Jennifer Schwartz is a Master Level Muscle Activation Techniques™ Specialist and certified Exercise Physiologist. She oversees Alexandria Soccer Association’s Injury Prevention and Fitness program and her exercise and rehab practice in Alexandria.
The best Academy soccer players work year-round to be their best. This can be done in multiple ways: watching the World Cup, reading about sports leadership, and improving the physical side of the game. Fitness, in its various forms, will make all aspects of soccer easier.
You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Playing at your highest level requires good habits. Let’s get started with a fitness test to do on your own or with a teammate!
Here are the top reasons why fitness matters:
- Thinking faster: To be a reliably strong and valuable player you must constantly do these 3 things well and efficiently- read the situation, plan your execution and take action by executing the play. Skills are easier when you are stronger therefore your brain can be as quick as possible.
- Endurance and agility: Movement off the ball is what determines how long you last in a game and how quickly you can provide support and shape to your team.
- Train your best: Exercise of any kind has a compounding effect. Training hard is fun and 10x better than feeling exhausted during team practice.
Step 1 is to define your starting point with a fitness test. This will allow you to apply proven principles to measure your improvements. Step 2 is to schedule your workouts from your Academy Interval Training Guide. Step 3 is to track your progress.
300 yard shuttle test
This test is used by all types of athletes (including the Croatian National Team!)
Equipment needed: cones, water, timer/watch, somewhere to record your score.
Space: 25 yards marked by cones
During the test the you must run to the 25-yard mark and touch it with your foot. Then turn and run back to the start. This loop (down and back) is repeated 6 times without stopping, which equals 11 turns total.
Record your time and done! The test should be 2 minutes or under (the fastest NFL players do it 50 seconds) and your warm-up time should be 12 minutes. Ideally you will repeat it twice before Fall season begins.
Fitness Profiling in Soccer: Physical and… (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26764495_Fitness_Profiling_in_Soccer_Physical_and_Physiologic_Characteristics_of_Elite_Players [accessed Jun 23 2018].
Check your teamsnap calendar for upcoming Summer Workouts!