How do we train to improve skill at the SoccerFIT Academy? It’s simple really…we start off training simple movement patterns (motor abilities like balancing, lunging and core control patterns), and then we progress them into training environment designed to peak the athletic use of these simple patterns over a wide range of sporting actions (jumping, sprinting, changing direction, etc.). But this is only the beginning… the next step is to functionally integrate the physical with the technical. In this phase we teach the player how to blend physical skill with technical skill while executing a sport specific action (score, defend, pass, receive, etc.).
Here is where it gets tricky. See, sometimes players gets the athletic component (speed, agility, vertical, strength, etc.), but have trouble using this “athleticism” to their advantage on the field. This has to do with many factors, some of which revolve around not being placed in an environment where they are exposed to progression and repetition in these situations.
Here is what I mean… Sometimes players can be very athletic (fast, strong, agile, etc.), but they have trouble reading the game, or they are newer to the sport and are still struggling with the technical / tactical components. For these players the game comes at them so fast that they spend all their time trying to process the situation and they don’t react instinctively. Now if a player has grown up with a ball at his or her feet, playing pick up games every day until the sun went down, this would not be a problem.
Most players don’t fall into this category (playing street soccer or pick up every day). We need to offer practice sessions and program options for players who need to develop this “bridge” between athleticism and skill. There are too many programs out there that are trying to convince you that they can get you faster, stronger even increase your vertical 6 inches overnight. But the problem is, none of this matters if you don’t know how to use it on the field.
Figure 1: Functionally Integrated Training
Our model (yellow highlighted area) is all about developing this process and bringing skill and athleticism together. Here is a short clip from our Game Speed Program that shows how we start to merge quick feet and reactive finishing / defending skill.
The 2012 Game Speed and Skill Program eBook is now for sale in case you did not get the opportunity to take part in this program. The curriculum is a 65 page downloadable eBook, complete with videos that demonstrate each drill from a coaches perspective, with commentary that fully explains why we are doing each exercise and how it can be related to on-field speed/agility. To take your first step towards soccer specific speed/agility click HERE.
If you are in the Greater Kansas City Area and would like to attend classes, our schedule is now on-line. Classes run year round and are conveniently scheduled in one day, two day or three day programs.