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Off Season training – Phase 2- Volume Building

I divide my off seasons into 3 phases: Recovery, Volume Building, Intensity Building. 

This article discuss is the 2nd of the 3 Off season phases, Volume building.  

After taking off 7-10 days with minimal activity for immediate recovery, volume building is the time to keep your body and mind active as discussed in my previous article  Recovery After Season-Phase 1. This is the true down period that allows your body to recover from playing soccer while setting the foundation for the next year. Depending on the playing level that you are at, this part of the off-season may be a few weeks to a couple of months.   This volume building period will lead into the intensity building phase used to get ready for pre-season camps.  

During this time, importance is given to maintaining all the fitness gains made during the previous year.  Improving fitness may be achieved but is more likely in the build-up phase. Fitness should continue to be a mix of long distance runs with interval runs.

Most gains in the weight room in terms of power and strength are achieved during this period.Trying to increase strength especially lower extremity in-season is difficult to achieve because of the fatigue factor. Programs should have higher weights and lower reps.It’s an extremely important time to focus on form and correcting any flaws.

If you plan to introduce injury prevention or flexibility programs, now is the time.Introducing yoga during the season is not ideal and carries some injury risk to the body.  ACL prevention programs may be integrated as well.

This is an excellent time to cross train in other sports. As soccer grows in this country, more and more players are becoming specialized or one sport athletes at a younger age. Seasons are getting longer.This is great for technical development but the drawback is more overuse and overdevelopment issues for players.  Because soccer is a predominantly lower body sport, upper extremity sports such as tennis, basketball, racquetball, volleyball, flag football, even ultimate Frisbee are beneficial. Water polo is excellent non-impact sport that utilizes intense multidirectional core and leg movements.

Soccer can be played a few times a week during this time.It is important to remember that playing too much negates the recovery that the body needs.

Next article will focus on Intensity building.

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