How to Maintain Fitness During the Holidays For Youth Soccer Players
By: Jared White
Director of Communications
Holiday breaks and vacation times are meant for rest and relaxation. Every player looks forward to the opportunity to crash just a little bit after a long fall soccer season; and who can blame them? However, if you have a soccer player that is looking to maintain their fitness, it's important to put in some extra work so that they can return from break just as strong as they left. A Florida winter break typically lasts two to three weeks for students just getting out of school. Plenty of time to try some of the simple tips that we've compiled below.
- Doing something is better than nothing! Try having your player do some simple arm or leg stretches each day. Walk or run around the neighborhood. A little bit of fitness can make a world of difference before returning to the soccer field. Two straight weeks of inactivity can reduce fitness by almost 30%, so it's best to workout some during the break.
- Eat healthy the best you can. This is obviously true during anytime of the year, but nutrition is just as important as fitness. It can be easy to indulge on different meals or desserts during vacation. Eating right will ultimately affect how our bodies perform during a workout session. It's okay to have an off day, just be sure load up on protein and carbs to get the most out of your next exercise session. Remember to stay hydrated!
- Practice anytime, anywhere. Soccer is very much a team sport, but that doesn't mean that your player can't practice on their own. Try finding a small space in your backyard or a small open area to practice some individual kicking techniques. Constant repetition of the same few moves over and over will commit it to muscle memory. This can be adapted to team practice once break has concluded.
- Have fun with it! Perhaps the most important tip that we can offer is to just have fun with it. Being on break gives your player the chance to exercise at their own pace. Encourage them to do some fitness work just keep everything sharp. It's also okay to join your player in the fun as well.
These are just a few ideas that any player can adapt to maintain fitness and endurance skills during the holiday season. For more information, try speaking with your coach or do some research what you can do to help. Adapt a plan that works best for your player!