Soccer Team Training Guidelines
A lot goes into developing a soccer team training program. Every position has specific needs and each phase of the year has different goals that the players have to focus on. By building out a long-term training program, teams can ensure that they are optimizing their time and peaking at just the right moment in the season to bring home the wins.
When looking at a program, the first thing that every coach needs to focus on is a needs analysis. For soccer, this should be done first as a whole team and then broken down into position specific needs. Every player is going to require similar training goals of aerobic capacity, strength, speed, and change of direction speed.
When broken down into positions, there are subtle differences that should alter their training to match their needs. For example, a goalkeeper may need more focus on their vertical jump capacity, while a forward will need a strong ability to reach max effort with short sprints. This needs analysis can be further broken down for each player, depending on the team tactics to best optimize the goals for each individual.
Some of this needs analysis can be generalized, but every player should undergo periodic assessments to get measurable numbers to base training sessions on. Assessments such as the 40m sprint test can show progress over time in speed and acceleration training and can show areas for improvement within the team.
With a needs analysis complete and assessments providing measurables to track over time, the next big concern for a soccer training program is the tactical periodization. Everything done in the training environment ultimately should line up with what the team is going to be doing on the pitch on match day.
In the video posted below, Intern Coach Adriano talks through the specifics of how a team can periodize and organize the tactical training program throughout the season to optimize success. He shows what an overall training program can look like all the way down to the microcycles of each week and how the training sessions should flow through the week leading up to match day.
For a sports team, training cycles will shift and goals will change as the season progresses. The optimal training program will take this into account. As a general program, teams will go through phases of pre-season, in-season, and off-season throughout the year, each with it’s own specific goals that should be met by the training program.
During the pre-season there are typically two phases – early and late pre-season. At the start of the pre-season training, goals will be oriented towards developing max strength and building in low-intensity aerobic training. As the season gets closer, the training will shift towards more soccer specific training. This will be when you add in more speed and power training to the mix.
Once the season begins, the maintenance phase of training starts. You don’t want to overwhelm players that are in-season, so a lot of the strength training will taper back. You’re not looking to get bigger in this time of the year, you’re simply looking to maintain and hit your peak performance.
After the season concludes, the post-season begins. This should be a time of rest and recovery in the soccer training schedule for the entire time. The demanding schedule will start right back up again in the next pre-season, so players should take this time to let their bodies recover before the grind begins.
Every player and every team is going to be different, but this blueprint is one to follow as a general guideline of how to structure the season for any soccer training program. If you’re looking for extra help with your team training whether it be a soccer team or any other sport, our coaching staff can help. We offer team training programs where we take the stress of planning out the strength and conditioning off your shoulders and make sure your team is optimized for a successful season!