The biggest mistake I see most coaches make is sending their players for a twenty to forty minute run to build an aerobic base. This jog places consistent stress on both the muscles and bones of the young body.

It has been my experience that over 95% of the over use injuries that I have treated came from players who competed in cross country at school or were “jogging” to get into condition. Here is a better way to get your players into shape.

Soccer is a game of spurts of high intense work intervals with active rest periods. Both the energy system and the muscular system need to be trained according to the demand of the game regardless of the age of player.

Soccer conditioning and training for younger players can be in the form of tag or obstacle courses that may be done with or with out the ball. The key at this age is fun.

It is also important to focus on acceleration. It is important for physical development that these young players train for acceleration and speed. The type of physical training a young soccer player completes has a long term effect on athletic development.

Sending younger players out for a fifteen to twenty minute jog teaches them to become slow! The running mechanics for distance is different than it is for acceleration and speed.

Distance runners use a smaller range of motion at the hip as compared to athletes who sprint. This is one reason why they are more likely to pull a muscle or develop over use injuries than a sprinter.

Next, distance runners have less intensity in their runs as compared to sprinters. Thus for youth soccer conditioning and training for anaerobic and aerobic energy systems relays are excellent because young players naturally run fast to win and develop more range of motion at the hip in the process of their sprints.

At the younger ages it is important to develop proper running technique. As youth soccer players get older strength determines how fast they run. The player who applies greater force into the ground will be faster. Get more conditioning coaching advice