Soccer Partner Basics
Finding the perfect soccer buddy is about more than just personality compatibility. There are some basic qualities every good practice partner should possess. A good soccer partner should be:
Enthusiastic: There is nothing that kills the mood of a good soccer practice more than a pessimistic, complainer. Look for a soccer partner whose spirit and attitude matches yours and you will be more likely to succeed together.
Punctual: Beware of the perpetually late partner. A couple of days in advance, you will want to set a time and place for your soccer practices to give you and your partner time to adjust to each other's schedule. If you're a person who works out in the evening, find a soccer partner who also likes evening workouts. You and your soccer partner should also set a lateness policy, so no one is stuck waiting around for a partner who isn't coming.
Supportive: A supportive partner will not only motivate you to get out on the field more, but they can also be a catalyst for improvement.
Find a partner whose skill level is either the same or better than yours in order to improve. You may even want to have a few soccer buddies at hand in case your partner should not be available one week. You can always practice alone, but it is useful to have someone to practice soccer drills, meet at the gym for strength training or do laps around the field. With the right partner, you will improve and feel more motivated.
Soccer Practice Drills
To make the most of your soccer partner practice, you'll need to think through a few things. First, figure out when and where you are going to practice. Next, figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. Maybe your partner is better at dribbling and maybe you are better at passing. You will want to know these things in order to decide what soccer partner drills will be most useful.
To start your soccer partner practice, do some basic warm up drills. Coaches recommend players do at least 10 minutes of juggling to help enhance coordination and ball control. After you've done some juggling, try doing a passing drill that gets your heart rate up. Here's a quick and easy one: you start at the touchline, while your soccer partner starts about 5 yards away with the ball in hand. Your partner tosses you the ball and you pass it back as you jog down to the other touchline. Try alternating using your left and right foot for the passes and also switching between using your instep, your thigh and your chest.
For more helpful drills check out Soccerexpert.com. If you have great partner soccer drills, share them with us on FitLink's Soccer Forums.
Putting Together A Soccer Team
Are you missing the days when you and your teammates took to the field and brought home a victory? It's never too late to get back in the game. Gather up your friends, put on your cleats and start a soccer team today. Soccer is a popular sport in many cities and in many cultures. A lot of cities have recreational soccer leagues and some companies now have teams that compete against other like-minded businesses in city and statewide tournaments.
Once you have a good number of players (including a list of backups should scheduling conflicts occur), find the most convenient soccer field near you. Soccer doesn't require a lot of equipment, so just make sure everyone brings shin guards and soccer cleats. Have everyone bring their own soccer ball for drill practices. Choose a time, maybe twice a week, to practice. During your soccer practices, choose a captain and positions. Be sure the goalie has his or her own proper equipment..
Before you know it you'll be on your way and ready to play against another team. Search for soccer leagues in your area. Once your team is organized, you can create a soccer group for your team here at FitLink to track your workouts, schedule practices, games and other events.
Off Season Soccer Training
Even world championship soccer players take time off from the game once a year. The off season is your opportunity to recover from injury and refresh your mind. But how long should you take a break? And while you're not in preseason training, how should you be working out? Most soccer coaches and trainers will tell you to take 2 to 3 weeks off. No games, no workouts and lots of sleep.
During the off season soccer players should take time to relax the mind and muscles, and to address any in-season injuries. Also use the downtime to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses from the prior season. Do you need to improve your passing, dribbling or shooting skills? You can use this valuable information to create a concrete workout plan.
Your workout plan should help you maintain 50% - 60% of your fitness level. You have to maintain your endurance ability throughout the off season so that when you get back on the field you can continue to run without tiring. It is not good to totally quit training and take 6 weeks off. It is a good idea, however, to cross-train by taking time off from training for soccer. You can try another athletic activity that involves light impact like yoga or cycling. As a soccer player, you likely favor one leg more than the other. Address this and other muscle imbalances like strong quadriceps and weak hamstrings during your workout.
To start an off-season soccer workout, try FitLink's Full Body in an Hour Workout two to three times a week.