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Pro Soccer GM Talks About Finding The Right Player

Neck Strengthening for Concussions

Understanding Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Two Great and Simple Leg Exercises

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When is it safe for a player to return to the field after an ACL injury? | 90STRONG

Article

Josh Beaumont's picture

When is it safe for a player to return to the field after an ACL injury?

This is a very challenging question. Sometimes you hear about professional athletes that come back from ACL injuries in 4 months. But most of the time, physicians will clear players to return in the 6 to 9 month range. When physicians try and determine when you are safe to return to the field, they will usually only test the ligaments in your knee as opposed to testing your overall physical ability. They will usually leave this up to the physical therapist or certified athletic trainer to make sure the athlete has regained proper control of the knee prior to returning to soccer. The ability to properly control the knee is important in returning safely to the field (see video for proper knee control). Most non-contact knee injuries result because of this. When an athlete returns to play before re-establishing control of the knee they set themselves up for re-injury of that knee or worse the other knee. This can happen because the athlete is lacking competitive soccer for 6 months and the body has become deconditioned. Returning to soccer prior to re-establishing cardiovascular and muscular fitness can also put the player at risk for other muscle injuries such as a hamstring strains.

The most important question the athletic trainer or physical therapist asks is, “is the knee functional?” I attended a conference a few years ago where a doctor stated that their success rate at 6 months was 66% versus 90% at 9 months. By waiting an extra 3 months, the surgery will more likely be successful because the knee has had time to become more functional. Most people that have torn their ACL will tell you that it takes almost 2 years for the knee to feel the same as it did prior to the injury. I believe a lot of that feeling may be attributed to rushing the rehabilitative process and not properly re-integrating back into sports. 

The video below is an example of a single leg exercise you can do to help regain knee control.

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What An Athletic Trainer Does In Soccer | 90STRONG

Article

Elysia Tsai's picture

What An Athletic Trainer Does In Soccer

Have you received a phone call from somebody stating to be the athletic trainer working with your son or daughter?  Ever wonder what it is that an athletic trainer does?  Perhaps you only know them as the person who tapes up your child before practice and gives them an ice bag afterward. Or maybe one has worked closely with your child after an injury to return them to play.

The four founders of 90strong.com are athletic trainers and have worked in a variety of settings. From high schools, physical therapy clinics, amateur sports, professional sports, collegiate athletics, sports performance enhancement and for the US sports associations. We have a very diverse background and can adapt to many situations due to our educational and clinical training.

To become an Athletic Trainer you must hold a bachelor’s degree from a college or university that is specifically accredited for the athletic training curriculum. 

Basic and Applied Sciences include:

  • Human anatomy
  • Human physiology
  • Biology
  • Statistics and research design
  • Exercise physiology
  • Kinesiology/biomechanics
  • Chemistry *
  • Physics *
  • * Recommended but not required by some ATEP

Required Professional Content includes:

  • Risk management and injury prevention 
  • Pathology of injuries and illnesses
  • Orthopedic clinical examination and diagnosis 
  • Medical conditions and disabilities
  • Acute care of injuries and illnesses
  • Therapeutic modalities    
  • Conditioning, rehabilitative exercise and referral
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychosocial intervention and referral
  • Nutritional aspects of injuries and illnesses
  • Health care administration

After graduation from college and completion of clinical hours and rotation, you are allowed to apply for and take national board exams administered through an independent company named Board of Certification, Inc.  After you successfully pass the board exam you can distinguish yourself as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC).  We are also required to submit 75 continuing education hours every 3 years, maintain CPR for Professional Rescuers and AED certification and standards of practice to maintain our certification.

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) has public service campaigns for ACL injuries, back pain, baby boomers, senior falls and youth sports.  Other areas of interest and position statements include topics on concussion, mrsa, sudden cardiac arrest, heat illness, skin disease and sports injuries. This information is free and can be found on the NATA website.

The athletic training profession has come a long way since the days of smelling salts and throwing water bottles. We prep athletes for practice, oversee any injuries that occur and make assessments for further care, create return to play protocols and carry out rehabilitation or corrective exercises for injuries. Most are involved in pre-participation physicals and keep documents on our athletes. Because we are required to maintain continuing education, we keep up to date on the latest treatments, gadgets and advancements in the profession.

 As the parent of an athlete, your interaction with the school or club ATC may be limited. Some schools cannot afford a full time ATC and some clubs operate without one. If you do have access to an athletic trainer, introduce yourself. Find out if the ATC will be present for games, traveling with the team for away games, present during practices, and available after practice hours for any injuries or rehabilitation needed.  We are there to help keep your child safe so they can excel at their game.

Quick facts about athletic trainers:

The National Athletic Trainers Association was started in 1950.

There are more than 30,000 athletic training members, with 26,000 being ATC and the remainder are AT students. 

Currently regulation/licensure for athletic trainers is present in 46 states.

Almost 70% of athletic trainers have a master’s or doctoral degree.

85% of ATC’s practice in the United States.

50% of ATC’s work outside of the school athletic setting.  We can be found in physician offices, hospitals, physical therapy clinics, the military and government branches, commercial settings and professional sports teams.

Athletic trainers are assigned National Provider Identification numbers and have designated Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes and Uniform Billing (UB) codes.

Athletic trainers are not personal trainers. We practice under the direction of a physician and recognized as health care professionals by the American Medical Association.

