Soccer players should learn as early as possible to move their bodies precisely in a wide variety of ways. The more varied their childhood experience of movement, the better they can control their muscles with the help of the nervous system.
“Young players with good coordination can perform better at soccer than others who have the same or even slightly better conditional potential. Only soccer players with well developed coordination skills can translate their conditional capabilities optimally into corresponding performances.”
Running Coordination for Soccer Players Modern soccer is characterized by its high tempo. To play soccer successfully, players must react faster than ever when they receive the ball, as well as making frequent sudden changes of direction, sprints into free space and instant switches from defense to attack. The demands on soccer players are so great that special and systematic training of their running coordination, especially their running technique and rhythm, appears essential.
What are the special aspects of the conditioning of running coordination for soccer players?
The running performance demanded of a soccer player differs considerably from that of an athlete. Sprints, turns, changes of direction, runs with the ball and challenges for the ball both before and after a sprint require the player to adjust his stride length and frequency to widely varied game situations. This makes a variable, flexible and selective application of running techniques during the game necessary. For selective conditioning of running coordination, it is necessary to set priorities within training sessions. Fast footwork, involving lightning fast coordination of nerves and foot muscles, is at the heart of many drills.
Small, rapid steps ensure that the player can control the ball securely and move in any direction he chooses. The object is to remain in contact with the ground.
He can then retain control of his body and accelerate quickly in any given direction. In addition, good footwork is essential to a good shooting technique.
By continuously adjusting his distance from the ball, a player ensures that he is in the best position when he shoots.
As a result of practicing changes in stride frequency and length in a variety of drills, a player is able to adjust his speed to the needs of the game situation.
A long, powerful sprint down the wing requires a different technique to a subtle change of direction and a short sprint in a restricted space. Players should also be able to switch smoothly and quickly from the small strides appropriate to a challenge for the ball to the long strides needed to sprint away into space.
Video preview – Coordination Training in Soccer
Video preview – Coordination, Agility and Speed Training