Soccer players are well known for their incredible endurance, running an average distance of six miles during a 90-minute match. However, the game is never played at one speed. Soccer is more about power, consisting of bursts of speed, long distance strikes and leaping goaltenders staving off attacks from airborne forwards.
Since soccer is such a fast-paced game based on power, players must regularly perform plyometric exercises in their workouts. Plyos allow muscles to achieve maximum force in the shortest time by using the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC), the key to running faster and jumping higher. (Learn more about plyometrics.)
Each soccer position is unique, so you cannot take a "one size fits all" approach with your plyo training. To increase power specific to your position, make sure to perform plyos that match how you play the game.
As the last line of defense, goalkeepers have a lot of weight on their shoulders. With such a large area to defend, they need the ability to get from one side of the net to the other in one move.
Sets/Reps: 3-5x5-10, resting 1-2 minutes between sets
Defenders have it rough, especially when covering the other team's top scorer week after week. As a defender, you must be quick, agile and incredibly strong. With all the pushing and jockeying for position that goes on, it takes a great deal of strength to stand your ground in the penalty area during a free kick or corner kick.
Sets/Reps: 4x5-10, resting 2 minutes between sets
Learn more great upper-body plyos.
Midfielders control the action—they are the maestros of the soccer pitch. One of the most stunning plays in all of soccer is a brilliantly placed long distance strike or free kick. Accurately placing the ball over a wall of defenders and past a leaping goalkeeper takes unparalleled precision and power.
Sets/Reps: 3-5x10-20, resting 2-3 minutes between sets
With the quickest feet, forwards (strikers) are the fastest players on the field, and they have incredible ball control. To improve as a forward, you need to develop quick and coordinated footwork to get lightning fast feet and an explosive first step.
The key to this drill is to limit ground contact time, moving as fast as possible.
Sets/Duration: 1x20 seconds each pattern
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