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Using Single Leg Box Squats for ACL Injuries | 90STRONG

Article

Chris Phillips's picture

Using Single Leg Box Squats for ACL Injuries

Single leg squat exercises serve as a tremendous asset for soccer players that are returning from an ACL injury. This is because the exercise involves a combination of strength, mobility, and stability of both the hip and knee. However, in order to do the exercise correctly, the load placed on the body must be appropriate. Starting off with a modified version such as incorporating a box or chair to sit on can serve as a safe way to start implementing the exercise. Here’s how you do it:

  1. First, find a bench, a box or any stable seat to sit on.
  2. Start the exercise in a seated position such that the injured knee is bent approximately 45-60 degrees with the foot on the ground and the other leg elevated and set your footing in order to stand up using one leg. You can also use the uninjured leg as support by placing the heel on the ground while keeping it straight. As you get more comfortable with the exercise, you should slowly start from a more difficult position- that being to start from a lower position and have your uninjured leg completed elevated.
  3. To execute the exercise, use your glutes and quadricep muscles to lean forward slightly to position your body weight into your working leg/foot and then stand up tall . S
  4. Slowly return to the starting position. Sit your hips back and control the lowering versus crashing down onto the seat.

Perform this exercise on both legs for about 3 sets of 10-15 reps focusing on being balanced and stable. A clear sign that you have to dial it back is if you notice your knees buckling inward or if you are unable to control the descent back into the chair. If this is the case, you may want to start with a higher chair or box or return to a more fundamental exercise such as squats or lunges.

We will discuss how to progress this exercise and modify it in later posts.

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Use this Ladder Drill to Improve Stability and Reduce ACL Injuries | 90STRONG

Article

Chris Phillips's picture

Use this Ladder Drill to Improve Stability and Reduce ACL Injuries

By modifying the Ickey Shuffle ladder drill, you can improve your knee stability, reducing the chance of injuring your ACL. The athlete will begin on the side of the ladder stepping in with one foot, then the other and transitioning out of the ladder landing on the outside foot. You want to move quickly through the ladder, stabilize and pause on the outside foot. To do this, keep the plant leg beneath you so that the shoulder, knee and foot are aligned one under the other. Repeat to the other side and continue for the length of the ladder. Another important point is to flex the hip, knee and ankle joints so the muscles can shock absorb, protecting the joints, while allowing the athlete to become more balanced. To make the drill more complex, repeat the drill moving backwards.

 

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Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer | 90STRONG

Article

Chris Phillips's picture

Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer

Soccer players need to accelerate, make a touch on the ball, and quickly move to another location. Utilize this Bungee Cord Drill to be a quicker athlete with a solid touch.

How to perform this drill:
The drill will require a bungee cord, a soccer ball and three people.
  • Begin with the athlete attached to the bungee cord.
  • He or she will backpedal five to six steps depending on the stretched length of the cord, then sprint forward, receive a pass from another player and return the pass.
  • Repeat for 10-15 passes.

To vary the drill, you can change the force of the cord to be from behind. The athlete holding the cord will now be standing behind the athlete training. As the training athlete sprints forward to make a pass, they will be pulled backwards, away from the ball. Again, perform the drill for 10-15 passes for 3-5 sets. This drill is great for developing your acceleration and improving your reaction time on the soccer field.

 

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Understanding Osgood Schlatter's Disease | 90STRONG

Article

Ben Torres's picture

Understanding Osgood Schlatter's Disease

Osgood Schlatter's Disease is one of the most common knee injuries among youth soccer athletes. Although it is rarely surgical, it is often a nagging and at times debilitating pathology with a capacity to sideline a soccer player for quite some time. While it is known to be most common amongst young male athletes, the occurrences of Osgood Schlatter have risen substantially for female athletes, perhaps due to the increasing competition in female sports.

What is Osgood Schlatter?
Most common in young children and adolescents ages 10-15, Osgood Schlatter disease happens when repetitive stress on the knee irritates the bone growth plate in the little bump on your shin bone(tibia) just under your knee cap. This bump is known as the tibial tuberosity. Whenever the knee straightens, the thigh muscles (quadriceps) pull on the patellar tendon,which runs over the knee cap and attaches to the tibial tuberosity. This in turn leads to a subsequent pull on the shin bone in the area of the growth plate. And since growth plate is not as strong as bone, repetitive bending and extending in the knee joint can cause significant pain and inflammation. Most physicians diagnose this disease rather easily as they will notice an obvious bump on the shin bone just under the knee with accompanied swelling in the area.
 
What are the signs and symptoms?
The signs and symptoms of Osgood Schlatter include pain with physical activity (running, jumping, and bending movements), swelling, and point tenderness on the tibial tuberosity with pain lasting anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on its severity. The tibial tuberosity may also appear much more prominent than normal. Usually, symptoms stop once the athlete has stopped growing. But as long as the young athlete remains in his/her growth phase, a relapse of symptoms may occur.
 
How is it treated?
Rest and rehabilitation continue to be the best forms of treatment. In very rare occasions, perhaps only when bony fragments have been left in the tibia, will surgery be considered. But for most youth athletes, decreasing the activity that exacerbates the symptoms and taking part in a rehabilitations program will likely be the best bet to alleviate symptoms and manage the disease. Typical treatment protocols begin with rest and decreasing the amount of activity that causes the pain. For the youth soccer athlete, the severity of the symptoms will dictate how much activity should be decreased. That may mean restricting practice to low level drills or restricting soccer all together until the symptoms subside.
 
Rehabilitation will focus on the stretching of the hamstring, quads, and hip flexors, as well as the strengthening of the glute muscles. Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapists will also have the athlete undergo several bouts of cold therapy in order to decrease pain and inflammation. Doctors may also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and patellar tendon straps to help control symptoms during physical activity although more research might be needed to demonstrates its true effectiveness.

