It’s a long road to the high school’s varsity soccer team. Many kids start their journey before grade school, developing their skills in youth leagues and on travel soccer teams along the way to the competitive world of high school soccer. Making the jump from the freshman or junior varsity team to the varsity team involves upping both the physical training program and developing the right attitude toward the game.
If you or someone you know has their heart on making the varsity team, here are four soccer training tips you need to know about:
- Practice, practice, practice – Playing at the varsity level means you’re constantly looking for areas to improve and taking time to hone each of those skills. Soccer is no longer just an after-school activity. A varsity-level athlete should have training tools such as agility ladders and cones readily available at home to work on targeted skills sets. A daily set of drills will improve the reflexes and muscle memory needed to play at the varsity level.
- Offseason training – One of the biggest differences between a competitive athlete and a hobby player is how much training they put in during the offseason. Apart from joining summer leagues, the best high school athletes engage in a number of cross-training exercises to build up their skills on the field. By increasing speed, endurance and strength through various cardio and weight-training activities, athletes get the edge needed to break out of their plateau and reach the next level. In addition, such training is crucial for preventing injury during the season.
- Eat right – Teenage athletes, especially boys, are vacuum cleaners. They have an empty pit in their stomach that just can’t get filled. Usually, plenty of junk food goes in there and their diets consist of empty calories and sugars. For many kids, these habits need to be reined in if they want to get the most out of their workout routine and play at the highest level. To simplify all of the diet options out there, it’s a good idea in general to avoid high-glycemic carbs and junk foods such as sugar, pastries, candy bars and soda, all while eating plenty of protein and light carbs (beans, yams, brown rice and vegetables).
- Listen to the coach – Young players, especially when they’re good, can develop an ego and become resistant to anyone pointing out areas where they can improve. It’s important to remember that even the best players in the world can improve and rely on their coaches to help them do so. A key component of being a valuable team player is having flexibility and willingness to learn from one’s mistakes. Coaches have years of experience to share, and when it comes to selecting players for a team, skill counts — but so does attitude.
With these tips in mind, and with discipline and encouragement, it’s possible to make the cut and fulfill your dream of playing varsity soccer. So if you’re ready to play at the next level, Semper Soccer is here to help you make the cut. Check out SoccerSavings.com‘s wide collection of training gear and more to meet all of your soccer needs.