How-to Train for the Beautiful Game!

by CoachZ on December 27, 2008


Well, there are a variety of  ways to train for the game of soccer or football (futbol) as the majority of the world knows it. Theories dealing with how best to prepare for the “Beautiful Game,” are as prolific as there are individuals, teams, clubs, leagues, countries, and continents seeking to master its play and rise to the upper echelon of international play. Soccer, and for the sake of simplicity and time we will refer to “Association Football” as soccer, is a physical contest of intelligence, vision, quickness, strength, and endurance. Contrary to the position taken in the Wikipedia article below, soccer is much more than a game played (exception: goalkeeper) with the feet, and occasionally the torso and head. The reality of any soccer match, as anyone who has played can attest to, is quite a bit different. Soccer can be as physical as American Football, as fast as Lacrosse or urban, city rules basketball, and as demanding as an Olympic marathon. The fact of the matter is, a well-trained soccer athlete must be in a condition that rivals any triathlete.

As we explore the various popular, and not-so-popular, theories dealing with training and fitness, we will also deal with the differences that must be accounted for when developing an appropriate training regimen suitable for a wide range in age, gender, present level of fitness, soccer-ability, and level of competition among and between soccer athletes. While primarily individual in orientation and focus, we will also seek to reveal current group training tactics and team practice philosophies, particularly as they relate to and impact the development of the individual soccer athlete.

WOW! Did I just say all of that? And I plan to sleep, too?


And that’s where all of you come in. This blog is a community forum and not the platform for a singular training philosophy or agenda. Please! Contribute, suggest, question, and debate. That is why this vehicle has been created and that is why I encourage each and every soccer athlete, advocates, coaches, managers, owner, referees, administrators, parents (yes, we have to include the parents), and fans (which may be about half the world’s population come World Cup 2010) to contribute, as often as you would like.

Warning! Soccer, football, and futbol (in all of their similarities and differences) often bring out the best and, unfortunately, the worst in some individuals. It is unfortunate but necessary that we must warn against abusive language and behavior. Disrespectful and abusive behavior may earn the individual at fault an immediate RED CARD! When it comes to foul language, threats, and oh yeah(!), spitting on the playing field or pitch, the offense will be grounds for immediate ejection from the match.

Enough said? I hope so!

So, on with the games! And in that regard, almost everything is fair game. English Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, MLS, Futbol Mexicano, the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Champions League, National Team play, the World Cup, and we could continue well into 2010 and not name all of the leagues, teams, players…you got it!

Well, you understand. I am certain this blog will find its own level and, if not, we’ll simply build more! How’s that for positive thinking?  IN OTHER WORDS, if it has to do with soccer and, in the best of all worlds, soccer training, have at it and play on!

For informational purposes only and properly cited below:

Association football

An attacking player (No 10) attempts to kick the ball past the goalkeeper to score a goal.
Highest governing body FIFA
Nickname(s) Football, Soccer, Futbol, Footy/Footie
Contact Contact
Team members 11 at a time
Category Indoor or Outdoor
Ball Football
Olympic 1900

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players, and is widely considered to be the most popular sport in the world.[1][2][3] It is a football variant played on a rectangular grass or artificial turf field, with a goal at each of the short ends. The object of the game is to score by manoeuvring the ball into the opposing goal. In general play, thegoalkeepers are the only players allowed to use their hands or arms to propel the ball; the rest of the team usually use their feet to kick the ball into position, occasionally using their torso or head to intercept a ball in midair. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout, depending on the format of the competition.

The modern game was codified in England following the formation of The Football Association, whose 1863 Laws of the Game created the foundations for the way the sport is played today. Football is governed internationally by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Association Football), commonly known by the acronym FIFA. The most prestigious international football competition is the FIFA World Cup, held every four years. This event, the most widely viewed in the world, boasts an audience twice that of the Summer Olympic Games.[4

“Association football.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 21 Dec 2008, 19:03 UTC. 27 Dec 2008 <>.

“Football (Soccer).” Wikimedia Commons, . 6 Nov 2008, 21:32 UTC. 27 Dec 2008, 16:12 <>.

Have a great day, enjoy, and have fun!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

CoachZ December 27, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Tomorrow we will discuss the differences between male and female athletes when it comes to the demands of the sport. Primarily, we want to focus on how we can effectively prepare our athletes, male and female, by way of better training, to deal with the rigors of the game. The athlete, trainer, coach or fan who doesn’t relaize that there are real differences and real issues when it comes to male versus female training has been on the Moon for the last two decades. In the last twenty years, we have witnessed more injuries related to inadequate or faulty training and a complete lack of understanding when it comes to biomechanics. The impact of that lack of understanding on the performance and participation of female athletes cannot be ignored or explained away. Take a look at any women’s program in the world and you will find athletes with one, two, and, in some cases, multiple surgeries to repair the ACL. Incredibly, female soccer athletes are often affected multiple times, and bilaterally. There have been a number of theories proposed and much attention given but little in the way of concrete proof folllowed by an intelligent program of prevention. Rather, we see more of the same sort of “wait and see” with repair that we’ve witnessed over and again over the last two decades.

Once again, tomorrow we will discuss certain studies and articles written within the last two years dealing specifically with the underlying etiology of the catastrophic ACL injury in female athletes. We will also discuss proposed treatment options, still after-the-fact, for these injuries; and again, primarily in female athletes.

In upcoming blogs we will also focus on injuries specific to men, as well as shoulder injuries and the impact they have on goalkeepers, in particular.

Talk to you soon and:


Coach Z

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