Like any sport, soccer has a season. It’s quite common for both kids to attend youth soccer camps during the summertime. In fact, more than 14 million children and adults attend camp throughout the U.S. each year. But while it’s relatively easy to maintain your fitness during the season itself, it can be a bit more challenging to do so during the off season. Of course, indoor soccer is always an option, but if that’s not possible for you, there are still other ways to stay in shape in preparation your youth soccer camps or leagues. Here’s a handy guide on how to stay fit during the year so you’re in great shape when your summer soccer training program starts:
Stick to a schedule
If you don’t have a routine and stick to it, you won’t be in a good position once the season actually starts. When you’re trying to get fit for soccer, you’ll need to work out six days a week with one day of rest. You should also set up your schedule so that you aren’t doing the same workout every day. While there are some exercises you’ll need to do every day, you’re bound to get bored if it’s the same routine and you don’t continue to challenge yourself.
Don’t forget to stretch
You need to stretch before and after each day’s work out — no exceptions. Even if you don’t feel like it, this is one step you should not skip. It can help to prevent injuries and will increase your flexibility. The optimal stretching time is around 15 minutes, with at least 10-15 seconds per stretch.
Running is essential
Soccer is an endurance sport, which means your stamina needs to be top-notch. Instead of focusing on running a specific distance, you should run for a certain amount of time, increasing your time each week until you can run for around 40 to 45 minutes without a break. Be sure to end each run with a cool-down walk and stretching.
Work on your core
Having a strong core allows you to do nearly everything soccer requires of you. It will improve your balance and footwork. At least half of your workout days should include a core focus. Instead of doing endless sit-ups, try bicycle crunches, Superman jumps, and planks.
Practice with the ball, too
This is a great time to improve your ball skills. Whether you want to work on passing, shooting, dribbling, or speed with the ball, there are tons of exercises you can do to supplement your workouts. This can also break up the monotony some people experience when exercising, as it gives you a more specific goal to achieve and doesn’t feel boring.
If you want to get involved with youth soccer camps this summer, it’s never too early to plan ahead. Ensure you’re in shape with these tips and get in touch with us about signing up for training today!