Soccer training question

(1) of course it would, but if you don’t have any speed, what good does it do to just do ball work? I leave sport specific drills to soccer coaches and work on the physical side.

(2)In the course of a week, I felt the setup I had for those athletes included everything they needed. I think you are overthinking. We did regular tempo volumes throughout up until a week before major games (which were usually n the late fall for my athletes).

I’d recommend jumping in the water and seeing how things work, then make adjustments. If fitness improves, if strength and speed improve, if you feel good (no excessive tightness/soreness), and you can see improvement in your individual skill sessions, you are on the right track. I tracked all of the above throughout the year at least 1x monthly.

Okay sounds good can I also do skills a.m. and tempo p.m. on Friday and I’ll be playing games on Sat and Sun and resting on Monday. Thursday is a high cns speed/strength day and Wednesday is another skill a.m. and tempo p.m. day and Tuesday is either gonna be speed and strength a.m. and skills p.m. or speed a.m. and strength p.m. Can you give me suggestions on my current setup for the week? Thanks and it will take me about 3-4 weeks to get my muscles and body used to regular training so I will have to judge after that period also.

Thanks for the insight ESTI, i don’t know a great deal about the US Soccer set up but did have an assistant coach who went over to work at a summer camp with youth players - from his experience he suggested there was a larger divide between recreational and higher level youth soccer in the US with regards to training and participation in comparison to the UK. I’d assume this is down to Soccer not being one of the major sports in the states…

Following your training schedule have you had a great deal of success? I’ve used a similar system but feel the workload in the early stages of the season leaves player fatigued. It is is beneficial towards the end of the season when the cups/league come to a close but some years we have struggled to make the final stages of cups and be in the hunt for the league as we’ve been poor earlier in the season.
I’ve long considered taking a gamble (the UK weather generally impacts on several games in Dec/Jan) and having the team peaking at the start of the season, maintaining until the end of Nov. Then incorporating a mini recovery and reloading phase for the majority of the 1st team, fielding the reserves and lesser used players if games are able to be played (Unless the games are against the better opposition/cup games).
Obviously we’d be at the mercy of the weather and the scheduling of games but should be competitive for the majority of the season.

It would be interesting to know if anyone uses different approaches.

Let me also clarify the set up was for 6-8 weeks in the summer only!! Yikes, not year round at any means.

In the US, there is a recreational league where parents are often the coaches. They play weekend game, and might have 1 practice a week.

The next level up is club, which comes in various degrees of seriousness and $$$$. The top club teams cost close to $2000/year per player (9 or 10 month season) + travel costs when they go to tournaments etc. The club teams typically practice 1-3x weekly most of the year, and play competitive games for about 6 weeks (fall is mid sept-late October, spring is throughout may). The winter is more games for fun, but mean little. The fall and spring games lead to national tournaments etc. As players get older, the winter serves as time for showcases for college recruiting. At this stage, being on a top club will pay off as you will likely play in front of hundreds of colleges at these showcase tournaments.

I typically trained kids hard in summer because I knew once fall season started, we would not get the chance to do much other than tempo maintenance and some strength work. We usually did 1-2x weekly for strength/speed and they would do tempo after practices, as their teams didn’t do much fitness beneficial for their fitness levels. The high school players (girls) play in the spring and I never saw them from March-end of May, as they practice 4 days weekly + 2 game weekly. We would then resume in the summer.

Most kids I worked with also did technical work with local coaches/trainers 1-2 weekly throughout the winter and they tried to go 1x weekly in addition to practice. The unfortunate thing is many times these sessions were physically demanding, as the perception it’s “valuable if it’s hard.”

For my lifting volume I have read pakewi saying in the past 10 reps per session (1 lower body + 1 upper body) is enough for soccer player?

How should I structure my lifting then

Can I just do squat and an upper body lift? Will doing extra lifting work help me (like RDLs, extra upper body work)? Any thoughts? And how should I carry my sets? (like ramp up to 3 reps or something)

For my lifting volume I have read pakewi saying in the past 10 reps per session (1 lower body + 1 upper body) is enough for soccer player?…page2&p=241068

How should I structure my lifting then

Can I just do squat and an upper body lift? Will doing extra lifting work help me (like RDLs, extra upper body work)? Any thoughts? And how should I carry my sets? (like ramp up to 3 reps or something)

And ESTI, did any of your players experience shin splints or some lower leg fatigue or overuse injuries from all that volume of running + skill work? I’m asking because I’ve had a history of nearly a year of overtraining my lower legs and resulting in constant fatigue in my lower region of my calf and shins on both legs. It is much better now but does appear to me sometimes (it did on Friday when I tried doing just ballwork). It starts as soon as I start my warm up and I’m hardly breaking a sweat and I get that fatigue and tired feeling in the lower calf regions primarily during that day. I’ve seen specialists and done rehab for the past year and the only solution I’ve seen is having a perfect sleep and good diet regime and just getting used to training regularly and not loose your groove.

When you have issues like this, it’s best to seek out medical help (orthopedic, massage therapist etc). Training plans would obviously need to be adjusted to ensure you remain healthy.

Trust me mate… I’ve done everything I could from doctors to specialist. I am the only one who stuck to myself and believed in my body and got better. The doctors in the past stopped remaining in contact with me when I tried calling them back and I was left on my own but I overcame atleast. Now it just bothers me once in a while if my sleep is not good or if I am not training regularly or in good condition I guess.

I’m starting to doubt whether speed dribbling is needed to be done on speed days incorporated in sprint drills as I won’t be going as fast as just sprinting without the ball. Maybe I should just do ballwork and speed dribbles etc. for 20-30 minutes as warm up for my speed work? Would that be better?

It’s interesting that you find that problems with shin splints etc. are often a result of overreaching in your training.

I noticed with one of my athletes that shin splints, foot pain, and low back pain all flared up when we went on a training camp directly after a couple of massive personal best performances. I of course pushed him too hard that week, doing too much volume when he was still recovering from his spectacular training runs. All of a sudden, his shins, calves, right foot, and low back started to flare up. As soon as I backed off, it all disappeared. The more I see this, the more I think it’s strictly systemic symptoms of overreaching in training, not something specific in the musculature.

Check out the Ithlete’s user manual ( There is an excerpt from Maffuletti’s book that rang true when it discusses the three stages of overtraining. All the lower limb and low back problems are claimed to be systemic symptoms of early stage overtraining (possibly better termed overreaching). I’m inclined to agree!

I will have some more detail about the use of the Ithlete in a mesomorphic athlete’s Short to Long track and field program soon! Very interesting stuff. In the mean time, I’d encourage you to check out the inexpensive Ithlete app. It is a very interesting, inexpensive, and easy to use tool.

Good point and it takes months and months to overcome overtraining depending on how severe it is (atleast it did for me), but when you are not even training hard and you have problems when you are resting and and just warming up then it’s a different case as it was for me.