Soccer Fitness Training

Soccer Description

Soccer is a team sport in which participants attempt to kick a ball down the field and into their opponents' goal. Only the goalkeeper may use his hands. Soccer, known as football in most parts of the world, is the most popular participant sport in the world. It is an excellent activity for developing cardiorespiratory fitness, coordination and speed. Speed and skill are two of the most important requirements for playing soccer. Beginners should learn the basics of dribbling, shooting, passing and strategy. Be sure to warm-up prior to playing soccer to reduce the risk of injury.

Soccer Warnings

  • People bothered by chronic injuries to the ankles, knees, shins, neck, legs or groin muscles should seek medical clearance before participating in soccer.

Soccer Risks

  • Muscle strains of groin, hamstring or calf
  • Ankle, knee or toe sprains
  • Other joint injuries including torn knee cartilage and plantar fasciitis (inflamed tissue near front of the heel)
  • Ankle, toe, tibia (lower leg) or nose fractures from collisions or falls
  • Stress fractures of toe or foot bones
  • Concussions from collisions or improper heading technique

Soccer Sport-specific applications

  • Skills and endurance requirements are somewhat similar to Australian rules football or rugby
  • Soccer is played on local, national, international, and Olympic levels

Soccer Equipment required

  • Soccer ball: inflated rubber bladder encased in leather or plastic
  • Footwear: low-cut or high top, cleats for outdoors, rubber studs for indoor play
  • Shin guards (recommended)
  • Goalkeeper equipment: padded uniform, gloves (optional), knee and elbow pads
  • Clothing: shorts and jersey worn in competitive play

Soccer Applicable substitutions

  • Basketball
  • Field hockey
  • Football (position requiring frequent running)

Soccer Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • NCAA: 6201 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211­2422, (913) 339­1906
  • AAU: 3400 West 86th St., PO Box 68207, Indianapolis, IN 46268, (317) 872­2900
  • U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF): c/o U.S. Soccer House, 1801­1811 South Prairie Ave., Chicago, IL 60616, (312) 808­1300
  • U.S. Olympic Committee 1750 East Boulder St., Colorado Springs, CO 80909­5760, (719) 632­5551
  • Local parks and recreation departments


Cardiorespiratory: Aerobic/Interval

Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 3
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 3
  • Body Fat Recution 2

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 2
  • Flexibility 1
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 2
  • Coordination/Skill 3

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: quadriceps, calves, hip adductors, gluteal muscles, tensor fasciae latae and hamstrings Assistance muscles: lower back (erector spinae), trapezius, neck, hip flexors, obliques and abdominals (rectus abdominus)

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.062 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

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