With the eyes of the sports world firmly on the game of soccer this month as the Gold Cup, U-17 World Cup and Women's World Cup all taking place, we take a look into soccer Combine Training.
The methodology of soccer Combine Training is built on understanding and training all aspects of an athlete's performance so they can better showcase their abilities' on the field. Soccer is a fluid game both technically and tactically. Players work on developing a natural feel and rhythm to their movements and collectively they need to be able to play together with proper spacing and timing.
Combine360 Master Trainer Corey Stenstrup has been fortunate to work individually with several US National Team soccer players over the past decade. All IMG Academy soccer program student-athletes also enjoy this training through the 9-month Academy Program. Alfred Koroma, who already has 2 goals in this month's U-17 World Cup, is one of these talented young players and he helped Corey demonstrate some of the soccer specific challenges before leaving for the U-17 World Cup.
The first piece Alfred worked with Corey on was the Dynamic Warm-Up. In the dynamic warm-up you want to include diverse multi-directional movements that also involve joint positions and rhythms used on the field. Take a look at Alfred and some of his U-17 teammates in action here:
The next Combine Training challenge Alfred participated in was based on soccer-specific movement. When creating the movement challenges, Corey recommended combining technical mechanics and creative tactical movements. This allows you to train movement proficiency while at the same time being able to work on linking soccer specific movements together seamlessly in a space and at a tempo consistent with game speed. You can layer in reads or reactions as well as mimicking striking or heading a ball to further increase the soccer context of the challenges. Take a look at a footwork drill with Alfred that finished with a strong attack on goal:
Now, watch how Alfred's Combine Training work translated onto the field as he scored a goal in Team USA's first match at the U-17 World Cup:
Finally, Corey worked with Alfred to integrate a metabolic component into the training session. Taking this approach will allow for creativity and challenge variety while also training multiple aspects of soccer performance simultaneously. Here, Alfred works through an agility drill, take a look:
Stay tuned to Combine360.com for more soccer Combine Training, tips and challenges for other sports. Also, best of luck to Alfred and the U-17 team, as well as UA Women's athletes Lauren Cheney and Heather Mitts in their quests for the Cup!