Should Soccer Players Do Crossfit?

Should Soccer Players Do Crossfit?

 Weight training for the soccer player is crucial and has changed the game for the better.  With the rise in popularity of Crossfit there is more and more of talk about Crossfit and whether or not soccer players should do it as a strength and conditioning routine. My simple  answer is that it depends on when and the specific needs of the athlete.  While I think Crossfit in and of itself is great when done properly and can definitely develop conditioning and some athleticism like most cookie-cutter routines, Crossfit is not the optimal choice when looking to maximize athleticism, performance, and injury prevention for soccer players.  

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Soccer as a Teacher

Soccer as a Teacher

Playing soccer for the last 30 years and coaching for the last 10 has taught me several lessons about life. In fact, every time I step on the field to coach or play, I learn a thing or two about human behavior, psychology, and differences between achieving excellence and coming short on the day. 

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The Inverted Fullback: Interview with Glen Preston on Soccer Tactics in the Modern Game

The Inverted Fullback: Interview with Glen Preston on Soccer Tactics in the Modern Game

As I mentioned in a few recent posts, I am a rather new head soccer coach. In my efforts to expedite my learning process, I turned to youtube (like all modern age geniuses) and discovered a channel that was incredibly educational, entertaining, and eye-opening on the tactical side of the game. I contacted the creator of this brilliant content, Glen Preston, and he was kind enough to answer some of my questions and offer even more great insight into modern trends in soccer tactics. If you consider yourself a student of the game or simply a fan, this is one not to be missed. You will never watch soccer the same way again after watching some of his videos.  Before we get into the questions, here is one of them:

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In Search of the Magic Sauce

In Search of the Magic Sauce

Like the fitness industry, more and more these days I see soccer trainers and coaches claiming to have the soccer training method that cuts the corners and produces amazing results in half the time. Marketed as "1000's of touches per session!" and using fancy names or special equipment, when I see these phrases I immediately think RED FLAG.  More than red flag, I think someone wants us to buy some of their shit. There is nothing wrong with selling something of value to make profit while helping others, but what are we selling? New gimmicky technology? Slick taglines and catch phrases? False hopes? Or is there really a magic sauce to soccer training? 

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Losing in the Semis: Hard Lessons As a Rookie Head Soccer Coach

Losing in the Semis: Hard Lessons As a Rookie Head Soccer Coach

Most of the teams these days seem to play a version of 4-3-3 and DMS-11 played a 4-4-2. Against a 4-3-3- this can be problematic in the flanks, especially if they send outside backs forward which DMS 11 sure did. Not only would the outside backs overlap, but they would play a ball inside to a center mid or target and make a run inside creating all sorts of confusion.   We were able to figure it out for the most part by following their runners, but it was exhausting for some of our boys who are used to simpler defending. Then, in order to keep the ball appropriately against a team that worked very hard to win it back, we needed more movement off the ball. Not just more movement, but more clever movement. 

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Observations From a Rookie Head Soccer Coach

Observations From a Rookie Head Soccer Coach

For the past few months...since February 1st, I have been coaching a team called FCLA Black 97 in the Southern California section of National Cup.  The team lost last year in the 2nd round to DMS 11.  It was the farthest they have ever been in National Cup (though last summer they lost in the final of Surf Cup)  and this Saturday after beating Santa Barbara SC  3-0 in the quarters we have a semi-final game against the same team, DMS 11.  Santa Barbara is a former National Champion and defending State Cup Champion. They are a phenomenal side and had the majority of possession and created several chances.  But, they either missed or our goalkeeper made a save- he had a hell of a match. 

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Should Soccer Players Squat or Leg Press?

Should Soccer Players Squat or Leg Press?

Soccer players can benefit from strength training their legs. In this slideshow we discuss optimal leg training for soccer players based on their hip structure and needs. We also look at squat depth, leg presses, and more. 

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Exploring The Use of Soccer Tricks: Effective Soccer Players Versus FIFA Video Game Emulators

Exploring The Use of Soccer Tricks: Effective Soccer Players Versus FIFA Video Game Emulators

Germany in the 2014 World Cup was not a tricky or flashy team, but compared to the competition, they were very technical, physical, and incredibly efficient and precise with their play.  It worked and it worked well.  Maybe there is no need for flash? 

