This is a question that all coaches, 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 thinking.

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”.

Professionals Dribbling On the Soccer Field

Here’s something to think about…if you have soccer players running laps, 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, 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, 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.

We will go over this in more detail in some following posts related to conditioning.

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