For many players, summer offers an opportunity to work on fitness, foundational skills and weaknesses. For others, it may be time to recover from nagging injuries. Exactly when you should return to training and competitive play following your spring season depends on many factors including post-season schedule and physical and mental health.
While rest can be beneficial, it should rarely ever mean 100% rest. Even incorporating in light jogs and bike flushes in the days after your final matches will help propel you into summer training. If you want to improve and be a competitive player, it is important to find a rhythm and keep it during the summer even when your team ends the season. Maintaining fitness over the summer takes planning and dedication.
The summer gives players the freedom to improve on their weaknesses, fitness and work on foundation skills. Consider ball control for example. This skill is easy developed independently. Check out this link below which recommends training with different size and types of balls to improve on control: https://www.perfectsoccerskills.com/blogs/news/114817603-using-smaller-balls-to-develop-better-control. Summer is also a perfect time to work on cardio and strength training since there is no worry about being sore for matches.
Before you jump right into a summer training regime, remember one of the most important factors in planning out your summer should be your health! While many players are anxious to jump back into training, players recently recovering from injuries should use this time wisely. The last thing you want to do is further aggravate nagging injuries. If there’s been an issue with your body this spring, use summertime wisely to do physical therapy exercises and corrective stretching. This will help you strengthen and lengthen your muscle tissue, thereby preventing future injuries.
According to a recent Dutch study, high school players may be more susceptible to injury following a recent growth spurt. One doctor suggests that overuse injuries can be substantially reduced by early intervention. Check out this doctor’s recommendations and interpretation of the recent Dutch study at: https://www.socceramerica.com/publications/article/81630/teenage-growth-spurt-a-risky-time-for-soccer-inju.html
Finally, it is important to acknowledge that some group training is important even in the off-season. Even just training with a handful of teammates once or twice a week can help you stay as close to game shape as possible. Or maybe this is your opportunity to train with a new group of players in a summer league. This may provide a breath of fresh air from the same training and players you’ve been with all season. You would be surprised what kind of potential you can unlock from playing with new players, training styles, and coaches. All in all, it should go without saying that summer training is absolutely necessary for serious players.