Are You A Parent Wanting To Help Your Athlete Reach Their Maximum Potential?
If you're a parent wanting your soccer athlete to reach their maximum potential, maybe make the team or even get an athletic scholarship, then continue to read this post below.
In this post, we're gonna describe the five ways soccer players can improve their performance almost effortlessly. Before we get going, I want to let you know a little bit more about me.
My name is Dr. Scott Gray, I'm a sports performance coach, published author, and sports medicine expert here in the Fort Myers, Florida area.
I've helped hundreds of athletes just like yours whether they want to become bigger, faster, stronger, or they just want to overcome an injury or prevent an injury from happening in the first place.
These five tips we will be discussing are things that I think parents and coaches don't know a lot about.
Maybe they have a little bit of knowledge on it, but maybe they're neglecting these things that are, ultimately, preventing their soccer athlete from improving their performance.
#1 Begin With The End In Mind
So, I think the first tip is beginning with the end in mind and creating a road map.
So whether your kid is 10 years old, a 15-year-old, or 18 years old, you need to have a game plan of how you're going to reach these goals.
Many parents and coaches don't do that, they just go day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, and year-by-year just doing the same things over and over again without a plan of how they're going to help their soccer athlete get there.
So what I mean is, how many days a week is your soccer athlete going to be with their coach?
How are you preparing their meals?
How are you preparing their sleep schedule?
How are you working on furthering their strengths, but also, working on their weaknesses?
A lot of parents and coaches continue to work on just the athlete's strengths, but they don't really address their weaknesses.
So for example, if you notice your player for soccer has really good footwork and he's got really good ball-handling, but they really have a hard time stopping and starting, you're going to want to address that rather than continuing to work just on ball-handling skills.
Although ball-handling skills are important to your soccer's development and skill, if they can't stop and start, then you might want to work on that and create a plan to do that. So, that's point number one, creating a road map and beginning with the end game in mind.
#2 Dynamic Warm-Ups
Point number two is doing a dynamic warmup before your training session.
A dynamic warmup is really crucial because it helps activate your nervous system, it allows an adequate range of motion, it helps improve your body's ability to produce more force, but also helps prevent injuries.
As an athlete, the main goal when you're trying to reach the highest level is to, obviously, stay injury-free because if you were to break your ankle or have an ACL tear, you're going to be out, potentially, for a year's time and it's really going to slow down your athlete's progress.
Similarly, if you're not doing a dynamic warmup prior to a competition, your performance isn't going to be ideal.
Your athlete may not be reaching their goals or helping their team win in that regard.
So, what exactly is a dynamic warmup?
A dynamic warmup is just like the name says, it's dynamic. It's not static.
So a lot of times, athletes and coaches have their athletes hold certain stretches prior to working out and that's what we don't wanna do because it actually hinders your performance and makes you more likely to have an injury.
Say goodbye to static hamstring stretches, calve stretches, and those things. We want to do dynamic stretches.
A couple of dynamic warmups that you could do would be like high knees, butt kicks, side shuffle, lunges, and different balance exercises.
Those types of stretches are what we wanna do with our athletes especially with a soccer athlete before a session of any sort to help wake up the nervous system and help reduce injuries.
So, do not do static stretching any longer.
#3 Proper Sleep & Nutrition
Point number three is getting proper sleep and nutrition. And as an athlete or as a parent and coach, this may be the most important tip, right?
So, many of these athletes these days aren't getting enough sleep, they're eating burgers and fries before, they go on the field and you can train really hard, but if you're not recovering in between each session, you're not maximizing your athlete's potential.
So, what we suggest is creating a schedule, again, of what time your athlete's going to wake up every day and what time they go to bed.
Mandate this because our body gets into a rhythm and if you break this rhythm, and then it throws off the sleep cycle.
The other key point you want to do is go into a colder room, lights off, no cellphone, no Xbox, and no TV.
It helps reduce the sensory input and it's going to allow better sleep.
As far as nutrition goes, your athlete really just needs to do the basic things, right?
So, making sure they have enough, food and water.
Making sure that they're getting enough protein, good carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables.
If you do just the basic stuff, chances are, your athlete's going to feel better and they're gonna perform better.
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So now, we're moving on to point number four is flexibility.
As soccer athlete's, you develop certain muscle imbalances where certain muscles are predisposed to overuse.
That would be, typically, your quads, hip flexors, and your calve muscles that get really tight.
We want to stretch these out after our workout with static stretching and doing flexibility training.
If as you remember in my second post or second bullet point here, I discussed how dynamic warmup was the best way to warm up prior to a session.
But, after your session, you want to do static stretching. This is where this comes into play.
The idea behind this is to help prevent muscle imbalances.
So, a couple of stretches that all soccer athletes should be doing are a groin stretch, a hip flexor stretch, and a calve stretch.
And these are very important because these are the muscles that get tight in soccer athletes, they create muscle imbalances which can predispose your athlete to an ACL tear, but, also cause nagging injuries like knee pain and back pain.
So this is probably one of the top ones. A lot of times parents and coaches just think, “Oh, you know, my soccer athlete wants to, make the team, or they want to get a college scholarship. I'm just gonna have them continuing to do more soccer, more soccer, more soccer.”
But if they already have a great skill level, but aren't able to do things such as stop and start, they're not able to kick the ball with enough force, lack top-end speed, can't stay up with the players then chances are you're going to want to do sports performance training, not spend more time on the soccer field.
With sports performance training it's going to help reduce injuries for your soccer athlete, it's going help reduce muscle imbalances.
But most importantly, it's going to work on your athlete's weaknesses such as being able to stop and start, have the top-end speed to chase people down the field, along those lines.
That's what Back in Motion stands for and what we do for athletes when they are serious about reaching their maximum potential.
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Sports performance really bridges the gap. I always give this analogy. I think of a car, right? You might have a Jaguar that's really able to do these finesse things like, kicking and dribbling, but they don't have a big motor.
So, we need to put a V10 or V12 in that engine to make it go faster. And that's where sports performance comes in because a lot of these athletes they can do these finesse things, but they don't have a big enough motor.
Whether it be other athletes out-running them, stopping and starting, and pushing them around on the field, that's where sports performance comes in hand.
There you have it, these are the five ways soccer players can improve their performance.
They need to create a road map, they need to consider doing the dynamic warmup, get adequate sleep and nutrition, work on their flexibility with static stretching after they work out, and then consider doing a strength training and sports performance training program.
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