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Offseason Soccer Training Programs

author image Stewart Flaherty
With a sport psychology master's degree and a successful coaching background, Stewart Flaherty has experience in improving performance in a number of areas. His articles specialize in sport psychology, nutrition and coaching.
Offseason Soccer Training Programs
A man and woman are training together outside. Photo Credit: Milenko Bokan/iStock/Getty Images

Offseason training is crucial for soccer development. A long period of inactivity in the offseason can lead to a player losing his touch on the ball, as well as hurting physical fitness. It is important for you to train in the offseason with a ball at your feet to maintain technical ability. Exercise will maintain a fitness base to begin the preseason with.

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The soccer offseason is a crucial time for strength training. During the season, you should taper strength work to avoid strain and injury, meaning the soccer offseason is the time to build strength. Performs weight-training exercises such as the clean lift, shoulder press, and squat. The focus should be on performing fast and powerful movements.

Speed and Agility

The ability to move quickly and perform sharp, explosive movements is a vital skill. Speed and agility work should be performed during soccer offseason training to improve quickness and develop fast-twitch muscle fibers. College soccer coach Tony Marrero recommends that players work on speed by performing a number of short and long sprints. Interval training is also recommended to build fitness and recovery rate. Interval training involves a mix of sprints and jogs. This training simulates the physical demands a soccer player will experience during a competitive game.

Ball Work

To maintain touch and technique, perform ball work during the soccer offseason. Noting that sharp passing and a good touch on the ball are vital skills for a soccer player, coach Marerro suggests offseason ball training that involved players in pairs with a ball. You should work on your first touch, passing, dribbling, and shooting consistently during offseason training. Mix up the drills to avoid becoming repetitive, and put an emphasis on fun and enjoyment.


Former U.S. men’s national team coach Bob Bradley emphasizes the importance of physical-fitness training during the soccer offseason. Your primary objective during this time, Bradley says, should be to increase your soccer-specific conditioning level, of which aerobic fitness is the foundation. Bradley recommends building aerobic fitness through sustained, moderate-intensity movement. Two workouts per week lasting 30 minutes each is a minimum for increasing aerobic fitness. Running, cycling, and swimming are all suggested aerobic fitness-training activities, as well as small-sided soccer games.

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