Tips on Not Burning Out Your Team With Year-Round Soccer

A Tired Soccer Player - (Photo: Flickr.com)

Soccer is a very physical sport and can cause serious wear and tear to the bodies of players.  Typically soccer players have a general break from play in between seasons during the winter, but many coaches now try to keep up year-round soccer with the inclusion of indoor soccer.  With a never-ending cycle of playing the game, how can you best prevent your team from burning out?

First off, make sure to utilize your entire team.  Having players sit on the bench, unused game after game means that those on the field have to play more and are at a high risk of burnout.  Therefore, give all of your players some decent playing time, especially in non-competitive games so that everyone gets a bit of rest.

In practice, don’t be the tough coach and demand high intensity practices.  If players are exerting tons of energy at practice, they will gradually deteriorate over time, and won’t be able to compete at their best in matches.  Burnout also has a more serious side effect: injuries.

Therefore, create a very good stretching routine before and after games and practices.  Soccer players must be loose and ready for play, or else they could pull or tear something.  If you notice that players on your team are suffering lots of injuries, you may want to slow down practices and give them more rest.

Another important way to help prevent burnout is to inform players and their parents about the importance of eating well and staying hydrated.  A healthy diet will help players replenish the lost energy from year-long soccer, and hydration is vital to success at any sport.  Players should be instructed to drink water repeatedly throughout the day before matches so that they feel better in the games.

Year-round soccer has its costs and benefits.  There is a great improvement of skill from players competing all the time.  For aspiring professionals, such a training regimen is crucial for their development and can go a long way to preparing them for the game at higher levels.  The threat of burnout is a serious one and often results in injuries and more time off of the pitch, such as the case of Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshire, who is just now returning to the game after missing 14 months.

Therefore, make sure you prevent your players from suffering burnout from year-round soccer by making a concerted effort to balance the game-time they play, keeping practices from being to exhausting, stretching well, and instructing players about proper diet and hydration so that they can keep playing the game they love without the risk of burning out.


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