How To Be Match Fit Before Your Next Soccer Game

fitness training

Are you fit enough to play your next match? Getting match fit involves a lot of determination and discipline to go through the proper physical fitness training. The pre-season training is physically demanding, sometimes requiring even more from players than the match itself.

Training to be match fit involves plenty of anaerobic or stop/start exercises as soccer is anaerobic in nature, where the muscles work for short, fast bursts without oxygen. This means the exercises must also be specific to soccer. If you’re looking to be match fit before your next game, here are the things you should do.

Rebuild and improve stamina

To help you keep up with play and last on the field as long as necessary, you’ll require plenty of stamina. A 20-minute run three times a week is a good start, then increase the duration every week until you can jog at a steady pace for 60 minutes without stopping. Another set of exercises you can do to improve your endurance is 20 minutes of jogging, walking, sprinting and three-quarter pace runs. Do a 20-metre sprint from a starting point, walk back, run to a 40-metre marker at a three-quarter pace, then jog back to the starting point.

Do weight training

You’ll need power from your lower body muscles such as the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings and glutes to perform explosive moves like jumping and sprinting. To build lower body strength, do squats, single-leg squats, split squats and calf raises. Upper body strength is important too, so do crunches with other upper-body training using both free and machine weights.

Do plyometric exercises

Fitness trainers at soccer clubs suggest doing plyometrics to train fast-muscle fibres and nerves for bursts of speed and power. Also called jump training, plyometrics is a good cardio workout that also increases leg strength. Do 6-metre sprints at least once a week and increase the repetitions as you get stronger. You can also do split jumps by lowering into a lunge position, jumping as high as you can and switching your legs to land in a lunge with the opposite leg now in front.

Work on balance

Training for better balance isn’t just for stability but also for improved skills in passing, tackling and kicking. The most basic balance training may be simple and can be done anywhere, and it works: stand on a level surface. Raise one leg up and hold this position for 30 seconds, then do the same with the other leg.

Strengthen your ankles

The ankles are the parts of the body most prone to injury in sports, especially soccer. To strengthen your ankles, stand with the balls of your feet on a step and rise up on your toes. Hold this position for 10 counts then lower your heels gently as far as you can. Make sure you stay in control of the movement. Do this exercise 10 times three times a week.

As you can see, getting match fit for soccer requires you to develop explosive power, have excellent cardiovascular fitness and gain strength. With a good workout plan, frequent workout sessions and a proper recovery period, you’ll be able to get ready before your next match as fast as possible without suffering an injury.

Where to Find Cheaper Football Boots

football boots

There are many kinds of football boots on the market, it can be hard to find the right type that can help you give your best performance on the pitch. Of course, the first thing to consider when looking for football boots is the type of surface you’ll be playing on. Each type of boot is designed to handle different surfaces and playing conditions, much like car tyres, so if you want to avoid slipping all over the pitch and getting injured, you have to choose the right soleplate for the occasion.

The next thing to consider is the price. Not everyone can afford premium football boots worn by their favourite players, so for many, finding cheaper football boots is a must. Here’s where you can find good-quality cleats that won’t break the bank.

Online retailers

Shopping for sports gear online is one of the easiest ways to get great deals on football boots. Online retailers often have promotions on boots and you can also buy them at discounted prices using coupon codes. There are several sites where you can find cheaper football boots.

  • Voucher sites – voucher sites carry coupon codes for a variety of sports gear, including football boots. You can use these codes to apply discounts on boots and other apparel–just be sure to check the terms of the discount and date of validity to take advantage of the offer.
  • Sports shops – shops specialising in football gear will have shoes from a number of brands in stock. Be on the lookout for seasonal sales and one-time-only promotions where you can score deals on football boots.
  • Manufacturer or company’s website – big-name brands usually have promotions where certain models of their football boots are given at discounted prices. This usually happens when they’re about to introduce a new model or are in the process of clearing out inventory. Some promotions are also conducted to entice new customers to purchase online.
  • Auction sites – auction sites such as eBay have a wide selection of football boots for sale or auction. The great thing about this is that you can not only narrow down your search according to size and brand, but also according to price range. This means you can see the range of shoes that are within your budget, plus some sellers are also willing to negotiate.

Clearance outlets

When football boots don’t get sold in major sports shops, they get turned over to clearance outlets to make room for new stock and are consequently sold at discounted prices. This is where you can find cheaper football boots from big-name companies such as Nike, Puma, New Balance and Adidas. The shoe models may not be new, but that hardly matters on a muddy pitch anyway–as long as the cleats offer superb traction for the surface you’ll be playing on, they would serve you well.

The advantage of buying from clearance outlets as opposed to buying online is you get to try the shoes on yourself, so changing sizes and styles can be done easily. You can, however, work around this problem. Simply visit your local sporting goods store and try on the different football boots you are considering. Once you’ve narrowed down your options, check their availability and the discounted rate online, then order!

Why is Team Spirit Important to a Footballer?

Football is a game that is grounded on teamwork. Even if a team loses, the positive bonds formed through teamwork keep team spirit up to sustain camaraderie, keep motivation intact and improve performance for the next game. Friendships developed within a team can even last a lifetime.

Team spirit is important to football players because when it’s alive, players work well together as a group–they want to achieve victory for the team and not just themselves. No matter how skilled an individual player is, it is the combined effort of the team as a whole that helps the group win games and yes, lose games gracefully.

Let’s take a closer look at how team spirit figures in the success of football teams.

A unified team

Team spirit is the backbone of a stellar team. Team spirit involves the unselfishness of players, who work together as one unit. Teamwork gives football players a special kind of energy that helps them compete for something together. Sure, it’s easy to put together the best athletes, but if they think only of their own success and cannot work together as a unified team, they will not be able to win any matches.

Team spirit helps players have agreed-upon goals they themselves created as a team and support one another through all aspects of the game–from training to full matches, and even difficult moments such as losses. Players who support each other through thick and thin make up a strong team, no matter their team status.

Trust, mutual respect and understanding, shared goals, a common vision, open communication and a positive team image are indicators of good teamwork and should be cultivated in each player so that they will all be able to work as one cohesive unit.

Recognising individual contributions

Of course, a team wouldn’t exist without individual players. In football, each player has their own role, and each role must be appreciated and recognised. Regardless of their position in the team, players’ individual contributions must be taken into account and held in high value. Teamwork requires everyone’s combined efforts, after all. If players perform well in their roles, then it increases the team’s chances of success.

Team spirit builds life skills

One of the first things that young football players learn early on is that the name on the front of the jersey holds more value than the name on the back. Players may have personal differences, but with good team spirit, these are set aside for the common good–the team’s success. This selflessness–taking to heart that no player is greater than the team–helps people become better persons on and off the pitch.

Another life skill football players develop through team spirit is communication, which includes dealing with conflict among teammates. On the pitch, communication is important to make the team more effective. Off the field, communication helps build and sustain friendships and resolve any problems that may arise.

Team spirit also builds trust, especially among young players who grow up together in a football club. Players who know they have each other’s backs perform well together and grow stronger together as a team.