Have Fun, Get Fit for Soccer!

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Develop your soccer skills and improve your fitness by playing games with your friends.

Summer training shouldn't consist solely of traditional weight room workouts. Instead, gather a group of friends and play some games. Here are two games that not only provide a fun break from your regular routine, but can also help you achieve your soccer performance goals.

Pass Precision

Skills Developed:
Aerobic conditioning, agility, reaction and teamwork

6 or more

Materials Needed:
2 soccer balls (use different colors or styles), jerseys and a stopwatch

Playing Area:
Large field

The game is similar to "keep away." The object is to score points by hitting one ball with another.

•    Form two teams. One team controls the ball and the other attempts to stop it or steal it.
•    At the whistle (or "go" signal), a five-minute clock starts and the ball is put in play. The team in control attempts to move the ball around the field without having it stolen by the opposing team.
•    After a short time, someone throws the second ball into play.
•    The team in control attempts to strike the second ball with the one already in play.
•    Players must stay at least six feet away from the second ball.
•    A point is scored when the ball is hit. The ball is then removed from the field, to be thrown in again later.
•    The team with the most points wins.

Ultimate Frisbee

Skills Developed:
Agility, manipulative skills, reaction time and speed

8 or more

Playing Area:
Football field

Materials Needed:
1 Frisbee and multiple cones/markers (optional)

The rules are similar to football. However, physical contact is limited, and the receiving athlete's role is slightly modified.

•    Form two teams and set up on different sides of the field. One team starts on offense and the other on defense.
•    The game starts when a designated athlete on the defensive team puts the Frisbee into play by throwing it to the offensive team's side of the field.
•    When an athlete on the offensive team catches or picks up the Frisbee, he or she must remain stationary and throw it to a moving teammate. This is repeated until the Frisbee is moved down the field and across the other team's goal line—or intercepted by the other team.
•    A point is scored each time an athlete catches the Frisbee in the other team's end zone.
•    When a throw is intercepted, or after a point is scored, the defensive team goes on offense.

•    Use a ball instead of a Frisbee.

More Performance-Improvement Games

Find more enjoyable games to supplement your traditional sports training at the following links. Most of them can be adapted to deliver a total soccer training session.

Volleyball Training Games
Baseball Training Games
Basketball Training Games
Track Training Games
Football Training Games

Source: Dawes, Jay, and Chris Mooney. 101 games and Drills for Conditioning Athletes. Monterey, Calif.: Coaches Choice, 2006.

Mark Roozen, STACK's senior content editor, has been in the strength, conditioning and performance field for more than 28 years. He holds a Master degree in exercise physiology and several certifications as a strength and conditioning coach, including CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT and FNSCA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock