Soccer training after a summer break

We’ve been training for two weeks now and we already have 3 injured girls. I’ve done a little research and wanted to write something quick about what I’ve noticed and what I’ve read.

DETRAINING

First and foremost, there is such a thing called Detraining. I’ve never heard of this before today but the information I read seems legit and from many sites. Here’s what I read…

Periods of time greater than four weeks can start to be seen in various components of a player’s physical fitness. This is seen in sprints, strength, body fat, and even in flexibility.

So does that mean that our girls are getting injured from not being as flexible? Could be, but this isn’t the main reason. It’s actually all of the above.

Let me lay it out here. Detraining causes:

  • Decrease in effective oxygen consumption – Your lungs are out of shape
  • Decrease in blood circulation – Your heart isn’t as strong
  • Decrease in strength – Your muscles have experienced atrophy
  • Decrease in speed – You’re not as fast or nimble
  • Decrease in agility – You don’t last as long
  • An increase in body fat – You weigh more, meaning you have to work harder to move
  • Decrease in flexibility – You’re more prone to injury

Let’s subtract all of this negative to your body and then add on the pressures of tryouts and having to outperform others to make the team each year. Basically, your body is significantly out of shape and you’re putting it through extremely difficult stress to standout over other players trying to take your spot. The odds are against you!

I’m typically on summer pickup leagues every year so I didn’t experience this as much as others, but I could visibly see a difference in some of our girls. I’m sure this happens every year but I’m sure I’m just more aware this time.

WHAT THEN?

Basically, you’re sucking wind and prone to hurt yourself but not all is at a loss. After reading a lot about detraining, I decided to read about how to get back in the saddle. Most articles agreed that the biggest trap into getting back into shape is doing too much too soon. Us youngins can do a bit more than a full fledge adult but we still need to gradually get back into it before we push hard.

I couldn’t find any reputable articles on soccer training after a lapse in training so I’m taking some knowledge from a few others I read about.

Start slow and start as if you were a beginner. Most articles say start very slow with low intensity and low volume for around two weeks. You’re allowed to increase one thing at a time for each workout, either intensity or volume, but not both. You need to slowly get your muscles used to doing work.

Your main goal is to push just enough that you got your heart rate up, but avoid overdoing it or becoming incredibly sore. If this happens, you’d then need a longer than normal time to recover, and thus would make your workout counter productive.

Give each muscle group time to recover in-between workouts. Meaning, don’t train the same muscles every time. Also, add days solely for recovery and stretching. The timeframe here differs in each article but it seems that after two weeks of build up, then try slowly getting back into your sport. Again, being careful not to overdo it.

This doesn’t mean, incremental training in the gym and then dumping it all and heading out to the pitch 5 days a week again. Instead, add a pitch day to your weekly training and then a second in a few weeks.

All in all, don’t get in this situation! If you’re in a competitive anything, take a weekend off to be lazy, or even a week of vacation. Don’t let that drag out to MONTHS! If it’s only been a few weeks, get up off of your couch, put your phone down, forget about Snapchat, and get out there as your body is just starting to feel the effects of detraining.

Think of your team that needs you. Be awesome!

Emma

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