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Two Ways to Run Faster | 90STRONG

Article

Chris Phillips's picture

Two Ways to Run Faster

Every soccer player strives for speed. And most spend hours in the gym or on the pitch doing speed drills and lifting weights as the primary method to increase speed. But you can't forget about flexibility. Speed is based on stride length x frequency. How far and how fast you stride will determine your speed. These tips will focus on increasing stride length by increasing the flexibility of your hamstrings and hip flexors. 

Improving hamstring flexibility will improve how your hip flexes and knee extends in the contact or front leg. This lengthens the stride in the front leg and allows for better loading in order to prepare for the next powerful stride. Use the supine knee extension stretch to improve hamstring flexibility.

  1. Begin lying on your back and grabbing the back of your leg with your knee bent and thigh perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Extend your knee as far as possible while keeping your other thigh on the ground.
  3. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times for two sets on each leg.

Perform the stretch two to three times a day. To improve the stretch, flex your ankle by bringing your toes towards the ground.

Your next tip to get faster is to stretch out your hip flexors. Not only will this help you get faster, but may also eliminate low back pain while running since your main hip flexors connect to your your low back. Here is how to perform the kneeling hip flexor stretch: 

  1. Kneel on one leg with back straight. 
  2. Rock forward feeling a stretch on the rear leg.

Perform the stretches multiple times a day especially before and after activity and you will see improvement in your flexibility and speed while reducing potential injuries.

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Tournament Guidelines for Success | 90STRONG

Article

Chris Phillips's picture

Tournament Guidelines for Success

Tournament play can take a major toll on an athlete’s body. By utilizing the following guidelines for recovery between games, players will improve performance during these grueling tournaments. It will also ensure that they are ready to compete at their very best.

Night before Game or Tournament

  • Concentrate on eating a balanced meal with lean protein, carbohydrates and unsaturated fats
  • Low fat, high carbohydrate foods like pasta, potatoes or rice (without cream sauces and butter)
  • Remember vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and squash are a great source of calcium and fiber
  • Continue to drink lots of fluids, especially water. Your daily water intake should be 75% of your body weight in ounces. For example, 100 lbs = 75 ounces of water or about 2.5 liters.
  • For a dessert or late night snack try fruit, Sherbert or yogurt
  • Get a good night sleep of 8 to 9 hours; rest is the key to recovery and optimal performance

Morning before games begin

  • If possible, eat breakfast 2-3 hours prior to competition
  • Eat light and low fat; avoid greasy foods such as hash browns and sausages
  • Try a bowl of cereal, bagel, fruit, fruit juice (1 cup is enough), yogurt, toast, waffles (pancakes can be too filling), and scrambled eggs
  • Continue to drink water. Stay away from sodas and caffeine drinks.
  • Pack snacks with you, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, jerky, carrot sticks, water and sports drink to avoid eating junk food at the snack bar

Between games (short time; 1 to 4 hours)

  • Perform a light cool down following game. For example, a 5-10 minute light jog or walk, repeat a dynamic warm up (etc.), followed by a general static stretch
  • Continue to hydrate with water and Sports drink (ie. Gatorade); 8-16 ounces/hour is a good rule of thumb. Muscle cramps is a sign of dehydration and low electrolyte balance.
  • Eat a light snack within 30-60 minutes of the end of the game. Examples are: a low fat sandwich, fruit, soup, energy/granola bar (not high in protein), yogurt or low fat muffin

Between games (long time; over 4 hours)

  • Perform a light cool down following game as described above
  • Continue to hydrate with water and Sports drink (ex. Gatorade); at least 24 ounces
  • Eat a normal size meal; high in carbohydrates, low in saturated fat and a smaller portion of protein than normal
  • Get some rest and stay cool out of the direct sun. Take a short nap and elevate your legs up above your heart for 30 minutes to aid recovery.

Following last game of the day

  • Perform a light cool down following game as described above
  • Continue to hydrate with water and Sports drink (ie. Gatorade); at least 24 ounces to replace electrolytes
  • Eat a regular size meal high in carbohydrates and protein (to help muscles repair) and low in saturated fat. Unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocado and olive oil are ok.
  • Remember the vegetables; eat your dark leafy greens and other colorful veggies. Have a salad at the end dinner
  • Get a good night’s sleep of 8 to 10 hours
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Tips for traveling long distances for your next game | 90STRONG

Article

Elysia Tsai's picture

Tips for traveling long distances for your next game

When traveling across the county in new time zones, or continents, it is important to be well prepared for your trip. Arriving in a new place or country jet lagged, dehydrated, and hungry  can have a negative impact on your soccer performance. That is why it is crucial to take the proper steps necessary so you can jump off the airplane and perform at your best. Here are some tips for your next away game or tourney. 

