What are the important skills or exercises to keep track of for youth soccer?
It depends on the individual team. Younger kids are going to have more generalized fitness goals. Old and higher levels of soccer will be more specific.
The older athlete will probably have more of them as well. They should have input into what is being measured…as well as goal setting for how they will accomplish the goal.
Here are some exercises that a U8 soccer team could use to see if they are improving in their fitness goals.
1. 50 yard dash. For measuring speed.
2. 5 yard agility run. Players shuffle for five yards and touch the yardline each time. Do six touches. Measures agility.
3. Push-ups. A good general measure of upper body strength.
4. Crunch or sit-up. Not the best core exercise but easily administered and standardized. See how many in 30 or 60 seconds.
5. Three standing broad jumps for distance. Measure leg strength and easier to measure than jumping for height.
Obviously, you could add as many exercises as you wanted. I think five is a good number; enough to measure most fitness goals needed for soccer.
How often should you measure or test?
I would do it three or four times during the season. You don’t have to test each one at the same time.
Another thing to do is to give the kids an “I can do” report. When they are done with the test, they take home a goal sheet that states:
I can do 12 push-ups.
I can do 21 sit-ups in 30 seconds.
This will keep the kids involved and the parents as well. Let the parents know that you think fitness is an important part of being a soccer player.
Get your parents to help you improve their children’s fitness and athletic skills. Encourage them to check out athletic skills for soccer; the only program that teaches parents how to improve their child’s soccer fitness.
Click on the above link to find out more!