Fitness in young players - to do or not to do

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 4_the_kids, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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  2. Admin

    Admin Administrator

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  3. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Do it with the ball, and the kids won't even notice it's fitness.
     
  4. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    For up to U12 , outside of some ladder work, light jogs and sprints during warm up I agree use a ball. As you enter U13 -U16 for boys anyways this is when they start and go through puberty. Proper warm ups and cool downs are essential in preventing injury, so is some strength development.
    I would not add a fitness component beyond a good warm up ( see FIFA 11's) to a regular training session. I would offer for those who want an additional fitness based session, this can a mix of all sort of activities, SAQ with or without a ball, at a gym, playing other sports, Grouse Grind etc...
    Regardless fitness should be encouraged at this age, whether the coach adds a session to help teach it or leave to the kids to take there own initiative. Especially for BCSPL through to Div.1. The whole goal is to get these kids to the next level, fitness, strength, core strength whatever we call it is a big part of it.
     
  5. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    @4_the_kids - I want to make sure I understand you. You believe warm-up = fitness training? "Proper warm ups and cool downs are essential in preventing injury, so is some strength development"

    Warm-ups are critical for all ages, you simply adapt the warm-up to the age and level of play. Cool downs are up for debate.

    An extra session for fitness training is a nice idea, and I am one who has subscribed to that. My club still offers it and I'd encourage each of my players to do it. But, if my club were to ask my opinion I'd say scrap it, and run extra technical sessions. Teach the coaches how to run fitness sessions with the ball included. That said, my u17 asked me "can we do fitness at our sessions without the ball, coach?" Because they asked, I provided it. They enjoyed it, and they said they had benefits from those sessions. The reason I say do your fitness with the ball is because Canadians are so poorly technically, that has to be our top priority.

    For u13-16 you can do fitness training with the ball included and still do all that "fitness" work that you are referring to. Add in volleys, passing, shooting, dribbling amongst the jumping, sprinting etc.

    On twitter Gregor Young told me his gold team did nothing but ball work for their "fitness." They apparently did very very well re: on-field results this year. Now, to be fair he's likely an excellent teacher (I've never seen him coach, but I assume he is very good!) so that will help his team be successful with regards to results. I know his goal is not results, it's development.

    All that said, if our schools were still giving proper gym sessions, if kids who are old enough were still playing outside unsupervised in safe neighbourhoods etc etc etc.....
     
  6. godbapujr

    godbapujr Member

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    My soccer coach will make us do fitness here and there as every player needs it. He doesnt make us do as much as he expects us to make up for the fitness portion with the amount of effort we put in each drill. I like this system more cause its more fun than running laps
     
  7. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    I try not to have the players do laps if possible. I run 3-5k a day. It didnt help me all that much on the soccer field. Those short sprints are killer. We need to do some kind of intervals for best results.

    Dribbling relays, 1v1, suicides, dribbling in a square do skills, etc are all better options.

    Limiting idle time in a practice is the most important thing. Too many kids in lines or standing around.
     
  8. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    @TKBC - I don't believe warm ups equal fitness , I do believe there can be a fitness element added to a quality warm up ( see FIFA 11) such as planks, lunges, squats. jumps. , sprints.

    Fitness to me is a combination of activities and is an additional session on what would normally be an off day - I never have kids running laps at practice, I use high tempo and activities with lots of movement to help with conditioning. if we want to improve our cardio we can go to the track on an off day to get that. We can go to a local gym, play another sport, go run 1001 steps, , go swimming. etc..
    As someone mentioned if the kids got the proper physical activity at school this would be less of an issue. I wish I could trust they would do this on there own instead of playing call of duty all day but I don't.
    Also i think you have to let the team decide what they want, which is why I would make it optional not mandatory. My current group seems to be expressing interest in fitness as a whole, and I think over the summer a break from soccer and doing other things can be of great benefit.

    These guys offer an interesting program http://teamelevation.ca/ for the more committed...
     
  9. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Well said! Plus, laps don't really do much at all for soccer fitness unless part of a specific fitness package which you can't really effectively put together on 2 practices a week. So I say, keep the ball involved.
     
  10. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Warm-up is not intended to improve fitness. It's intended to prepare the body for the match. Training is for fitness. Please stop doing planks in your warm-ups.