One of the biggest hurdles I see with athletes is dealing with the time zone change, whether it’s an hour or 8 hour difference. Your body is used to a certain rhythm and if not properly accustomed to the time change, you can shock your system and disrupt your sleep pattern. It typically takes one day for every hour of time change for your body to adjust. That means if you fly from California to New York and there is a 3 hour time difference, it will take 3 days for you to feel normal, by that time your tournament might be over. You can go to www.timeanddate.com and see the exact time change for your location. Prepare for the time change ahead of time by giving yourself the same amount of days as hour changes. If you are traveling east, you will need to wake up earlier than you are normally used to. Each day go to bed an hour earlier than the night before and wake up an hour earlier. When I was preparing for Germany, for 8 days I kept pushing back my sleep time until I was eventually on Germany time before my trip. You may not have the luxury or schedule to sleep at 3pm, but try to adjust to the new time zone before your trip. If you are traveling west, you would do the opposite and go to bed an hour later each night and wake an hour later each morning. Once on the airplane set your watch to the time at your destination when you get on the plane. You’ll know when you are supposed to be sleeping and when you are to be awake. Below are some other methods you can use to help you can use when travelling on the road to your next tournament:

  1. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while traveling since the dry air on airplanes can be very dehydrating. Bring an empty reusable water bottle with you. Examples include the stainless steel or hard plastic camping/hiking bottles.
  2. Once you get through security you can refill at the water cooler or purchase water. In some countries you are not allowed to carry liquids onto the airplane, so check before you get on. Drink often to maintain your hydration status and always have water available.
  3. While on the plane move around and keep your blood circulating. Rotate your ankles, get up and stretch or walk the isle. You can wear compression socks to help avoid the blood pooling in your legs and feeling heavy. 
  4. Plan to eat every 3-4 hours during your travel from the moment you get into the car to your final hotel destination. You will need enough food/snack and also plan for the unexpected. Perhaps the airport food services is closed, the airplane food is not to your liking, you don’t have the correct money or you don’t have enough money.
  5. Carry snacks with you. Easy well balanced snacks include protein bars, jerky, trail mix, carrot sticks, apple and bananas. I usually take a backpack full of food and a 1 liter water bottle. 
  6. Frequently wash your hands with soap and rub your hands together for 20 seconds to lather the soap. Always wash your hands before eating or touching the banquet utensils. Always wash your hands after practice, games, shaking hands and using the bathroom. Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or sneeze into your elbow sleeve. Always wash your hands afterward. Avoid rubbing your eyes with your hands or fingers. Clean under your nails and keep them trimmed. You may want to carry hand sanitizer with you.
  7. When you get to your destination get moving and avoid napping when you should be awake.

With proper pre-planning you can help yourself perform at your best.

 

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Testimonials | 90STRONG

Testimonials

It was great working with Chris and his group last season in WPS. The players were extremely happy with how professional his staff was. We are extremely fortunate to have him join the Blues family.

Charlie Naimo
Former General Manager of Los Angeles Sol of WPS/Current Head Coach Los Angeles Blues of USL-Pro

Thanks to Chris and the work we did together throughout my rehab and prehab, I had a successful season with the 2009 Los Angeles Sol in the WPS. He was very professional and informative about treating my injuries, preventing further injury, and enhancing my performance. Every day I still continue to use the tools and techniques that Chris has shown me. I am always one step ahead of my opponents.

Manya Makoski
Women’s Professional Soccer Player

As an athletic trainer Josh is dedicated to his athletes and knowledgeable. As a colleague Josh has been very willing to provide assistance and share his experience. He offers a professional background that includes all levels of soccer.

Jennifer Akman
Former Collegiate Goalkeeper, Club Coach, Physical Therapist

As a former division 1 soccer player I recognize the value in proper strength and conditioning. Josh Beaumont has always been a valuable resource for myself and I look forward to using his training techniques found on 90Strong.com for my two sons.

Mark Aridgides
Soccer Dad/Former ODP and Division 1 Player/US Youth National Champion with FC Delco

Chris Phillips of Compete Performance is the real deal. Having a resume like his would be hard to find in other trainers. Both male and female athletes alike benefit from his years with the NHL and professional hockey as well as with the WPS training and looking after the best women soccer players in the world. There are loads of companies out there but few can match the experience and professionalism of Compete Performance. I am fortunate and proud to say that Chris is and hopefully will always be a part of our staff for speed, strength, and agility training, injury prevention and rehabilitation.

Pete McNulty
Head Coach, Laguna Hills Eclipse Girls U16

Speed Training | 90STRONG

Speed Training

Archive

Two Ways to Run Faster

Every soccer player strives for speed. And most spend hours in the gym or on the pitch getting faster through speed drills and weight lifting. But you can't forget about flexibility.

Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer

Soccer players need to accelerate, make a touch on the ball, and quickly move to another location. Utilize this Bungee Cord Drill to be a quicker athlete with a solid touch.

Choosing A Soccer Fitness Test

Often questions arise about what is the best choice for soccer fitness test. No perfect answer exists and will depend on the level of your team and what your goals are.Several questions must be answered prior to choosing a test or test battery.   

Power Clean

Perform this lift to increase the amount of power you generate on the soccer field.  

The Best Tool For Speed And Acceleration

I believe sled training to be the most important factor in developing speed & acceleration. That is because it is a combination of both running drills and weight room exercises. As I've said in my previous articles during speed month, your ability to generate explosive acceleration in your sprints relies on your ability to generate force from the ground. But what is important is the specific manner in which you do it. 

Hit The Wall For Soccer Speed

If you want to improve your acceleration on the field, perform hip drive series drills on the wall. This is a pretty common drill amongst track athletes, but I sincerely believe that this drill can be very effective for soccer players. The fact of the matter is that in order to develop incredible acceleration on the field, you need to be able to generate enough force from the ground such that it propels you forward. That is why this drill is so important.

Lean Forward To Improve Acceleration For Soccer

Since most sprints on the soccer field are an average of 20 to 25 yards, the soccer player should  focus more on explosion and acceleration. This is why I am a big fan of the lean and run drill. It is a very simple drill, but it is incredibly effective in teaching you how your body should be positioned when you are accelerating to the ball. 

Speed and Agility Drills | 90STRONG

Speed and Agility Drills

Archive

Two Ways to Run Faster

Every soccer player strives for speed. And most spend hours in the gym or on the pitch getting faster through speed drills and weight lifting. But you can't forget about flexibility.

Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer

Soccer players need to accelerate, make a touch on the ball, and quickly move to another location. Utilize this Bungee Cord Drill to be a quicker athlete with a solid touch.

Hit The Wall For Soccer Speed

If you want to improve your acceleration on the field, perform hip drive series drills on the wall. This is a pretty common drill amongst track athletes, but I sincerely believe that this drill can be very effective for soccer players. The fact of the matter is that in order to develop incredible acceleration on the field, you need to be able to generate enough force from the ground such that it propels you forward. That is why this drill is so important.

Running Mechanics For Soccer Speed

Before you can increase your speed & acceleration on the field, you must first have the running mechanics to do so. The fact of the matter is that many soccer athletes, by nature and skill, already run faster and have better foot mechanics than most other athletes. But many of them fail to further enhance their running speed and get to that next level because they don't have a full grasp of running fundamentals.

Lean Forward To Improve Acceleration For Soccer

Since most sprints on the soccer field are an average of 20 to 25 yards, the soccer player should  focus more on explosion and acceleration. This is why I am a big fan of the lean and run drill. It is a very simple drill, but it is incredibly effective in teaching you how your body should be positioned when you are accelerating to the ball. 

Jump Rope for Quick Feet, Plyometrics and Change of Direction – 5 part video series

Jumping rope is a quick and easy way to get your heart rate pumping for a general warm-up. You can also use the jump rope to work on your foot coordination, plyometric jumps and change of direction in a rhythmic sequence. Jumping rope requires lower body stability, endurance, strength and confidence from whipping yourself.  If you are returning from an injury, you will want to progress into jumping rope and ensure your have joint stability before trying these advanced moves. It would be best to jump rope in your running shoes vs your soccer cleats to avoid getting your cleat caught in the rope or stuck in the grass. There is no cheating the jump rope because it’s quite obvious when your miss your step!  Use these drills and test yourself for time or number of repetitions.

Change of Direction Drills in the Pool- 3 Video Series

Get into the pool for shallow end running and add change of direction movements. I'm using the water resistance to build strength while running forward, backward and side stepping. These drills will show you how to properly change direction, simulate a long sprint with quick change of direction, and break free from a defender. These drills can be done for time, repetition or worked into a larger pool circuit. I prefer waist deep water to avoid feeling too buoyant, which can decrease the sensation of working on strength. If you do these drills in chest or shoulder deep water it will take you longer to change direction and require more steps to get from one end of the pool to the other. 

Backpedal, Sprint, Kick, Turn and Go

The following drill is designed to simulate a game situation in a controlled manner. The athlete should concentrate on proper form as well as accelerating, decelerating and accelerating again with power.

Diagonal Shuffle, Kick, Turn and Sprint

The following drill is designed to simulate a game situation in a controlled manner. The athlete should concentrate on proper form as well as accelerating, decelerating and accelerating again with power.

Shuffle, Shuffle, Kick and Sprint

This ball drill is designed to simulate a  game situation in a controlled manner. The athlete should concentrate on proper form as well as accelerating, decelerating and accelerating again with power.

Pages

Soccer Training | 90STRONG

Soccer Training

90STRONG soccer training provides you the latest information you need to improve your soccer fitness, speed, agility, and strength. Get great tips on running drills, soccer exercises, as well as nutrition to help you succeed on the field.

Archive

One Leg At A Time

If you're trying to get stronger legs as a soccer player, do it one leg at a time. Chris Phillips, ATC, CSCS, owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, CA  and 90strong writer, utilizes many single leg exercises to challenge his athletes and develop their leg strength.

Runs Using Field Markings – End line Pyramid Runs

A variety of runs that help with conditioning.

Runs Using Field Markings – Penalty Box Outline Runs

1. Starting at the corner flag
2. Sprint along goal to to the edge of the 18
3. Turn up field and spring to corner of the 18

Interval Mild Cut Runs

This is a great run for those that are transitioning from linear runs to cutting runs especially after injury. 

Improve your ball control and footwork with the crossover hurdle drill

Success on the pitch demands players to move in either direction with devastating speed,footwork,and ball control.This holds especially true for forwards who need to evade defenders or explode past them all the while maintaining balance and rigorous control of the ball in order to score goals. Such is the importance of the crossover hurdle drill.

Tree Run Version 1

This is the first in the tree run series.I prefer this run over the shuttle because of the varying distances as well the different angles of cuts as you run around the cones. 

Increase Throw-In Distance Using the TRX

This program is specifically designed to increase your throw-in distance utilizing the TRX system.

Change Up Your Stance During Lifts

Soccer involves a high volume of cuts.On the field, our stance involves our hip position and contact with the ground to be at varying ranges of motion. For example, when defending, we never want our hips square to our opponent similar to a squat position. We want to force him/her one way or another.

Don't Cross Your Legs

Too often, players cross their legs while working on their core. This is counterproductive to the goals of a true core workout which should involve as many hip muscles as possible. 

30/30/30 Bike Fitness Variation using Heart Rate Monitor

Looking to keep yourself fit during a snowy winter break or coming off of injury.Here is a simple but effective bike program designed specifically for soccer players

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Soccer Training | 90STRONG

Soccer Training

90STRONG soccer training provides you the latest information you need to improve your soccer fitness, speed, agility, and strength. Get great tips on running drills, soccer exercises, as well as nutrition to help you succeed on the field.

Archive

One Leg At A Time

If you're trying to get stronger legs as a soccer player, do it one leg at a time. Chris Phillips, ATC, CSCS, owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, CA  and 90strong writer, utilizes many single leg exercises to challenge his athletes and develop their leg strength.

