Physical Preparation for Soccer: Plyometrics

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Plyometrics for soccer is one the most effective ways to increase explosive speed and power. It is a form of conditioning designed to produce fast and powerful movements. Through the stretch-shortening cycle, plyometrics are generally used by athletes to improve speed and power. For the muscles to respond explosively, the eccentric contraction is then quickly switched to the isometric (when the downward movement stops) and then the concentric contraction, in a minimum amount of time (typically 0.1-0.4 seconds). Therefore, a muscle stretched immediately prior to contraction will contract more rapidly and at a greater force. This process is at the core of all plyometrics training programs.

In addition, when combined with other neuromuscular training (i.e. strength, balance and flexibility training), plyometrics has been shown to reduce lower-extremity injuries in all team sports. Nevertheless, plyometrics should only be performed by well-conditioned players who are under supervision of a highly experienced and qualified coach; due to the amount of force generated poor practice can result in injury. The most common examples of plyometrics include bounds, jumps and explosive full body movements.

Physical Preparation Components

United Soccer Academy’s Physical Preparation program consists of 8 key components:

Speed Agility Quickness Reaction Strength Power Plyometrics Dynamic Flexibility

Click here to download the Physical Preparation Curriculum.