FineSoccer Drill 34 - Conditioning
While most coaches say that all conditioning should take place with a ball, in my opinion, some conditioning has to be done without a ball. The reason for this is that it's extremely difficult to generate the exact same amount of intensity in training as you can in a game (this is not because of laziness or anything like that but rather the inability to get as excited in training which helps to get the adrenaline going). Since it's so hard to get the same amount of intensity in training, the only way to get the heart rate up as high is to force it in conditioning without the ball. Here are a couple of ways to accomplish this without taking up a great deal of time.
Before I start, you will notice that there are no long runs in this. The reason for this is that if you want to get in shape to run long distances, then run long distances. If you want to get in shape to do the short sprints and needed in soccer, then do shorter sprints.
Break your team into three groups (A, B and C) and have them set up as shown in the diagram below.
The groups should be 44 yards apart (this is the width of the 18 yard box). Each group should have a leader. Group A sprints past the line where Group B is waiting. As soon as the last person in Group A passes the line, the leader of Group B says "go" and they sprint toward the other line. When the last player in Group B passes the line, the leader of Group C says "go" and they start their sprint. The thing that is great about this conditioning drill is that it allows for a 1:2 work to rest ratio which allows the players to work on developing the "second wind" that is so important in the game of soccer. Do this so that each group gets in 20 sprints and you will find that they have a nice little workout.
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