Runs Using Field Markings – End line Pyramid Runs

A variety of runs that help with conditioning.

Runs Using Field Markings – Penalty Box Outline Runs

1. Starting at the corner flag
2. Sprint along goal to to the edge of the 18
3. Turn up field and spring to corner of the 18

Interval Mild Cut Runs

This is a great run for those that are transitioning from linear runs to cutting runs especially after injury. 

Improve your ball control and footwork with the crossover hurdle drill

Success on the pitch demands players to move in either direction with devastating speed,footwork,and ball control.This holds especially true for forwards who need to evade defenders or explode past them all the while maintaining balance and rigorous control of the ball in order to score goals. Such is the importance of the crossover hurdle drill.

Tree Run Version 1

This is the first in the tree run series.I prefer this run over the shuttle because of the varying distances as well the different angles of cuts as you run around the cones. 

Increase Throw-In Distance Using the TRX

This program is specifically designed to increase your throw-in distance utilizing the TRX system.

Change Up Your Stance During Lifts

Soccer involves a high volume of cuts.On the field, our stance involves our hip position and contact with the ground to be at varying ranges of motion. For example, when defending, we never want our hips square to our opponent similar to a squat position. We want to force him/her one way or another.

Don't Cross Your Legs

Too often, players cross their legs while working on their core. This is counterproductive to the goals of a true core workout which should involve as many hip muscles as possible. 

30/30/30 Bike Fitness Variation using Heart Rate Monitor

Looking to keep yourself fit during a snowy winter break or coming off of injury.Here is a simple but effective bike program designed specifically for soccer players

Pages

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Speed, Power, and Agility | 90STRONG

Speed, Power, and Agility

Every soccer athlete wants to improve their first step acceleration and their change of direction. This section provides you with the speed and agility drills and exercises you need to explode to the ball with more acceleration and to outperform your opponents with more efficiency.

Archive

One Leg At A Time

If you're trying to get stronger legs as a soccer player, do it one leg at a time. Chris Phillips, ATC, CSCS, owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Lake Forest, CA  and 90strong writer, utilizes many single leg exercises to challenge his athletes and develop their leg strength.

Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer

Soccer players need to accelerate, make a touch on the ball, and quickly move to another location. Utilize this Bungee Cord Drill to be a quicker athlete with a solid touch.

A Medicine Ball Exercise That Builds Goalkeeper Strength, Power, and Speed

Goalkeepers need to be able to attack the ball to be successful. They need to be able to take a few quick steps towards the ball and then elevate into the air to make a save. To obtain these qualities, the goalkeepers need to improve strength, quickness and power away from the field. 

Include the RFESS in your soccer fitness

One of the best ways to generate single leg strength is to perform the rear foot elevated split squat (RFESS). It's one we use all the time and is championed by many of the most recognized strength coaches in the industry. 

Power Clean

Perform this lift to increase the amount of power you generate on the soccer field.  

Box Footwork Drills to Increase Foot Speed

This series is designed to improve speed, coordination, and agility. By going through these exercises, the amount of time that your foot spends in contact with the ground will decrease and your speed will increase. Besides using this series for performance enhancement, it may also be used for knee and ankle strengthening when coming back from injury.

The Best Tool For Speed And Acceleration

I believe sled training to be the most important factor in developing speed & acceleration. That is because it is a combination of both running drills and weight room exercises. As I've said in my previous articles during speed month, your ability to generate explosive acceleration in your sprints relies on your ability to generate force from the ground. But what is important is the specific manner in which you do it. 

Parachute Sprints to Improve Speed

Adding resistance to your sprint work has been shown to increase acceleration. In theory, training the muscles to work at a higher rate will improve speed when the restistance is removed. There are many ways to add resistance to your sprints. The most common resistance devices are the parachute, sled, bungee cord and weight vest. In this article, we have used the parachute to add resistance.

Improve Soccer Strength With A Reverse Lunge To Knee Drive

Improved leg strength has been shown to increase speed on the field. This exercise is used to improve strength and stability of the ground based or closed chain leg and the hip flexors of the non-ground based or open chain leg.

Hit The Wall For Soccer Speed

If you want to improve your acceleration on the field, perform hip drive series drills on the wall. This is a pretty common drill amongst track athletes, but I sincerely believe that this drill can be very effective for soccer players. The fact of the matter is that in order to develop incredible acceleration on the field, you need to be able to generate enough force from the ground such that it propels you forward. That is why this drill is so important.

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Speed, Power, and Agility | 90STRONG

Speed, Power, and Agility

Every soccer athlete wants to improve their first step acceleration and their change of direction. This section provides you with the speed and agility drills and exercises you need to explode to the ball with more acceleration and to outperform your opponents with more efficiency.

Archive

Stability Ball Exercises To Improve Soccer Fitness And Speed

Improving strength has shown to improve speed in many studies. Strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, quads and core musculature will improve both acceleration and top end speed. The following group of exercises target these areas and are all performed with a stability ball.

Knee Drive For Acceleration In Soccer

The knee drive is a great drill for speed and acceleration. It focuses on knee and hip action. All you need is a 4 inch jump box . Standing with a split stance with your center of gravity slightly ahead of your front foot, perform this exercise by driving your knee up to hip height and back to the starting position. 

 

Running Mechanics For Soccer Speed

Before you can increase your speed & acceleration on the field, you must first have the running mechanics to do so. The fact of the matter is that many soccer athletes, by nature and skill, already run faster and have better foot mechanics than most other athletes. But many of them fail to further enhance their running speed and get to that next level because they don't have a full grasp of running fundamentals.

