The greatest athletes understand that any sport isn’t just about talent, it’s also about discipline. Athletes clock-in a lot of time in training and conditioning, even more so during the off-season. Sport-specific training accounts for the most relevant and useful aspects of fitness; in soccer, that would be strength and cardiovascular endurance, speed and agility, balance, and flexibility.
Strength training can reduce the risk of injury. Overall body strength is important, but for obvious reasons, focus is given especially to lower body strength and core stability to improve balance. Some key exercises are squats (try the squat thrust, Saigon Spassov squat, or split squat), lunges, single-leg Romanian deadlifts, mountain climbers, tuck jumps, and planks.
Soccer is a rigorous, high-intensity game and players cover about 10 to 14 kilometers of running, jumping, turning, and tackling. Some exercises for enhancing speed, increasing cardio resistance, and improving agility are:
Speed running. Do intervals of walking, jogging, running, and then sprinting. Focus on maximum speed during the sprint. Sprint in one direction for about 60 to 100 meters, and then head back walking or jogging.
Get-ups Lie on the floor, and on the count of five get up as fast as possible and then sprint for five meters. Do three repetitions and eight sets.