    Don't get me wrong - I didn't know better once upon a time. I was one of those coaches that arrived an hour early and had an intense warm-up. I now run 20-30 minute warm-ups. Injuries have gone down drastically. End of match performance has increased. Players are happier. When I started coaching older kids they asked if they could arrive 45 early, and I agreed because they were older and know what they need to prepare. But the first 20 minutes was them just juggling, rondos', socializing and they didn't notice I didn't even change the match-specific warm-up (the rondos/juggling is a great way to start your warm-up though).

    I do subscribe to the FIFA11 but not the planks. Might as well do push-ups...(sarcasm!).

    Haha, it was me who mentioned the school fitness ;) I had amazing gym teachers, but also played every sport imagineable as did my friends. Nowadays how many kids can't even do a forward or backward roll?
     
  11. cassis61

    cassis61 New Member

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    Fitness can also be a personal choice that is suggested (if not required) by either the program one is in or the program one is going to.
    For example, my daughter was in a program for the last year where fitness was mandated: approximately 1.5 in-gym hours of strength and conditioning per week and another hour of on-field SAQ. In addition, if not rostered for the weekly game, players would do HIIT (high intensity interval training). This was all in addition to the four training sessions per week.
    While no longer in that program, her upcoming university team will, as is typical, be greatly concerned with fitness. Thus, she is now enrolled in a once per week strength and conditioning program at a local private centre in order to be prepared for what she will face at university (as described and suggested by the athletic trainer of that institution). Typical activities: resistance bands, balance, weights, ladders, hurdles, squats, planks, shuttles, vertical jumps, acceleration, sprints, etc.
    Now that is clearly not for everyone. Nor am I suggesting that it should be. For the typical player, such a regime is not required. My daughter has chosen to take this aspect of her development quite seriously and she feels (as do we) that it is paying off.
    She does this as an extra session over and above the three training sessions her new club runs.
    In case you're wondering, she is 16.
     
  12. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Fitness training for kids 16+ is not unusual, and if a player is serious (university/pro) it's required. The majority of this discussion is about younger kids.
     
  13. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    @cassis61 - very interesting point. For sure ones level of play , motivation and dedication will play into how much if any fitness is done.

    i think this point "Fitness can also be a personal choice that is suggested (if not required) by either the program one is in or the program one is going to " Can apply to any age group. They key especially at the younger age groups is to let it be there choice and age appropriate. BCSPL clubs and many metro teams do fitness specific training starting at U13, so why not at Div 1?
    Level of play, motivation, commitment all play into this. My 12 year old son on his own has decided he needs to be more quick and fit, others on his team feel the same. So if they want the fitness training why not provide it? They enjoy the challenge and see the benefits.

    To be clear the I use the term fitness training very loosely as it means many different things. Everything from in the gym, SAQ, Cardio, other sports etc... The key is to be age appropriate, and at younger ages teaching proper technique for things like , running, sprints, push ups, sit ups, squats, planks , weights, breathing, what have you, is just as if not more important than the fitness itself.
     
  14. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Absolutely it can be a personal choice.

    My club offers fitness training to Div1. There's no reason they can't do it.

    I think BCSPL standards should be extended to MSL and Div 1.
     
  15. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    My honest opinion is that if you want your team to be competitive the players need to be fit. It is up to you as a coach to look at your players on an individual basis and decide if that player could be better conditioned. If there are enough players on your team to warrant it be done in practice then so be it. If there are only a few that are not in game shape then the coach must speak with that player and let them know that they need to work on it on their own time or their minutes will be impacted.

    In this day and age of electronics so much time is spent in front of a screen and as such not all are active outside of soccer.
     
  16. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    agreed!
     
  17. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Yes being fit is very important. I don't imagine anyone here has suggested different. What I've said is to make sure the ball is included.
     
  18. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    Warm up with the ball is fine. Some conditioning with the ball is fine. HIIT or SAQ is not usually done with a ball. If you can achieve your goals for the season doing only fitness with a ball then that is also fine. For my son, when he was younger he was a really odd runner, and when I put him a SAQ class his running changed dramatically.
     
  19. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    \

    SAQ is not "fitness" - it's about coordination and improving explosive speed, for the most part.

    My own running technique also improved dramatically when I was taught how to properly run by my elementary school track coach. It gave me a significant edge over my opposition in soccer. But "fitness" meaning endurance anaerobic and aerobic is different.
     
  20. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    Speed Agility and Quickness sessions will help athletes become stronger, faster, quicker and more powerful for their respective sports. These fitness characteristics will be improved through specific movement patterns, reactivity, rotary power, balance, acceleration and deceleration drills, rapid excitation and speed and conditioning drills.
     

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