What should I be doing in pre-season/in-season/off-season?
Pre-season and off-season are just as important as in-season, and a structured training plan is required.
Your work should begin even before your pre-season begins. If you want to make the best impression to your teammates and coaches, you have to show that you’re the most determined player out there. The early pre-season should begin 1-3 weeks before the pre-season with your team begins, depending on how much break you’ve had.
You want to build a very good foundation of fitness, conditioning and strength, so your training should consist primarily of the following:
- Interval running
- Agility exercises
- Speed exercises
- Plyometric & strength training
- Regular soccer drills at 2-3 min non-stop repetitions.
Effective users can find drills to add to their program under Browse -> Fitness
Now you have a great base of fitness. You’re fitter than the others in your team and while your teammates are collapsing due to your coaches intense workouts, you’re coping well. You’ll now be playing in a bunch of friendly matches. They might just be friendlies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be giving your everything. You want to make sure you’re a standout performer, and one of the ways you’ll standout is through having excellent fitness. Coaches will love you for this and your players will thank you for going the extra mile. You’ll feel the difference when chances come to you.=
All your hard work and preparation leads to this. The first competitive match of the season arrives and you’re buzzing to go. Hopefully you’ve secured yourself a starting 11 spot, you’re being a standout performer and on hot form. You feel fresh and ready.
Your fitness is something you’ve built up, and is now something you want to maintain. Your focus is performing your absolute best, every match and training.
This requires proper rest and recovery between matches and being smart with your training regime, so you’re getting the most out of it.
You also have more mental challenges to deal with here. You may get upset if you don’t play as well as you could have, or maybe you have things affecting you off the field. But ask any successful person you know and they will tell you that failing is just a normal part of life. You also have to block out things affecting you off the field, so you can put in a good performance.
The season has ended! You’ve won a a trophy or two. You reached the goals you wanted to achieve, and if you didn’t, you reflected and asked yourself why.
At the start of the off-season, reflect on your goals and your training schedule. What worked well and what didn’t? You want to make improvements so that next season is better. Your off-season may be non-existent. Perhaps you’ll be playing futsal, six-a-side, or with another team. In whatever case, you still want to make sure your performing your best and improving.
Depending on where you live, your off season could be 1 month, or it could be 6! But remember, everyday is a chance to improve.