Lean Forward To Improve Acceleration For Soccer

Since most sprints on the soccer field are an average of 20 to 25 yards, the soccer player should  focus more on explosion and acceleration. This is why I am a big fan of the lean and run drill. It is a very simple drill, but it is incredibly effective in teaching you how your body should be positioned when you are accelerating to the ball. 

Jump Rope for Quick Feet, Plyometrics and Change of Direction – 5 part video series

Jumping rope is a quick and easy way to get your heart rate pumping for a general warm-up. You can also use the jump rope to work on your foot coordination, plyometric jumps and change of direction in a rhythmic sequence. Jumping rope requires lower body stability, endurance, strength and confidence from whipping yourself.  If you are returning from an injury, you will want to progress into jumping rope and ensure your have joint stability before trying these advanced moves. It would be best to jump rope in your running shoes vs your soccer cleats to avoid getting your cleat caught in the rope or stuck in the grass. There is no cheating the jump rope because it’s quite obvious when your miss your step!  Use these drills and test yourself for time or number of repetitions.

Use Your Arms To Run Faster On The Soccer Field

The proper use of your arms is sometimes neglected in proper running mechanics. And in soccer where speed is crucial, your potential to run faster on the soccer field may be limited if you fail to properly use them.

Change of Direction Drills in the Pool- 3 Video Series

Get into the pool for shallow end running and add change of direction movements. I'm using the water resistance to build strength while running forward, backward and side stepping. These drills will show you how to properly change direction, simulate a long sprint with quick change of direction, and break free from a defender. These drills can be done for time, repetition or worked into a larger pool circuit. I prefer waist deep water to avoid feeling too buoyant, which can decrease the sensation of working on strength. If you do these drills in chest or shoulder deep water it will take you longer to change direction and require more steps to get from one end of the pool to the other. 

Kneel to Sprint Drill to Improve Acceleration

An athletes top end speed is great when running long distances, but most research will show that during a soccer match, most sprints are 5 to 20 yards long. The key to winning these short races is good acceleration. The first two to three steps is what typically decides who will get there first. Using the Kneel to Sprint Drill will help your player accelerate faster and get from point A to point B quicker.

Linear Running Programs to Improve Speed and Performance

Soccer is a game of short sprints and long runs that tax both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. The best players have the ability to run long distances throughout a match to position themselves and then have the capacity to sprint a short distance to get to a space and make a play quickly. Many of the programs I see focus on long sprints of 100 meters and fail to train for short distances. The following two programs will improve both energy systems, allow you to reduce fatigue and still sprint quickly to make the game changing play.

Backpedal, Sprint, Kick, Turn and Go

The following drill is designed to simulate a game situation in a controlled manner. The athlete should concentrate on proper form as well as accelerating, decelerating and accelerating again with power.

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Speed, Power, and Agility | 90STRONG

Speed, Power, and Agility

Every soccer athlete wants to improve their first step acceleration and their change of direction. This section provides you with the speed and agility drills and exercises you need to explode to the ball with more acceleration and to outperform your opponents with more efficiency.

Archive

Diagonal Shuffle, Kick, Turn and Sprint

The following drill is designed to simulate a game situation in a controlled manner. The athlete should concentrate on proper form as well as accelerating, decelerating and accelerating again with power.

Shuffle, Shuffle, Kick and Sprint

This ball drill is designed to simulate a  game situation in a controlled manner. The athlete should concentrate on proper form as well as accelerating, decelerating and accelerating again with power.

Use This Leg Circuit To Increase Your Overall Soccer Performance

If you want to run faster and kick the ball much more powerful, include this leg circuit in your workout routine. It involves a combination of bodyweight exercises and plyometrics and is a great way to develop power in you hips and legs.

Switch And Turn To Improve Your Agility And Reaction Time

This is a high intensity drill that focuses on improving your agility and reaction time. You must exercise caution and make sure that you are in an environment that limits your risk for injury and gives you enough room to maneuver.

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Soccer Conditioning | 90STRONG

Soccer Conditioning

Get the latest tips to improve your conditioning on the pitch. This section provides you with content to get you ready for 90 minutes of high performance soccer!

Archive

Runs Using Field Markings – End line Pyramid Runs

A variety of runs that help with conditioning.

Runs Using Field Markings – Penalty Box Outline Runs

1. Starting at the corner flag
2. Sprint along goal to to the edge of the 18
3. Turn up field and spring to corner of the 18

Interval Runs – Varying Distance – Half Field

This running drill utitilizes half of the field.This is an ideal run for a player recovering from injury.It incorporates a variety of distances.Starting where the goal box and goal line meet, sprint the solid lines (vertical) and recovery jog the

Interval Mild Cut Runs

This is a great run for those that are transitioning from linear runs to cutting runs especially after injury. 

Tree Run Version 1

This is the first in the tree run series.I prefer this run over the shuttle because of the varying distances as well the different angles of cuts as you run around the cones. 

Gate Runs For Pre Season Fitness

This is a great fitness run to get you ready for preseason. It's a nice variation from linear field sprints as it requires gentle cuts, also making for nice rehab run. Here's how it works: 

Intense 8 week Conditioning Program

This program is designed to get you fit over an eight week period. It combines the 3 most important areas of developing a fit soccer player: aerobic, anaerobic and training. It runs on 2 sessions each of interval training, cardio training and playing with one day completely off from fitness during each given week. 

Interval Partner Runs For Soccer

Coaches: here is a simple interval fitness run for your team to do around the field that you can manipulate to meet your individual player needs and goals.   

