game situations is priority so it makes sense to get more game scenarios to improve it so I’m leaning towards playing both on Saturday and Sunday. Also what do you guys think about dribbling question again? Can speed dribbling to a cone and making a move and accelerating away be done on lighter days as technical ballwork? And is it best to do skill work and tempo separately (skills in A.M. and tempo in P.M.) Ill play Sat and Sun and rest on Monday and Wed and Fri are lighter days. Should I do this for both days? (the a.m. skills and tempo p.m.)

Can someone also give me advice on this?

Wouldn’t it be good to do soccer drills with speed to make it more specific to the sport and help you in the game more? And what do you think would be the best way for me to setup my schedule. I’m leaning towards playing sat and sun (check my recent post as to why) and Monday would be a good rest day. You know how you did skills a.m. and tempo on p.m. would that be a good idea for me as well? And for skill work I can do dribbling up to a cone and making a move and accelerating away on my “lighter days” too yeah? Also how much volume would you go for tempo if you do skills on morning. Should that affect your tempo volume or am I overthinking? So my wed and fri will be lighter days. Should I follow the a.m. skills and p.m. tempo routine for these days? And for Tuesday and Thursday I was thinking for Tuesday I do hill sprints first for acceleration work… do you think I can get the benefit out of it by doing 1 set of 10 reps? After that I will start my lifting 5 minutes later where I will do squats, upper body push and pull compound movement and also a single leg exercise (high box step ups not heavy weights) 6-8 reps 2 sets to finish it up. This all will take me around an hour I suppose. And in the evening instead of doing tempo I can carry out skill training and also doing my dribbling and acceleration away by making a move… would that be okay? How should I approach my skill training that day and also on lighter days? On Thursday I will do speed in morning with also those dribbling and accelerating away drills and also sprinting ofcourse and also doing drills where I sprint 10-15 meters and dribble the ball back as fast as I can to where I started the sprint. I know these are a lot of questions but it would be great if you could give me your opinion on these. Thank you very much.