Conditioning Training (U6 to U12)

So I am constantly fighting this battle with parents and even other soccer educators.

“Why don’t I condition my kids?”

The answer is quite simple.

Opportunity Costs

Those of you that took Economics in college will understand this term.  My kids train three times a week for 1.5 hours.  Let’s say I conditioned my kids 20 minutes each of those three days for a total of 60 minutes.

My kids play about 10 months out of the year with a couple months off each year.  So that equates to about 44 weeks of play time a year.  To condition my kids would mean that I would short them 44 hours of training where they were on the ball becoming smarter and more intelligent players.  Compound that by 5 years from the ages of 8 through 12 for competitive club soccer and now you are looking at 220 hours.

Now I don’t know about you, but 220 hours of global training will never be made up in the child’s career.  As they get older their free time dwindles and their training requirements will increase.  You have just lost 220 hours of development for your children.  And for what, so they can be what you perceive as “in shape”.

Let’s remember, kids are active creatures.  They play at recess, lunch and when they get home.  Running around is the norm for them.  Then if they are my kids, they spend three days a week with me for 1.5 hours training the Global way.  My kids train intense and hard for 1.5 hours.  They are constantly moving with very little rest.  The game is the global way to condition kids at this age.  Not even mentioning the game play on the weekends.

So next time you see a coach out there with 9 year olds running sprints and laps for conditioning I hope you look back on this article and realize what a disservice that coach is doing to those kids and their future soccer development.  There is plenty of time in the lives of these athletes for strength, speed, agility and conditioning training.  Don’t waste these vital years falling into the American trap of what an “Athlete” is.

In soccer, all great players are intellects first, and athletes second.

Coach Randle

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