Getting the Most Out of Training

Discuss your training routine and techniques you are practicing
Soccer4Life
Guide Goddess
Posts: 2068
Joined: 30 Jun 2006, 22:00
Location: USA

Getting the Most Out of Training

Post by Soccer4Life » 05 Feb 2007, 01:37

A training routine is necessary for any football player that has dreams of going far in the sport. No matter how good you think that you are - you can always get better. A structured routine will help you advance in the sport, however if you don't do it correctly, you may be lost without results, or even injure yourself. The idea of a training routine is to: a) improve your weaknesses, b) become 'friends' with the ball, c) get used to working hard for your goals and dreams, and d) maintaining/improving any skills that you already have. However, most people don't know where to begin, what to do, and they don't know when to stop and when to keep going. However, today I am going to educate you to the best of my abilities on how to make the best routine for yourself.

Table of Contents
i. Evaluate Yourself
ii. Putting Everything Together
iii. How Long? How Intense?
iv. Goal Setting
v. My Drills
vi. Training Archive

i. Evaluate Yourself
You will never improve with your routine unless you understand what your personal needs are. You must ask yourself some questions about your abilities. Here are some good starting questions:

- can I easily beat players on the dribble?
- can I do moves well?
- am I confident with my dribbling?
- can I dribble with both feet?
- do I dribble too much?

- are my passes hard?
- can I do different types of passes?
- do my passes generally reach their destination point?
- do I take unnecessary risks when passing?
- can I pass with both feet?

- are my shots hard?
- do I know how to curve with my inside and outside?
- can I shoot with both feet?
- do my shots ever turn into goals?
- am I good going 1 on 1 with the goalie?

- do I get tired during the game?
- can I out run other players?
- can I sprint by players?

- can I juggle easily?
- can I freestyle well?

Just look over those questions, and see what you think of yourself as a player. Then ask yourself: what strengths do I have? Weaknesses? What does my position require? Don't go soft on yourself, if you do, you will NEVER improve. Be completely honest, and think of what you could be someday in the future. Put everything into consideration, and even talk to your coach and ask him what he thinks that you can improve on. Ask your fellow teammates, even. You can even ask your parents; no matter how little they know about football. Talk to anyone and everyone who supports you. Even if they are harsh on you, just think of what you can do to change their opinion. In the end, write this out:

My Strengths:
My Weaknesses:
What I want to improve on:


Now that you have a good understanding of yourself as a player, you can move on the the next piece of the puzzle: Putting Everything Together.

ii. Putting Everything Together
Knowing your weaknesses, you need to choose the one skill which you most desperately need to improve on. You need to work on that skill and that skill only for 30-60 minutes of each practice. That's the only way to improve. (Look below to see some drills that will help you improve.) If you single out that skill, you will see huge improvements in maybe a week or less. Don't single out the skill too much, though. You want to single it out for about 1/3 of your practice time. The other 2/3 for me is usually incorporating everything together in multiple skill drills to make things more game like. The reason why I like to single out my weaknesses is because that is how I find you get the most repetition; that's the only way to rapidly improve.

So, every day you are working to improve your weakest skill. When you improve, you have to remember to not just ignore it, you must incorporate in into a multiple skill drill; you also need to pick another weakness that you need to work on, now. Repeat this cycle with every new weakness as it comes along. If you are ever at a point where you feel that everything has truly averaged out, you can just do the multiple skill drills.

iii. How Long? How Intense?
Before you figure out things like how many sessions you should have, and how intense they should be, you should think about what you have during a normal week. Do you have practices with a team? Do you have weekly games? Do you routinely do any other sports/activities? Never try to crowd in a practice when know your body just can't handle it. It's okay to take off days, don't think of yourself as weak because you need some rest!

How Long?
In my opinion, practices should never exceed more than 3 hours. By the time 3 hours is over, it is highly doubtful that you are still benefiting from the training. You have to remember quality over quantity. It is better to have a good, solid 1 hour session than a slow, useless 3 hour session.

Quality of practice isn't the only thing that you need to take into consideration. Also think about what you are doing. If you are doing an intense fitness session with a 30 minute run, sprints, and other strenuous exercising, then you probably shouldn't follow that up with 2 hours of skill work. You body will be too tired, and you may be injuring yourself as opposed to improving your skill.

How Intense?
Never push yourself past the point of some chest pain from sprinting or some cramps from running. You know a practice is too intense if you feel like your muscles will explode, you might throw up, or you might pass out at any second. It's really hard to tell someone when too much is too much. However, the advice I can give is: know your limits. If you normally only practice an hour, don't all the sudden go practice for two or three. Work your way up in something like 10 or 15 minute increments. Also don't do things like going and trying to run 5 miles when you can barely do 2.

