Balance Drills for Youth Soccer

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

Feb 17
Soccer requires excellent balance

Soccer requires excellent strength and balance

Balance is crucial for soccer. You need balance when you kick the ball, when you run and when you stop.

You use your balance when you change direction. Good balance can prevent injury as well.

There’s two types of balance; static and dynamic.

Static is standing still and dynamic is when you’re moving. Obviously, dynamic is what soccer players use the most, but there is a place for practicing static balance as well.

Static balance develops strength. It also gets the smaller muscles, tendons, neurons, and the entire proprioceptive system activated.

Craig Ballentyne, a fitness and exercise expert, recommends doing balance exercises before doing strength or cardio training. He sees better performance and results when his athletes do it. And he trains world class athletes.

I think there’s a place in youth sports and kids soccer for balance training as well. It is fun to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. Here are some ways to incorporate balance training into a soccer practice.

Standing on one foot will be the starting point for all of the following exercises. Standing on one foot is fairly easy. But to make it more difficult, we are going to throw in some variations.

  • On the balls of your feet.
  • Eyes closed.
  • Leaning over to the side.
  • Leaning forward. This is great for running technique.
  • Touch the ground then stand up. Touch in all four directions
  • Make circles with your body. Go in both directions.
  • Head the ball.
  • Play catch. Younger players really benefit by working hand/eye coordination as well as foot/eye coordination.
  • Pass with different parts of your foot while standing still. Inside, outside, instep, even the heel.
  • Hop on one foot and pass while moving ten yards. Very difficult and develop a lot of strength in the legs.
  • Play tug-of-war with a partner.
  • Use a medicine ball for exercise or by working with a teammate.There are hundreds of ways that medicine balls can be used in practice. This is only to give you an idea.

As you can see there are countless ways that you can develop balance in your kid or on the soccer team. They are also great for adults to do as well.

Working on balance doesn’t take expensive equipment. Somethings are nice to have but in a team setting with fifteen to twenty kids, it’s difficult and expensive to have enough for everybody. Plus, they take up a lot of room and are heavy to lug around from the car to the pitch.

Take some time to perform balance exercises with every practice. I’ve even that  kids tend to focus better when they spend some time balancing. They listen better and aren’t as fidgety.

Use a few balance drills every day. Two to five minutes is all you need. Your kids will be having fun and improving their soccer skills at the same time!

Coach Ron Usher helps parents, coaches and kids bring out their inner athlete. To learn more go to www.athleticskillsforsoccer.com.

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