One of the most important skills that you can work to improve your performance as an athlete is your stamina. For soccer players, being able to run and keep up with the pace of a 90-minute match is much harder than you think. Soccer is a physically demanding sport that requires players to run long distances at varying speeds and to maintain their energy levels throughout a match.
If stamina is something that you’re looking to improve so that you can perform better on the pitch, here are a few exercises or drills that you can practice to help you out!
1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief periods of rest. These types of workouts mimic the stop-and-go nature of a soccer match and can help improve your cardiovascular fitness.
HIIT workout exercises could be a mixture of burpees, followed by squat jumps, mountain climbers, or shuttle runs in a HIIT format. For example, pick 5 exercises that you can perform with maximum effort for 20-30 seconds, followed by a 10-20 second rest – then repeat for 10-15 minutes.
2. Agility & Speed Drills
Soccer involves sudden changes in direction, and quick bursts of speed. By incorporating agility drills, including ladder climbs, cone drills, and shuttle runs, this will prepare you for the fast-paced match environment.
Practice dribbling and ball control while performing these types of drills to make them more soccer specific if you’d like!
3. Strength Training
Building muscle strength can help improve your overall stamina performance. You need the muscles in your body to be strong enough to carry you through a whole game, not just your stamina.
Focusing on weighted exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and core exercises can improve your stability and balance – which are important for soccer performance.
4. Cardio Training
When it comes to cardio exercises people either love them or hate them. There are people who could go on runs for hours, and others who absolutely dread doing cardio. However, some of the best ways to improve your stamina is to do cardiovascular training.
Incorporating long-distance runs on the treadmill or outside is great for building your endurance. If you don’t enjoy running for 10 minutes straight, interval training is just as effective. Interval runs help improve your ability to sprint, recover, and repeat. For example, sprint for 30 seconds, jog for 1-2 minutes, walk for 1 minute, and then repeat the cycle.
5. Circuit or Cross Training
Designing a circuit with exercises that keep you engaged will make the workout go by much faster. Engage in activities like cycling, seated rowing, stair climbs, or even swimming to give your body a break from any high impact and fast activities.
You can include long periods of these types of low-impact exercises into a circuit with short periods of exercise’s like jumping jacks, lunges, squats, and push-ups. Once you create a circuit that meets your needs, repeat it 2-3 times.
1. Rest and Recovery
Adequate rest and recovery are essential for stamina improvement. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits without giving yourself enough sleep and breaks to allow your body to recover between training sessions.
2. Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration is crucial for stamina. Consuming a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will give you the energy you need to push through those long runs. Staying hydrated is also key before, during, and after training sessions.
3. Mental Conditioning
Every sport requires mental toughness. By learning how to stay focused, motivated and confident throughout your workouts and on game day, you will see an improvement in your performance!
Being consistent with your exercise routine is key if you want to see improvement. Stick to a regular training schedule that meets your needs, and increase the intensity and duration over time.
5. Monitor Progress
Unfortunately, you won’t see improvement overnight, but that’s why consistency is key. Keep track of your personal goals and progress by recording your times, distances, and performance drills. This will help push yourself and track your improvement.
Remember that building stamina takes time, so be patient and persistent in your training. If you don’t like to train alone, you can always call on a friend or teammate to join you!