The better trainers will have planned the sessions in advance. Usually you'll start your fitness regime around five to six weeks before the first game. At the very begging things will probably be taken quite slowly, with light jogging and light warm-ups in the first week. Stretching is usually a big factor because many players are quite stiff at the start of preseason.
As soccer players use their legs most of the time these muscle groups need to be thoroughly worked out by doing moving and static exercises. The moving exercises usually involve standing on the spot and moving the legs and arms in circular patterns. This stretches the legs and arms, loosening the muscles. Static exercise is usually less intense and involves a great deal of stretching.
A lot of the emphasis is on match fitness. Running is therefore very important because it allows you to build up stamina. Cardio and aerobic exercises are usually increased gradually, the players running longer distances as they build up more stamina. Cross country runs are fairly popular, as these not only make players fitter, they build up camaraderie.
As the season draws near you should be focusing less on long distance running and more on short sprints and working with the ball. For the latter players are usually grouped in pairs or as five-a-side teams and have to work in tight spaces with the ball, touching it a maximum of once or twice before having to pass to a team member.
It's important that each player practices shooting and free kicks. Often this takes place right at the end of a session and it gives the goalkeeper valuable practice at stopping the ball. When warming down after these sessions it's absolutely essential that it's done gently, so that muscles are not torn or overworked. A warm down isn't supposed to be intense.
The idea is to make sure that the early part of preseason involves light work. Taking things easy is important because some players will return to training unfit, and they'll need more time to build up their fitness. To make sure that boredom does not set in, it's a good idea to incorporate some fun into practice. If not, players will find it demotivating and might not try hard.
As the season gets underway you may find that your preseason college soccer training regime has not quite gotten them fit for matches. This is not unusual. The only way for players to get fit for matches is to play competitive matches. Oftentimes it takes around two to three games for them to get fully fit for the actual game. Preseason should training help them get there quicker.
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