To be able to perform consistently at a competent level, soccer players must attain and improve upon physical fitness.
The many variations of the different types od running and body movement involved in the game can be best accomplished in training by working on game-related exercises. Approximately 70 percent of the training should include ball work, the remaining 30 percent on special running without the ball.
Skill and fitness go together they are both essential. All practices should start with a thorough stretching program and warm-up.
Diagram 1, Quickness: Players must be quick with body and mind. A regular one-on-one game with two one-yards goals in a confined space is one way to achieve both. Acceleration, a vital asset, can be practice in such a game. Bodily contact often will be made, so aggressiveness, another asset, comes into play. The rest periods and repetitions can vary but eventually look to do four reps, with one-minute intervals. Succeeding players prevent the ball from going out of bounds. Constant action is sought.
Diagram 2, Power Endurance: This is another fitness quality, essential to a good player -- the ability to finish all moves strongly over the full game. This can be developed shuttle running in which the player runs at maximum speed through the circuit, returning to the starting line each time. Total distance run -- 150 yards. Use the rest rest periods for some diversified skill work, e.g. ball between two, short passing, heading, etc. One circuit equals 150 yards.
NOTE: A pro player averages seven miles of various types of running during a 90-minute game. Practice 40- to 70-yard stretches during practice.
Diagram 3, Exercising Using the Ball: 01 and 02 can be goalkeepers and are the servers.
01 works with group 'A.'
02 works with group 'B.'
On the whistle, they serve the ball to their respective groups, one at a time. The receiving player returns it using the part of the body the coach has so stipulated, then runs to the other line, and so on.
Skills that can be incorporated include using the inside and outside of the foot passing, side-foot volleying (first-time passing), thigh- and chest-trapping and heading. Practice with both feet.
Diagram 4, a Shooting and Goalkeeping Exercise: Putting the eight strikers under pressure for one minute. Several players, with a ball each, stand either side of the goal posts. The keeper is in goal. w
Player 'A' works around the penalty spot.
The first player in group 'B' plays a firm pass, player 'A' runs around the penalty spot and shoots at goal. Immdiately, the first player in group 'C' makes a similar pass. Player 'A' now sprints around the penalty spot and shoots and continues. TO THE COACHES: determine what you expect to achieve in your practice and work to that end.
Try to make them interesting and enjoyable while working hard.