The season between seasons can be as important as the time you actually spend with shinguards on.
Soccer season for many in the Charlotte area ends in November. Kids are in school for a few more weeks, then begin a holiday break. By the time you know it, you're back in school - and just weeks away from Spring registration and the opening of practice.
Any muscle gain you've made during the season can be lost in as little as 10 to 14 days.
What's the best way to spend this time between seasons, then?
Here are a few suggestions.
- Reduce. Cut down your duration (how long you train) and frequency (how often you train) by 1/3 or 2/3. Either will allow you to maintain endurance built up during the season. Also, decrease your intensity (how hard you train) by 1/3 or 2/3. No need to go full-bore in the off-season.
- Get Aerobic. Your exercise doesn't have to be soccer-based. Training for cardiovascular health will improve your overall soccer game. Ride a bike. Swim. Run. Hike. Do the physical things you enjoy doing most between seasons.
- Play indoor/futsal. If you feel fine physically, and miss playing, join an indoor or futsal league. Indoor play is fast-paced, and will give you precious more touches on the ball. Futsal, played with similar rules to soccer but with a much smaller ball, sharpens your ball-handling skills.
- Work on your skills. Take a low-impact approach, and simply work on your foot skills. Pass with a friend one day, or work on shooting. Staying close to the game and refreshing your technical skills will make the opening of practice this much easier.
- Rest. For a few days, get away from the game a bit. Look at your shins. They're pretty beat up, and chances are, they're not the only bruised parts you have. Soccer is a physically and mentally strenuous game. Make sure your off-season training gives you a break, too.