Adding Running to Practice and Drills

One of the biggest drawbacks, I have noticed watching youth soccer practice is that amount of standing around that occurs. One method to limit this is designing conditioning that supplements what is going on in practice.

On the Pitch | 90STRONG

On the Pitch

Learn some great drills and soccer exercises you can perform on the field by yourself, with a coach or with your team.

Archive

Runs Using Field Markings – End line Pyramid Runs

A variety of runs that help with conditioning.

Runs Using Field Markings – Penalty Box Outline Runs

1. Starting at the corner flag
2. Sprint along goal to to the edge of the 18
3. Turn up field and spring to corner of the 18

Interval Runs – Varying Distance – Half Field

This running drill utitilizes half of the field.This is an ideal run for a player recovering from injury.It incorporates a variety of distances.Starting where the goal box and goal line meet, sprint the solid lines (vertical) and recovery jog the

Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer

Soccer players need to accelerate, make a touch on the ball, and quickly move to another location. Utilize this Bungee Cord Drill to be a quicker athlete with a solid touch.

Interval Mild Cut Runs

This is a great run for those that are transitioning from linear runs to cutting runs especially after injury. 

Tree Run Version 1

This is the first in the tree run series.I prefer this run over the shuttle because of the varying distances as well the different angles of cuts as you run around the cones. 

Choosing A Soccer Fitness Test

Often questions arise about what is the best choice for soccer fitness test. No perfect answer exists and will depend on the level of your team and what your goals are.Several questions must be answered prior to choosing a test or test battery.   

Gate Runs For Pre Season Fitness

This is a great fitness run to get you ready for preseason. It's a nice variation from linear field sprints as it requires gentle cuts, also making for nice rehab run. Here's how it works: 

Intense 8 week Conditioning Program

This program is designed to get you fit over an eight week period. It combines the 3 most important areas of developing a fit soccer player: aerobic, anaerobic and training. It runs on 2 sessions each of interval training, cardio training and playing with one day completely off from fitness during each given week. 

Have 2 Feet But Only 1 On The Soccer Pitch?

Many young soccer players develop their skills with just their right or left foot, but not both.  Very few players are proficient with both feet, and the players that are have more successful soccer careers.  If you only use one foot when playing soccer, you are never going to develop skills in the other foot.  So how do you become proficiently skilled with both feet?

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Positional Drills | 90STRONG

Positional Drills

This section is for soccer athletes who want to improve their athleticism for their specific position. Get specific tips on how to improve your athletic skills whether you are a goalkeeper, forward, defender, or midfielder.

Archive

Use This Drill To Improve Speed and Reaction Time For Soccer

Soccer players need to accelerate, make a touch on the ball, and quickly move to another location. Utilize this Bungee Cord Drill to be a quicker athlete with a solid touch.

A Medicine Ball Exercise That Builds Goalkeeper Strength, Power, and Speed

Goalkeepers need to be able to attack the ball to be successful. They need to be able to take a few quick steps towards the ball and then elevate into the air to make a save. To obtain these qualities, the goalkeepers need to improve strength, quickness and power away from the field. 

Improve your ball control and footwork with the crossover hurdle drill

Success on the pitch demands players to move in either direction with devastating speed,footwork,and ball control.This holds especially true for forwards who need to evade defenders or explode past them all the while maintaining balance and rigorous control of the ball in order to score goals. Such is the importance of the crossover hurdle drill.

Goalkeeper Core Exercise

Goalkeepers often get ignored in practice and need some extra work at some point during that time. There are many simple drills that can be performed with a teammate or assistant coach that can help a keeper prepare.

Core Exercise For Goalkeepers

This is a great one for goalkeepers. It's simple but very effective in developing some basic core strength. The goal for you here is to be able to use your upper body while keeping your trunk stable. All you need is a strong band for resistance.

Maintain your position against a defender with combo soccer lunges

Maintaining your position against a defender requires shoulder strength, stability and good body mechanics. This lunge move with rotation trains your upper body to maintain contraction while your trunk rotates. Imagine if you are trying to roll off or around a defender as your arm comes around and pushes into them. If your shoulder is weak you will not be able to roll off with power or fend them off from pushing you around.

Upper body foam roller techniques for goalkeepers

Utilizing the foam roller for the upper body can be very useful for Goalkeepers because of its many therapeutic effects. It can release trigger points and relieve many sore spots in the upper body that can accumulate after heavy bouts of training and can significantly affect an athlete's performance.

On the Pitch | 90STRONG

On the Pitch

Learn some great drills and soccer exercises you can perform on the field by yourself, with a coach or with your team.

Archive

Interval Partner Runs For Soccer

Coaches: here is a simple interval fitness run for your team to do around the field that you can manipulate to meet your individual player needs and goals.   

Adding Running to Practice and Drills

One of the biggest drawbacks, I have noticed watching youth soccer practice is that amount of standing around that occurs. One method to limit this is designing conditioning that supplements what is going on in practice.

Tight Cone Dribbling series

This drill is excellent for building a good soccer foundation and for building one’s touch in a tight space. This is also an excellent drive for recovery from an injury as it involves making a lot of small cuts. This will build the healed tissues tolerance to the stresses of soccer.  

Defensive Juggling

This is an excellent drill as defenders are often found trying to volley or clear a bouncing ball during the game. This drill is used to improve balance, foot-eye coordination, as well as hamstring flexibility. In my career, I have seen many defenders injure their hamstrings while attempting to clear a bouncing ball. And I frequently use this drill as a great way for my athletes to adapt to the stresses of soccer.

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