What is Strength and Conditioning and why is it important to soccer players?
What is Strength and Conditioning?
Fitness can be divided into two main categories by their nature and goals, that are General Fitness and Fitness for sports. Achieving general fitness also means the individual is healthy and fit in the 7 fitness components. On the other hand, the population who aim for Sports Fitness are mainly professional athletes, with the goal in achieving better sports performance.
Strength and Conditioning is simply the way of training for Sports Fitness, which contain a different set of fitness’ components compared to that of general fitness. The fitness’ components for sports fitness include: speed, agility, power, strength, flexibility, endurance and psychology.
Why is Strength and Conditioning important to soccer performance?
It is a fact that soccer players’ performance on a soccer field is the direct outcome of specific training off the pitch. Just imagine some specific movement patterns that would occur on ta soccer field such as the sudden change of directions they make to get past the opponents; the sudden acceleration that leave the opponents in the dust or even the solid slide tackle a defender make to protect the team from a potentially deadly counter-attack in the 90th minute, would not happen by running 10km daily at a constant speed right? Instead, the sudden change of direction a player execute so perfectly in a game would be the results of Strength and Conditioning coaches setting up cones and asking the player to run around the cones in a Zig-Zac pattern at full speed.
Based on the above examples, we know that training has to be specific to the sports, meaning that the movements in training has to replicate that on the field, in order to induced the desired physical adaptations to the athletes.