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How To Recover Faster For Better Soccer Performance

How To Recover Faster For Better Soccer Performance

If your life consists of cheap dinners, lying around on the couch, over technologized,  interrupted sleep, and an excessive school or work burden - your soccer performance will reflect this. If you eat healthy foods, get ample sunshine and movement, deep and plentiful sleep, have solid relationships, and a more moderate set of school and work burdens – your soccer will reflect this. Recovery techniques are simply choices we make in our life that will give us a greater chance for soccer success.

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Soccer Development Versus Winning

Soccer Development Versus Winning

In youth soccer there are many opinions and stances taken about soccer "development" versus winning at all costs.  When a coach or parent places an emphasis on winning, they risk sounding like egotistical assholes and are immediately put into the category of people who dismiss playing beautiful soccer. 

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How To Deal With Pressure In Soccer

How To Deal With Pressure In Soccer

Do you feel a lot of pressure in soccer?  I sure as hell did. And guess what, I still do, but I'd like to think I  manage it a lot better than I used to.  These days I both coach and play, and the pressure felt between the two is very different, but there nonetheless. 

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Footage of Me Playing Soccer

Footage of Me Playing Soccer

 There are players around the world motivated by goals beyond the ego gratification that comes with something like making varsity or getting to play in college -players who are fueled by things like escaping poverty for themselves and their family

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4 Things Winning Soccer Teams and Players Must Do

4 Things Winning Soccer Teams and Players Must Do

Going from soccer player to soccer coach has taught me so much about the game. Stepping back from the mentality of "how am I playing and impacting the game" as an individual to looking at team trends and concepts has been challenging and is affirming why my previous coaches who were successful spent so much time emphasizing certain things. While there are many, here are 4 things that are so important for winning soccer.  

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Why Stress Is The Key To Soccer Success

Why Stress Is The Key To Soccer Success

One example is when you haven't played soccer in awhile and then you jump back into the first session or a game.  The next day you might feel it in your hamstrings, hip flexors, adductors, or your calves might be screaming at you.   But you keep showing up to practice and despite the more work you are doing, the soreness eventually goes away, or it takes much more work in order to create the same amount of soreness. 

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7 Ways To Own Stress So You Can Play Amazing Soccer

7 Ways To Own Stress So You Can Play Amazing Soccer

In the last post I talked about acute stress, the fight or flight response, and performing under pressure. Today I am going to address every day stress - the kind that can destroy your health and negatively effect your soccer performance causing you to hate not only soccer, but life in general.  Take a deep breathe, Im exaggerating a tad.  Did I just stress you out? Lets undo that, shall we? 

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Handling The Pressure Of a Big Soccer Game

Handling The Pressure Of a Big Soccer Game

"Stress is a killer" is something I am hearing more and more lately. It is a pretty convincing argument to get you to focus on your breathe more or maybe when your friend wants you to join them at yoga class.   The book Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers discusses how human beings these days face chronic stress (causing ulcers and other health issues) versus our ancestors who lived a more primal lifestyle.   "Primal" meaning they had more fight or flight moments (being attacked by a wild animal or hunting down prey), but less minor nagging stresses like social pressures, exams, SATs, and sitting in traffic, or worrying about playing well in a big game. 

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What Does It Take To Succeed In Soccer?

What Does It Take To Succeed In Soccer?

To really succeed in soccer, perhaps it takes losing one's mind, in other words: madness. Looking back at my own growth as a soccer player, I was definitely preoccupied at all times with getting better and it definitely became an obsession. In fact, it wasn't until I became a little crazy that I actually started to kick some ass. I will discuss this more in another post.  

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How A Soccer Star Is Made

How A Soccer Star Is Made

The Ajax youth academy, otherwise known as De Toekomst — The Future, turns out so much talent year in and year out. I found this article done by the New York Times called "How A Soccer Star Is Made" and it is worth sharing here, especially on a website honoring Ajax product Johan Cruyff and his idea of the total soccer player. 

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