How to Improve at Soccer Off the Field
Soccer performance doesn’t only depend on how much you train on the field, so you need to make a few changes in your routine in order to improve at soccer. So, today we’d like to give you some tips on how to do so.
Whether you play amateur or professional soccer, the series of tips we show you will help your attitude and aptitude improve significantly every time you step on the field. Apply them permanently and it won’t be long before you start noticing their benefits.
Nutritional recommendations to improve your soccer performance
Nutrition is a central part of achieving goals and progress in any activity. Furthermore, you won’t get anywhere if you neglect it. Despite this, many players don’t follow a special diet to suit their needs.
Lack of knowledge or interest, or underestimation of its importance are some of the reasons why many people don’t stick to a healthy diet. Not only that, but it’s also common to believe in certain half-truths. For example, the myth that increasing protein intake promotes muscle recovery.
Increase carbohydrate intake
A study published in the Journal of Science in Sports and Exercise in 2019 states that high-carb diets delay the onset of fatigue on the field. They also improve soccer performance, optimize muscle glycogen and reduce net glycogen depletion.
Think of carbs as the gasoline in a vehicle. The greater the tank’s reserve (in this case, stored as glycogen in your muscles), the greater the distance it can travel. As you can imagine, it won’t be long before it stops if it’s low.
Include protein in your diet
Protein is necessary as a complement to other food groups and not as the only option on your plate. In fact, research published in the Journal of Novel Physiotherapies in 2013 suggests that a diet containing both carbs and protein can increase endurance running at the end of the game by up to 43%.
The proportions vary according to your age, weight, and height, although evidence indicates you can obtain excellent results with a daily intake of 55-60 % carbohydrates, 25-30 % lipids, and 12-15 % protein.
Read more Injuries Cristiano Ronaldo has Suffered
Drink plenty of fluids
Researchers remark that fluid loss after a session, game, or match is equivalent to 1.7% of body mass. Of course, you should hydrate before and during the game but many people forget to do so afterward.
Drinking water benefits you in many ways: it helps replenish your sodium levels, aids muscle recovery, regulates your body temperature, and reduces the likelihood of cramping.
In addition, other nutritional recommendations you can take into account are:
- Avoiding processed foods
- Trying to cook your own food
- Avoiding eating three hours before the game
- Eating smaller portions throughout the day instead of two or three large ones
Put this into practice and you’ll see how your performance improves in just a couple of weeks. Read about Lewandowski’s nutritional diet if you want to know what an elite player’s diet is like. However, we suggest you consult a nutrition specialist to devise a personalized plan.
Physical conditioning to improve your soccer performance
We’re not going to outline what you should do during training in this section, as you probably already know. However, you can always include some habits to enhance it.
Set realistic goals
You should set goals to work on it if you really want to improve your technique, speed, change of pace, definition, and other characteristics of your game. You won’t improve otherwise.
What you should do is sit down and think about what aspects of your performance you want to improve. Write them down and then set realistic short, medium, and long-term goals. Devise a plan to work on these goals on a weekly basis with the help of your coach or on your own.
Evaluate the results
Sit down and evaluate the results after applying the above. For example, how much has your speed improved from one, two, or three months ago? Also, use objective data such as your times over a certain distance on the course. This is because you won’t know how much progress you’ve made without evaluating the results objectively.
It may be that your goals are too ambitious or that your training plan isn’t working if the improvement doesn’t align with your goals. It also means you’re not making the proper effort if that’s the case.
Do strength training
Strength training is an essential part of any on-field preparation routine. However, it’s one of the most underrated of all the recommendations for improving soccer performance. Why is that? Well, because many soccer players don’t like it.
There are dozens of studies and research that support the use of strength training to enhance performance in soccer players. In fact, they benefit at all levels so it should be an integral part of their weekly routine.
Lifestyle and mindset to improve your soccer performance
There are several issues you can include in your lifestyle to improve your soccer performance as a complement to the above. The most important of these is discipline. Even talent will be useless if you don’t practice and train for it.
Just consider how the careers of some of the most promising players have been ruined for lack of discipline. In turn, others skyrocketed into glory because they’ve prepared for it since they were younger.
Some simple guidelines include:
- Respect your nightly rest hours
- Skip tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs
- Get regular massages to enhance muscle recovery
- Enjoy your leisure time to take your mind off the game
- Share with your teammates to build confidence and closeness
- Detect improvable group mistakes (soccer is a team sport)
- Watch recordings of how your favorite players train or play and imitate them
Make sure you enjoy the sport because it isn’t worth it otherwise. A person who’s enthusiastic about soccer will have no trouble implementing all of the habits that’ll make them better players.It might interest you...