How intense your practice should be ties in with how long it should be. If you plan on having a two hour practice, don't do a whole lot of sprinting work. However, if you plan on doing a one hour fitness session, you can push yourself more. Don't hesitate from it. Just take into consideration of what your body can handle. You should push that limit, but don't push it too much, or you WILL injure yourself.

iv. Goal Setting
A well structured training routine can fall to pieces without goals. Goals will help you with what you need to accomplish. It is very rewarding when you reach a goal. It is an indescribable situation. You know that you worked so hard for something, and now it is yours. Goals will help you stay on track, and they remind you of what you want to become, and how you can change. If you review your goals every night, you will keep motivating yourself to reach them. You have to put your heart, body, mind, and soul into it.

You must set short term goals, medium term goals, and long term goals. Short term goals can be reached anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks. These are things like improving a few seconds on your mile time, being able to do a certain move or freestyle trick, or being able to curve your shots more accurately. When you make short term goals, you should base them off your weaknesses and your desired talents. Medium term goals are just as vital to success as short term goals. However, medium goals usually take anywhere from a month to a year to complete. These goals are like making a new team, scoring more goals in a season, etc. They are still based off of talent, but these goals are usually more about how you imply your skill into a game setting. Long term goals take anywhere from a year to multiple years to reach. You usually have only a few of these. They are the main reason you do what you do. Long term goals might be the most important type of goal you can have. All of your dreams are probably long term goals. Long term goals are like making a certain pro league, making in onto a world cup team, earning a gold medal in the olympics, etc.

There are many different ways to set goals, however, I am going to tell you the one that I find works best. What you do is set your long term goals first. Think way into the future and see what you really want to do with your football career. Then brake in up into medium term goals like making a good college team, scoring a certain ammount of goals/assists, etc. Then brake all of your medium term goals up into short term goals. You can even brake up short term goals into shorter term goals! Here is an example that I made up:

a. Make it into the EPL (specifically Arsenal)
aa. Get into a top notch D1 school
aaa. Make varsity in highschool, and be a goal scoring leader
aaaa. Be a goal scoring leader on my current team
aaaaa. Shoot on target on average of 8/10 times during a game
aaaaaa. Work on shooting more accurately

Normally you would break your long term goal up into many medium term goals, but that is just an example of one goal. You want to be as specific as possible; don't say "work on shooting". Talk about what type of shooting, whether is be chipping, swerving, curling, power, etc. Talk about averages, statistics, whatever! Just be precise, so you know what you want and how you are going to come about achieving it.

v. My Drills
Multiple Skill Drills:
1. In front of a goal, set up 6 cones, each 1-2 meters apart. 2-3 Meters after those cones, put something larger like a bag or a suitcase. Now, what you do is dribble through the cones as fast as you can without losing control. At the end, do a move on the larger item, and shoot. You should be shooting from no closer than 10-15 yards out. A better distance would be 18-20.
2. Pass the ball against the wall, then turn and dribble as fast as you can. After about 10 yards of dribbling, apply a fake, then shoot on goal. Again, you should be shooting from no closer than 10-15 yards out. A better distance is 18-20 yeards.

Passing:
1. Pass a ball against a wall. Aim for a firm, solid pass, and try to hti a specific area on the wall to maintain accuracy and power in your passing.
2. Set up 5 gates of two cones that are 2-3 feet apart. Position yourself 20-30 yeards, faced away from these gates, then turn and as quickly as you can pass the ball through one of the gates. Make sure you are choosing a specific gate before you make your pass. This drill won't help if you are just kicking blindly.

Shooting:
1. Using some type of markers (smallish; 1ft x 1ft), mark the every corner on a goal (top and bottom). You get 5 points for hitting the bottom corner, and 10 for hitting a top corner. Keep track of your score in your head. This is a great drill for accuracy, and if implemented right, you will be able to mix accuracy and power.
2. Sprint from midfield and shoot from 15-20 yards out, (aim high in corners, if possible.) This will help you with shooting from off the dribble; a valuable skill to have, especially for a striker or attacking midfielder.

Dribbling:
1. Do stepovers around a cone. Every time you hit it do 10 situps. This will not only help with scissor stepovers, but it will increase leg speed, which is vital to a good dribbler.
2. Dribble around doing cuts, changing pace, and accelerating. Try to focus on two or preferably one move that you wish to perform during a match. This will help you will your feel for the ball, and just dribbling in general.

