From my experience, I have noticed that soccer training is well developed on the team level, but is lacking is in the area of speed and strength development on the individual level. Most trainers believe that running for distance is the only way to condition an athlete (including goalkeepers). Coaches concentrate on ball work, team drills and distance running during practices. In truth, to compete with the quality of soccer players today, athletes additionally need a combination of long and short distance running as well as strength training to gain the competitive edge. Williams Soccer gives athletes the total training approach that emphasizes both Speed and Strength which are so important, but lacking, in soccer training. This is where Williams Soccer Performance Systems gives players the ultimate advantage over their competitors.
Listed below are the areas that Williams Soccer addresses with all soccer players in our program.
- Deceleration/Changing Direction – Soccer challenges the player to stop, change direction and receive a ball while moving at a high rate of speed. Many players have difficulty performing this skill effectively and consistently while maintaining their game focus. Deceleration is a skill we will focus on by emphasizing body position and proper mechanics all while changing direction. When changing direction, the hips should be low to the ground and the athlete should use both feet to drive off so they change direction explosively.
- Starting Speed (Acceleration) – To a soccer player this might be the single most important skill to learn. Soccer is a game in which a player is constantly moving but most of running is short sprints (5 to 10 yards) with many changes of direction. Having an explosive first step on the field will make the difference between getting to the ball or not. An athlete needs to be able to perform the same explosive sprinting style time and time again, this is known as sprint endurance. When training, sprint endurance concentrates on performing linear drills and combining lateral skills with acceleration. This is more functional to the player because the player rarely runs in straight line (common sense right?).
- Strength training – One of the most overlooked aspects in the game of soccer, is the importance of overall physical conditioning. It has been my experience that many soccer coaches understand the benefits of strength training, but view it as secondary to skill training or simply misunderstand its importance in the game. Contrary to popular belief, strength training has a positive effect on an athlete’s speed and explosive power. In addition, strength training helps to reduce injuries and aids in a faster recovery should the unfortunate occur. Williams Soccer can and will prove this as they have many times before.