To enhance your soccer conditioning, you need soccer condition training. If you train the right way, things will be so much easier on the pitch. Soccer condition training is probably the least fun part of soccer training. It doesn’t involve the ball, it’s hard to do, it’s tiring and whatnot… However it is these things that make a champion, and in trying to be one, you need all the soccer condition training that you can get.
The year is 2014, the UEFA Champions League final is under way. Real Madrid is playing Athletico Madrid. It has been 12 years since the last time Real Madrid won this trophy. Athletico Madrid on the other hand has never won it before.
The match sees a lot of action but only one goal. It’s the 92nd minute, Athletico Madrid is leading 1-0, and there’s a corner awarded for Real Madrid. The cross goes in, Sergio Ramos flies in the air… Goal! I remember standing up on my feet, celebrating, even though I wasn’t supporting either team. If anything, I fancied the underdog to win.
This is an iconic moment in soccer. “La Decima”, this would be the Champions League trophy to start a period of utter dominance in the Champions League by the Los Blancos, who would win it 4 more times in the years to come.
What I remember about that match so vividly was the huge difference in cardio from both times. After the match ended in a draw, it was time for the extras. Real Madrid’s players were still looking fresh, even though they had been playing for about 2 hours now.
Athletico Madrid’s players on the other hand… They just couldn’t keep up. Real Madrid score 3 more goals in the extra 30 minutes.
This is one example on how crucial cardio can be in soccer. Now, of course, the morale of the players played a part in the match we talked about above but, Real Madrid’s cardio and condition was superior that night.
General Soccer Condition Training
Run. It’s all you have to do to train your conditioning. Go out for routine jogging. Go as far as you feel comfortable, and try to surpass your limits everyday. The more you jog the easier it’s going to be for you to play soccer. Even if you don’t do it for your soccer condition training, do jog for the awesome health benefits you get from it.
Specific Soccer Condition Training
The difference between a 90 minutes jog and a soccer match lies in the tempo. A jogger would try to go a constant speed throughout the whole time, while a soccer player would have to perform explosive sprints, then walking, then jogging, then walking, then sprinting, then just staying… You get the idea…
You need your soccer condition training to be catered towards these things. You need to teach your body to keep going even in situations that require you to switch around your running. These drills could help.
If you can find a proper soccer pitch, go at the sidelines, step and the line, and start walking towards the direction of the opposite sideline. After a while start jogging, then give it your all with your fastest sprint. You will then have to time your sprint in a way that allows you to go back to jogging and then walking before you reach the other side line.
The idea here is that you start with walking, move on to jogging, sprint, back to jogging and end it all with walking. This particular soccer condition training can build conditio for all the elements necessary to play the game.
This is the same as the one above, but this time, forget about walking and jogging. Approach the line, start running in place, and then go for a sprint, don’t stop it until you reach the other line. Once there, start running in place again, turn around, a few seconds of running in place and come back where you started sprinting.
You can take a break then do this again. The amount of breaks and the amount of time you take for these breaks is all up to your needs.
Two cones and sprint
For this one you will need two cones. Place them around 5 yards apart from each other. Get in the middle of them, and turn your body so that the cones are to your left and right.
Start doing the running in place motion, and move slowly to your left, reach the cone then move to your right until you reach the other cone.
Once there come back to the middle and start sprinting ahead. Once you are done with the sprint, come back walking to where you started and go for the second round.
The distance of your sprint can be adjusted to your needs. Don’t stop doing the running motion while you are moving to your left and right, otherwise you will lose a major benefit from this drill.
These are some of the basic routines you can follow to use in your soccer condition training. It is important that you slowly and surely challenge yourself to do harder and harder drill, and to gradually prolong the training time.
If possible have a coach give you lessons. Condition progress is slow, hard to build, easy to lose, painful and very tiring, but at the end of the day, once you get there, it will all be worth it.