What You’re Doing:
Playing in pickup and/or relatively casual league games. You spend the game going for glory, only really giving your all when you have a chance to get a goal or an assist. Unless, you’re a defenseman, then it’d be the other way around. Regardless, you’ve got some brief bursts of energy coinciding with long periods of rest.
What You Should Be Doing:
If you’re playing a lot, more running can just get to be too much. Duffy has worked with a number of soccer players, and extra running on the field can wear you down. The best thing you can do is gain some more explosiveness for the games and give your joints a chance to de-stress. Low-impact cardio like swimming and cycling can help with the joints, but you’ll need a little more for extra bursts of speed. “Work on change-of-direction exercises – that’s a huge part of the game,” Duffy says. “5-10-5 change of direction cone drills, zigzag cone drills and 4-point cone drills are best for soccer.”
All you need is that extra step on your defender to beat him and get the ball in the back of the net. And if you play pickup, chances are those other guys get out there way more often than you do. This is your most efficient way to give yourself a shot.