The game of soccer thrives upon scoring goals and preventing the other soccer team from scoring. Due to the long duration of the soccer game it requires a high aerobic capacity. This duration is constant movement with short breaks. However, during this time the soccer player will need to perform quick bursts of movement including sprints, heading, kicking, and tackling. These are explosive movements, which will benefit the soccer player in the opportunity to attack more and prevent the other soccer team from scoring. Each soccer player must be more powerful than their opponent. Power is the ability to move with significant speed and strength. Being strong does not make you powerful, but you can’t be powerful without being strong. Therefore, strength is the foundation for power. Strength is a big component of the game of soccer that is often neglected due to the high demand for an aerobic capacity.
Strength is the ability to produce force that is relevant to the task. As mentioned, it is important to develop a strength base to allow a better transfer to power. This can be achieved by training along the force-velocity curve. The force-velocity curve is a curve that shows the inverse relationship between force and velocity. As an athlete lifts heavier, the slower they will lift it. Conversely, as an athlete lifts a lighter weight, they will lift it faster. This helps soccer players by pushing the curve up and to the right. The objective is to make the soccer player more powerful.
Before a soccer player can conquer the various soccer movements that are applied in the game of soccer, the soccer player must be strong to prevent injury. Many injury occurrences are due to reduced neuromuscular control and low hamstring strength. The main soccer movement of a soccer player is to kick the ball, which is constantly repeated during soccer practices and games. This leads to a lot of usage of the quadriceps, which puts the hamstrings in a weaker state. If the strength of the quadriceps surpasses the strength of the hamstrings, then there is an increased risk of injury to the hamstrings and the ACL. If the hamstrings are weak, then the quadriceps’ activation decreases. This limits the occurrence of the muscles contracting to protect the ligaments. The decreased activation is due to poor neuromuscular occurrence. Strength training yields more activation of the neuromuscular system. Therefore, including extra hamstring exercises in a strength program is vital for preventing injury in soccer players and to allow for gains in performance.
Strength drastically increases speed, which is an important component to soccer. Sprinting requires high levels of acceleration and high levels of strength to overcome the body mass. By increasing force in the appropriate muscles or muscle groups, speed may improve to skills critical to soccer, such as kicking, jumping, turning, sprinting, and changing pace. Getting stronger allows the soccer player to produce their peak force at a higher velocity, thus the power occurs at a greater percentage. Overall, implementing strength into the soccer player’s program will contribute to their overall performance.
Tagged: Angela Garcia, athletic performance, Champion's QUEST, explosive movements, force, force velocity curve, injury prevention, Long Beach, Los Alamitos, power, soccer, Soccer Player, soccer specific, Soccer Training, strength, strength training, velocity, vertical jump