Many youth athletes play soccer all year long. Winter is a great time to work on conditioning and simple soccer skills so basic skills like ball handling don’t get rusty. However, many young soccer players may have seen the winter season as a time to rest and relax. While this is important to do, summer camp season is coming up in just a few months. And after a long winter season, many young soccer players may not be in the best shape for this upcoming season of soccer camps. So, to help get young players ready for youth soccer camps, we’ve put together a list of a few simple tips for players to get their skills back in shape each day.
Don’t forget the warm-up. After months of not using their muscles, youth soccer players may be fairly out of shape. Because of this, warming up is more important than ever. Exercising cold muscles can lead to injuries and a whole lot of pain. To avoid this, light jogging and stretching should be done each day before practicing. Additionally, balancing and muscle toning should be addressed during warm-ups.
Utilize obstacle courses. Jogging an obstacle course can be a great way to ease back into playing soccer. Obstacle courses allow players to work their hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps, soleus, and other parts of the body that are crucial for soccer. One of the great things about obstacle courses is that they can be done almost anywhere — even inside. So this makes them a great option if the weather isn’t quite warm enough to be practicing outside yet.
Kick a ball against a wall. This may seem like a very basic thing to do, but it’s a great option to brush up on skills. If players have to relearn soccer skills, a wall is a great place to start (as long as it’s okay with mom and dad). Players should start fairly close to the wall to warm up and then move back more and more as they feel comfortable. This can be a great way to exercise both feet and maybe throw in some head and body action as well.
Every year, over 11 million children and adults participate in camp, including summer camps and soccer camps. After a long winter of not playing soccer, young players may feel defeated as they try to get back into the swing of things. However, parents and coaches should be there to show support and help them get back to their normal skill levels. By looking forward to all of the soccer camps they will be attending this summer, players should be motivated to continue working on their playing for the upcoming season.