Soccer conditioning for kids is kind of like making the perfect cake.
You have to get the right ingredients, mix the them correctly and bake them at the right temperature.
Too hot and your cake is as dry and wasted as a summer day in the Sahara.
Too cold and you might as well be out there for a week. You’ll never get it done.
There’s no hard and fast rules for soccer fitness either. There are four considerations which need to take place though…
Let’s look at each of the requirements in more detail.
Younger athletes (U8…maybe even U10) need more generalized training. Doing sport specific, soccer fitness exercises is not right for these kids.
They need their general athletic skills; strength, balance, coordination, and speed skills developed. And if these skills have not been developed yet, they need to be addressed.
Working on soccer specific fitness exercises before an athlete is ready will lead to injuries as well as over-training. The kids will not go as far as if they have the basics down.
When you do soccer conditioning with younger athletes there needs to be a heavy emphasis on fun and games.
That’s worth repeating:
Workouts can be difficult and challenging. Indeed, they need to be. But they should also be short with lots of breaks and rests.
At this stage kids are developing neurologically the most. The neurological system develops best with short, frequent bouts of practice.
For a ton of exercises that are developmentally and age appropriate to develop soccer conditioning for kids, click the link.