Creating on the Pitch Speed – pt.3

HELLO RENEGADE!

After yesterday’s email, hopefully you understand the role that weight training plays for a soccer player…

Frankly it can be vital if you aren’t genetically blessed, but remember…

Strength comes from consistency, and trying your best to get stronger…

It doesn’t come from hours and hours in the gym each week…

Do you think the USMNT are weak compared to the rest of the world, or just not as technical, and don’t get the game as well?

This type of work is small, but vital for many athletes who need to get more explosive…

WEIGHTROOM RECAP

So, if you look at your total hours training and playing each week, you should spend ONE HOUR IN THE GYM for every 10-14 hours training…

Now, you may not even train that much…

Which is fine, because it gets hot out on the pitch, and often the bench is in the shade..

So the good news is…

You can be comfortable!  👎

So, minimal time lifting, and only doing the lifts that produce results… the basics.

But, each minute you are working out, you are giving it 100% effort.

If you are serious, and are asking your family to cart you all around to play soccer, the above equation should lead to 2 brief strength sessions per week…

If you are really young, start doing some basic calisthenics…

Yay!

OK, so what if you want to get stronger while on the pitch?

Aha!

Well, here is something to take in and digest…

See if you incorporate it…

I HIGHLY recommend you do so.

‘Parallel’

So if you watch a soccer player, watch the bend in their knees…

If you were to squat, this comes when the top of the thigh is parallel to the ground.

(The is 4-8″ below where most ‘never leg day’ weight room heroes squat to.)

Go YouTube a video of very fast athletes accelerating.

When they explode forward, they have a very strong forward body lean, and when the foot hits the ground, they are close to a 90 degree bend in the leg…

Now watch pretty much any soccer player… do they ever get to this position regularly?

Basically, if you want to explode when you move, and accelerate, decelerate, etc quickly, you MUST be able to get your center of gravity (COG) further out from your base of support…

This is why you get the forward lean… the power is more behind the body mass.

This is also the basis of movement all training:

How do you properly control the COG as you move.

But, if you put 99% of all soccer players in the same lean angle as say an elite track athlete, OR NFL skill position when truly accelerating, they will fall on their face…

Because there isn’t enough power to drive through the COG being so far out in front…

The easy way to see this are through two drills:

Lean-Tos and Mountain Climber Sprints.

LEAN – TOs

Have your athlete get is a sprint position ready to explode out, then have them use the front foot as a pivot point and lean over it until right before they will fall, and then explode forward.

Weak and less powerful athletes barely even start leaning and must run…

Powerful athletes get much deeper… which is why they are faster at accelerating.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBER SPRINTS

Mountain climber sprintss are the same thing…

Have your athlete get down and do a mountain climber, then yell go and have them sprint out of it.

Weak athletes have to stand directly up, but powerful athletes come out like a jet taking off… slowly with huge body lean and their legs driving hard.

Here is a truth that most people don’t think about:

‘Play Low!’

‘Get down and play low!’

I love when I hear this…

Ummm, coach, they can’t…

They are too weak.

You let them practice high all week long, so when exactly would they have built the strength to play low?

If an athletes gets low without the strength to be there, they will actually be slower, because they are so weak.

ENTER DYNAMIC STRENGTH

Dynamic strength in the low position is something that comes from weight work in that range (BW or Weight room), absorption exercises in that range…

And from ACTUALLY MAKING SURE THAT DURING DRILLS THEY PLAY LOW.

That last part is what is known as coaching, not ‘coaching’.

Can everything be at high intensity? Of course not…

Frankly, most times we don’t watch the clock and give breaks enough…

You can’t do a steady state style drill and expect explosiveness of any sort…

So, if you are doing 3v3, 4v4, etc. Those drills should only last 3-4 minutes until a break… or it will degrade to low level simply due to the energy system being spent.

So, break and get right back at it.

3 TRAINING HEIGHTS

I have 3 heights that I train at… hip heights.

‘YOUR HEIGHT’

This is the height you see 95% of the time on the pitch… hips high, not low prior to seeing action happen, then dropping hips and always being .2-.3 seconds late to the ball…

But, no worries, everyone else is playing high, so they are also playing slow like you… so nobody notices how trash it is…

Unless there is a genetically gifted person there, or someone who is being trained to be low whenever the ball is within 20m…

Kinda sounds like an athlete…

‘GAME HEIGHT’

This is when the coach gets on you for lollipopping around, and you get down and get your mean face on…

This height, if there is proper strength, allows you to cut faster, accelerate harder…

And allows faster reaction because you ‘see and go’ instead of ‘see, drop my hips, and go’.

This readiness state, coupled with anticipation allows lesser athletes to ‘play faster’ than testing day superheroes…

‘TRAINING HEIGHT’

This is hip height 2-3″ below your comfortable game height.

This is the height you build strength in so game height doesn’t feel low anymore…

As you get stronger, both GAME HEIGHT and TRAINING HEIGHT lower over time.

But, an athlete will give whatever the coach sets as expectations…

Unless the athlete gets to the point where they are self-aware…

Want to know why athlete play high?

Because they are allowed to…

It’s is actually that simple…

AN ACTUAL USE FOR AN AGILITY LADDER?

(Say it isn’t so!)

When do you introduce and work on TRAINING HEIGHT?

This is actually a place where you might use ladders!

No, they aren’t completely silly.

They do have a purpose to replace lower leg stiffness, foot coordination, and conditioning, but they are not a speed training device.

So, take your favorite 10-12 agility ladder drills and  do them 2x each at TRAINING HEIGHT...

Low.

Low.

Low.

Mmmm, and bring some marshmallows to roast over your itty bitty thighs… they will be burning.

Or, try so some change of direction work at TRAINING HEIGHT.

Mmmm… smell the smoke coming off your skinny little legs.

😂

Alternatively, you can duck squat the length of the field and back in 25m increments,

Do HSDs (Heavy Sled Drags), or anything else that puts you in a deep leg angle and forces you to produce power there…

THE POTTY TEST

This is the easiest way to see if there is a huge problem…

This is just awesomely revealing.

Squat down to parallel with no weight, and try to keep your head up, chest out, booty back, lower back locked.

You will most likely see the most awkward back rounded scared to go down and hold attempt ever.

Get in front of a mirror and see for yourself…

And, that’s OK, it’s just revealing.

I always ask very frankly with my athletes:

– How do you go potty?

– No seriously, do you just crash into the toilet?

– Have to grab the counter and hold on for dear life?

(Once you start seeing the strength deficit in deeper angles, you begin to wonder how we don’t have shattered toilets all over the US.)

: )

OK, so there are a few ides for you to begin training your legs to look like the best in the world…

Go pick 10 of your favorite pro players and Google their name, and add ‘legs’

See if they don’t have awesomely built legs…

Want to know a little secret?

They all had skinny minny legs at one point also…

Consistency, and effort.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

Hope this helps!

As always, thank you for being a RENEGADE!!!
By |2018-09-13T11:46:00+00:00September 13th, 2018|From The Coaches|0 Comments