Welcome to the sixth and final week of my Pre-Season Training Guide. Since week 1 you should have been building both fitness and technical skills to get you back to your physical peak for the start of the season.
Now it’s week 6 players should be match fit and pretty much ready for the season to start. It’s time for them to prove to you that they should be in your first starting line-up.
Week 6 – 1 Hour Training Session
Warm Up – 10 Minutes
As always, warming up is vitally important. Jog for 5 minutes before some dynamic stretches.
Sprints – 10 Minutes
Group your players into 2 teams and make them stand 10 metres apart on the starting line. For each team set up a 10 cone rectangle (2 cones wide, 5 cones long), cones should be 5 metres apart.
In accordance with the above picture, they should be running as hard as possible, and should make sure they don’t cross their legs over at any point. When they have finished by reaching the final cone, they should jog back slowly before restarting the drill. Make them do this for 8 minutes, with a two minute water break afterwards.
Zoned Match – 20 Minutes
Again split players into 2 teams, with players of all positions on both teams (including goalkeepers). Then use cones to split the pitch into 3 sections, so each team has a defensive/midfield/attack section.
Defenders must stay in their defensive zone, central midfielders must stay in the midfield section, strikers must stay in the attacking section, yet wingers may enter both the midfield and attacking section.
The ball must be touch by a player in each section before a goal is scored
The idea of this training match is to make sure players play where they are supposed to, so you can get a good idea of who is performing the best in each position.
Free Match – 10 Minutes
For the last 10 minutes of the match, let the players have unlimited touches and also allow them to play wherever they want (i.e. let defenders play up front if they want). This will allow you to assess players’ versatility for the approaching match, and will be great for team morale.
Warm Down – 5 Minutes
As always, spend 5 minutes doing a light jog with dynamic stretching to minimise injury chance.
Pre-Season Debrief – 5 Minutes
Spend 5 minutes at the end of the session communicating with your players about the match at the weekend, how you will approach it tactically and what your aims are for the match the season in general.
Also get some honest feedback from your players about the Pre-season regime you have had. Find out if they feel it was beneficial and enjoyable, and how you could improve it next season. It’s always worth hearing and learning from your players about how things can be improved.
Your players should now be perfectly ready to start the season; hopefully you’ll be able to take advantage of this by beating some of your lesser-prepared rivals.
With pre-season done you should be back to training week in week out with your team. Training throughout the season is vital for squad camaraderie and general fitness.
Report back to Soccer On The Brain throughout the season for various drills and exercises you can get your team to do. Good luck for the season!
(Image Courtesy of Henk van der Hoeven)