Coaches can only give players the tools to be successful. If players truly want to experience success, they must take accountability for their own development.
As a coach, the biggest frustration is when players do not train on their own time. With school, homework, and extracurricular activities during the week, I often hear the same excuse from youth players when I ask them if they trained at home; “I don’t have time”. Most youth players practice with their club team 2-3 times a week and have one game a week which accounts for, at most, 5 hours a week.
One of the main reasons we started Beestera was for the simple reason of getting dedicated players more opportunity to improve their skills in a setting where they can maximize their touches on the ball in a short amount of time.
To combat the notion that players 'do not have time' to train their body or mind in their own time, I have come up with 5 at home training hacks to utilize the extra time players have each day and ultimately improve the mental, physical and emotional part of their game (even incorporating Netflix and Fortnite into them).
1. Every time you finish an episode on Netflix, do 5 minutes of simple ball work in the house before starting the next one.
Five minutes may not seem like a lot of time but if you watch 12 episodes over the course of a week, you've amassed an hour of extra time with the ball. These short segments of training add up quickly.
2. Every time you win or lose in a video game, complete a set of push-ups, sit ups, or plyometrics before restarting the game.
Start simple. 5-10 push-ups or sit-ups at a time and you will see significant increases in your physical strength. Track your progress by writing down how many of each exercise you do each time between games.
3. For every video you watch on YouTube, watch a video of professional players training or in a real game.
Pick players who play your position and watch their movements, their body position, and technical skill while thinking about how you can implement what they are doing into your own game.
4. Add reflection into your daily routine of homework.
Keep a short journal of what you did well at practice or in the game, and what/how you can improve on. Revisit this journal before and after each practice.
5. Dribble a tennis ball or mini soccer ball with you everywhere you go around the house. Whether you are just walking down the hall to see your sibling or walking to the kitchen for dinner, dribble a small ball around to get more touches on the ball each day. (We won't be held responsible for any furniture being broken!)
There is no arguing that kids have a lot going on in their life. These 5 simple, home training hacks are meant to stop youth players from using the excuse of “I don’t have time” by adding in short segments of physical, mental, and emotional training that will eventually add up to hours of extra practice each week.
- Mike Matera
Beestera Soccer Training
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