Kick It Harder With Indiana Soccer

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Seven NCAA titles. Eleven Big Ten Tournament Championships. Twelve Big Ten regular season titles. A 20-year streak of NCAA Tournament appearances. The Indiana Hoosiers men's soccer team knows a thing or two about scoring goals—thanks in part to Tom Morris, their strength and conditioning coach.

According to Morris, power and accuracy are key to putting your shot in the goal. "Having a powerful shot gets the ball to the goal faster, and accuracy increases your chance of scoring," he says. "We perform exercises that strengthen the lower body—hips, abs and lower back—because that's where power comes from."

Morris puts the Hoosiers through these two exercises twice a week in the off-season to max out their power potential.

Plate Push

• Place 100-lb plate on smooth floor
• Get in bear crawl position with back parallel to ground; place hands on plate
• Push plate 40 yards keeping hips straight and head in neutral position
• Rest 30 seconds; perform again

Coaching Points: Push the plate as fast as you can while driving your knees into your chest. Kick back with the opposite leg as hard as you can, and keep your head neutral to eliminate strain on your back.

Weighted Sled Lunge with Dumbbells

• Attach 25-lb sled to waist with belt and hold 15-lb dumbbell in each hand
• Step forward into lunge position with forward lean
• Keeping front knee behind toes, lower until back knee almost touches ground
• Raise to standing position; repeat with opposite leg in continuous walking fashion
• Cover 20 yards
• Rest 30 seconds; perform again

Coaching Points: Keep your hips square, chest up and maintain a slight forward lean. You want to squeeze your belly button to your spine and avoid letting your knee come over the tip of your toe in the lunge position.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock