How can CrosFit help soccer players?
First lets define CrossFit: Constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.
1: The first two identifiers are clearly connected to the sport of Soccer. Soccer is a fast paced game changing by the second both physically and mentally.
2: By constantly varying the training stimulus used CrossFit is better preparing athletes to play the game. High intensity exercise will closely mirror the fast paced play of the game.
3: Finally, functional movements are movements seen outside of a gym in sport and everyday life such as squatting, pressing, sprinting, kicking. We use those movements to build stronger faster athletes. A bicep curl has no functionality and it is not used in CrossFit. We use the lifts that will translate into better movement and better play.
CrossFit is unique in its focus on power output. In CrossFit workouts an athlete is asked to complete a difficult set of movements in as short an amount of time as possible. If an athlete has poor form, their ability to move the weight or the weight of their body diminishes quickly. Excellent form creates durability and continued strength. CrossFit workouts require that an athlete stay mentally connected to their workout in order to maintain form through fatigue, therefore sustaining their high power output.
Why is this important in soccer?
It is a well know and statistical fact that a lot of goals are scored late in either half. This is the time when fatigue is setting in and movements become lax and lazy. If you’ve never focused on form through fatigue, then it is difficult to make the big plays when you are tired. Your mental toughness is lacking, and you are unable to sustain your defensive or offensive sharpness / technique. CrossFit will put you in the ‘red zone’ and then ask you to continue to perform, just like a game situation. This practice is what will enable you to step up in the last 10 minutes and outperform competitors who are unused to pushing hard when tired.
The mental toughness that accompanies CrossFit workouts is unparalleled. Excellent athleticism is an incredible byproduct of CrossFit, but the mentality and fortitude to push through pain is more important. All coaches want an athlete with “heart.” They want an athlete that gives all of themselves even when it seems impossible. CrossFit workouts require “heart.” We build athletes with a passion for athletic competition.
Article written by Mike Metzger: Head Coach Guerrilla Fitness Crossfit Morristown NJ / Teen Program Director