Heading:
1. Hit a ball hard against the wall, and as it comes back, head it. Aim for a certain area on the wall to increase accuracy. Remember to also try to hit it as hard as you can.
2. Have a friend cross/throw the ball to you from a side angle. Work on redirecting the ball like you would in a game. Remember that you don't have to nail the ball with your head, just try to accurately redirect it, on target.

Volleying:
1. Face away from a wall; juggle the ball, then kick it over your head. Turn around and volley it. Settle the ball as it come back, and repeat. This will help you with volleying straight on.
2. Have a friend cross/throw the ball to you from a side angle; work on volleying it into the goal. Try to apply a specific volley technique, if possible. Keep repeating this over and over.

Fitness:
1. Run for 30+ minutes. You can take a ball along with you if you ever get too bored. This drill can help with muscular endurance and overall aerobic fitness.
2. Do 10 pushups, sprint 10 yards, do 10 situps, sprint 10 yards, do 10 burpees, and walk back. After you walk, add an additional 30 seconds of rest. Repeat as many times as necessary.

vi. Training Archive
There are many useful resources on this site, here are just some of the guides that you may find useful. Use them to your advantage!
Passing:
viewtopic.php?t=7111
viewtopic.php?t=6851
http://www.expertfootball.com/gossip/answer.php?qid=535
viewtopic.php?t=3525

Dribbling & Moves:
viewtopic.php?t=7454
viewtopic.php?t=3526
viewtopic.php?t=6637
viewtopic.php?t=4824
viewtopic.php?t=6490
viewtopic.php?t=7836
viewtopic.php?t=7859

Ball Control/First Touch:
viewtopic.php?t=7174
viewtopic.php?t=7177
http://www.expertfootball.com/gossip/answer.php?qid=535

Shooting/Crossing:
viewtopic.php?t=7886
viewtopic.php?t=7870
viewtopic.php?t=2948
viewtopic.php?t=3066
viewtopic.php?t=2947
viewtopic.php?t=3884
viewtopic.php?t=7870

Heading:
viewtopic.php?t=3514
viewtopic.php?t=3529

Misc:
viewtopic.php?t=4124
viewtopic.php?t=5503
viewtopic.php?t=3956
viewtopic.php?t=3379
viewtopic.php?t=7848
viewtopic.php?t=5205
viewtopic.php?t=6837

ajc
The Philly Flyer
Posts: 3094
Joined: 29 Apr 2006, 02:08
Location: Delaware, USA

Post by ajc » 05 Feb 2007, 01:54

Oh my god that was an incredible post! If I could give you 12000 stars I would! Every aspiring footballer in the world could benefit from your advice. This is truly one of the greatest posts on the entire site.

Deservingly rated 5 stars and stickied.
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Soccer4Life
Guide Goddess
Posts: 2068
Joined: 30 Jun 2006, 22:00
Location: USA

Post by Soccer4Life » 05 Feb 2007, 02:26

Thanks, ajc. I'm glad my efforts have seemingly to paid off.

Howard
Senior Member
Posts: 133
Joined: 06 Jul 2006, 03:13

Post by Howard » 05 Feb 2007, 02:52

Wonderful post :shock: absolutely amazing! keep it up.

Middleman13
Veteran Member
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Location: GA, usa

Post by Middleman13 » 05 Feb 2007, 03:13

Greatest pot ever
Dream as if you'll live forever, Live as if you will die today.

gnarlyjim
EF Mountie
Posts: 3767
Joined: 07 Jul 2006, 02:08
Location: Canada

Post by gnarlyjim » 05 Feb 2007, 03:25

Middleman13 wrote:Greatest pot ever
Haha, that gave me a laugh. :D

That post was so good I nearly cried. I think instead of moderator, you should have the title of "Guide Guru". Great job, def. worth more than 5 stars. Thanks for such an amazing post.
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rzadzinski
Poland Spring Rzadzinski
Posts: 6203
Joined: 17 Jan 2007, 04:23
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Post by rzadzinski » 05 Feb 2007, 04:01

Wow, all I have to say is wow!

Middleman, what's with you and all of your spelling errors. I don't think I've seen a post by you which had correct grammar. Don't take this as an insult, but why is that? Just wondering. :D

Anyways, this should help a lot of people. I would give you more then 5 stars. :wink:
"I wear tinted visor not to trick other players, but so hot girls in stands don't see me looking at them."

