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Why are your youth soccer
players running laps?

This is a question that all
coaches Haris Seferovic Jersey , at all levels, should ask themselves and reflect on their soccer
training sessions. For many years soccer coaches have used laps to "warm up"
soccer players or increase their endurance. We should all reexamine this

Last month a friend of mine,
Coach Mike, called me and he sounded a little upset. He knew my philosophy on
soccer players running laps and we had a long discussion about it earlier in the
year. Coach Mike is successful high school coach that holds a USSF "C" license
and in years past has coached many youth academy teams. He is well respected and
liked by players, parents and the soccer community. While developing both

http://www.BlastTheBall and our new

http://www.SoccerU series I would often sit in the bleachers watching his
players practice and play.

His 10-year-old son had a
practice that night and he was appalled at what he saw. There were a total of 10
teams on the filed ranging from 9 years old up to 16. After the practices
started he looked out at the fields and nine out of 10 of the teams were running
laps. Needless to say his jaw dropped as he watched this spectacle.

Finally he walked over to
the club's coaching director and said Granit Xhaka Jersey , "Hey Tom, nice running club you have
here." Of course Tom looked at him strangely and said, "What do you mean?" Mike
proceeded to have an education session with him. "Look out at the fields Tom and
tell me what you see. You have nine out of 10 teams running laps. It looks like
a cross country club rather than a soccer club. Don't you think the coaches
would have learned by now?"

Tom shook his head in
agreement and told Mike that he would address the issue at the next coaches
meeting. The director understood the problem but his coaches failed to truly
grasp what they were doing.

Make Running More

One of the biggest
challenges we face as youth coaches is the lack of time. We have one or two
hours, twice a week for about 12 weeks to mold and shape young children and
adults into well-trained soccer players. There simply is not enough time. Using
ANY of this valuable time on anything other than "soccer training" is simply
insane. Every thing you do during your practice should be geared towards
touches, control and improving "soccer skills".

Here's a great question for
you. If you have soccer players running laps Gelson Fernandes Jersey , why do they not have a soccer ball
at their feet while running? Simply by adding a soccer ball, at least we have
incorporated something related to soccer. If you can't break your old habit cold
turkey, at least change the method.

If you run laps to warm up
players, why not have them pair up and run dribbling and passing grids? Ten
minutes of this has the same cardio benefit as running laps, but they work on
dribbling Francois Moubandje Jersey , moves, passing and receiving while exercising at the same time. This
can be set up by the players and run as soon as they get to the field. This
gives you, the coach, more time to set up your sessions.

Also, guess what you can do
before Saturday's game to warm up? You got it Fabian Schar Jersey , the same drills. The other team
will be impressed that the players took control of their own warm up and looked
like a truly organized team.

A Conditioning Alternative

Let's face it, soccer
players don't jog an entire soccer game. They have short bursts of sprinting
speed followed by recovery running or walking. We should try and condition them
for how they are going to play as well as increase their ball handing and
general soccer skills.

One of the best ways to do
this at any level, even the collegiate level, is the use of small side game
drills or wave drills. Here is an example:

font-family:Arial">Set up two small goals with cones, four feet wide Fabian Frei Jersey , or
Pugg goals about 30-40 yards apart.

font-family:Arial">Have the players run 1 v. 1 or 2 v. 2 wave attacks.

font-family:Arial">As soon as the ball goes in the net or crosses the end
line, the next wave begins.

font-family:Arial">You can also make players touch the goal after shooting
and then have a race back to the other end.

font-family:Arial">Keep the numbers few. This makes sure players only have
a short recovery time in between attacks. If you have a lot of players set up
several fields.

This wave format game is
absolutely exhausting, teaches fast attack, 1 v. 1 skills, and teaches players
to recover quickly after a play is finished.

Lessons for Life

If you are a youth soccer
coach I want you to remember this golden rule.

When you train young soccer
players you are trying to teach them things that will stay with them for a
lifetime. Dribbling Eren Derdiyok Jersey , receiving, shooting, passing, heading, trapping and moves
are all skills that once learned and mastered Denis Zakaria Jersey , will stay with their mind and
body forever. Conditioning leaves them once it stops.

Skills that are learned are
long term, endurance is short-lived. S锘? Supporting the Cause

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