-Alexander Ovechkin

BosnianNedim
Senior Member
Posts: 269
Joined: 14 Nov 2006, 19:56

Post by BosnianNedim » 05 Feb 2007, 04:49

Amazing post....that truely helped me...heres what i came out with (I was BRUTALY honest with myself even some things i was good at but not good enough i stated as a weakness)

My Strengths:

-Dribbling
-Shooting
-Passing
-Speed
-Agility



My Weaknesses:
-Trapping
-Stamina
-Sprinting
-Confidence
-Strength
-Both feet dribbling



GOALS

1. Make Bundesliga (Schalke 04’, or Bremen)
2. Get into D1 School and move from there
3. Be the best on Varsity next year 8-10 or more goals
4. Get into really good shape
5. Improve Dribbling with both feet
6. Gain more confidence



ANDDDD... for anyone that doesn't know what Burpees are (Mentioned in a drill above) I looked it up and this is how you do them

Stand Up
Crouch Down with hands on the ground
Get into push up position

http://www.frixo.com/sites/fitness/exer ... urpee.html

Diagram there..

-Nedim 8)

iwannagopro
EF Flying Dutchman
Posts: 2801
Joined: 23 Jul 2006, 19:39
Location: San Francisco, CA

Post by iwannagopro » 05 Feb 2007, 06:13

ajc wrote:Oh my god that was an incredible post! If I could give you 12000 stars I would! Every aspiring footballer in the world could benefit from your advice. This is truly one of the greatest posts on the entire site.

Deservingly rated 5 stars and stickied.
Same here. Couldn't have put it better. This is pretty much the best post ever written on these forums. Truly amazing.

powell
English Meister
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Joined: 03 Mar 2006, 20:59
Location: england

Post by powell » 05 Feb 2007, 18:40

yeh iwannagopro and ajc have baciallym sumed up what i would have said so 5 stars coming your way soccer4life, very good job, well done.

ageorge
Veteran Member
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Post by ageorge » 05 Feb 2007, 23:23

a. Make it into the EPL (specifically Arsenal)
Arsenal (womens)?
"I eat football, I sleep football, I breathe football. I'm not mad, I'm just passionate."<STRIKE>Thierry Henry</STRIKE>

rzadzinski
Poland Spring Rzadzinski
Posts: 6203
Joined: 17 Jan 2007, 04:23
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Post by rzadzinski » 05 Feb 2007, 23:39

If she is as good as she types all these guys, she could probably have a great shot at the men's squad. :D

Ever heard of Danica Patrick, Katherine Legge in motorsport? They broke down the barriers of an all men sport. Also there was a female goalie in the NHL who played, so why not?

And, Bend it Like Beckham, where in the girl's dream she plays with Beckham. :lol:
"I wear tinted visor not to trick other players, but so hot girls in stands don't see me looking at them."

-Alexander Ovechkin

mufc21
Veteran Member
Posts: 920
Joined: 18 Aug 2006, 21:52

Post by mufc21 » 06 Feb 2007, 02:01

:o :o :o :o crap. Ok i think i will now make a training routine. I dont really like them but wow. 15 minutes of good hard reading. You and jdefoe tie for best guide makers out there. In second comes iwannagopro. Yup absolutely amazing :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :D :D :lol: :lol:

iwannagopro
EF Flying Dutchman
Posts: 2801
Joined: 23 Jul 2006, 19:39
Location: San Francisco, CA

Post by iwannagopro » 06 Feb 2007, 04:12

mufc21 wrote::o :o :o :o crap. Ok i think i will now make a training routine. I dont really like them but wow. 15 minutes of good hard reading. You and jdefoe tie for best guide makers out there. In second comes iwannagopro. Yup absolutely amazing :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :D :D :lol: :lol:
Hehe, thankee matey. I'm working on my thesis for this site. It will be my ultimate contribution. It will take me several months to write... probably around 2-3 hours of writing, and too much time to count researching. Watch out for it. Just for a hint... it will be for Strategy and Officiating>Tactics .

Peace

ajc
The Philly Flyer
Posts: 3094
Joined: 29 Apr 2006, 02:08
Location: Delaware, USA

Post by ajc » 06 Feb 2007, 04:27

iwannagopro wrote:Hehe, thankee matey. I'm working on my thesis for this site. It will be my ultimate contribution. It will take me several months to write... probably around 2-3 hours of writing, and too much time to count researching. Watch out for it. Just for a hint... it will be for Strategy and Officiating>Tactics .

Peace
Hey you should get expert to set something up where you can school credits for doing that like an internship hehe. Did anyone ever see that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer got an intern from NYU? It was sort of the same concept.....Kramer asked for an intern and said that his house was a corporation so he could get the intern and he basically picked up Kramer's groceries for him and and set up lunches with his friends. Anyways if you write a sweet thesis then you should conspire with expert to make it advantageous for you. :lol:
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