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Improving Stamina in Soccer Players

Question:

My online client is a really good soccer player, he's 14 and has tons of potential. He asked me how he can improve his stamina. I told him sled forwards & backwards but no access to a sled back on Kurdistan. 

Any suggestions? Deadmill?


Answer:

Range I've had some articles on stamina. Let me see what I can find. From the archives:

https://mailchi.mp/5f8f0fd08f3f/give-me-2-mins-to-talk-about-conditioning?e=[UNIQID]

My recap on conditioning is to be faster than your competition. Most soccer players needing to improve stamina are too slow. So they're working at 90% to keep up with someone else's 80%. Same in basketball, being the fastest is the first cheat code to conditioning. Then, you're literally working less hard. To do this, if you're naturally slow, you usually have to increase your relative strength to be the best on the court or field, and in all the running muscles. There's a huge difference between:

a) powerlifter who doesn't sprint etc

b) soccer player who runs 50 miles a week and needs "more stamina"

Athlete :

a) powerlifter: could probably work in gentle sled work etc and have great healthy levels of stamina

b) soccer player who runs 50 miles and needs "more stamina" needs to increase relative strength in the areas that make you run faster

And yep: tall, skinny, weak, is a recipe for "poor stamina" in soccer… The trick played on kids like that is more running. They stay the same, stay slow, stay struggling

You are changing his life and he'll eventually appear to have great stamina. Kobe Bryant's strategy at one point was in a quote, that his 90 would be someone else's 100. So he'd never seem tired. He did this also through skill, meaning that others had to work harder to keep up because his skill was a step ahead. Meaning he literally had to use less physical effort.

If you can run the fastest on the soccer field, and dedicate yourself to go-to moves, you'll have the opportunity to appear to have the best stamina.

Ben Clarfield Soccer Freak Checklist would be a recipe to appear to have "stamina". Ben Clarfield we were discussing how if a 14 year old soccer player wants "more stamina" it's actually a trick: they're relatively too weak which = slow = having to work harder to keep up with faster players

I think of basketball stamina actually as my relative strength + my go-to moves. Meaning the FEWER moves I need to fake out a defender, the less work I have to do. And then I'll be able to be more effective at the end of a game, than my opponent. 

The third and final factor which I use, though most won't be mentally tough enough for: I play my f*** a** off and try to tire myself out. I TRY to f*** up my conditioning. Because in doing so, I stimulate myself to get more conditioned. And even if I get wiped, whoever is having to keep up with me will feel worse. Meaning: no matter how strong you are, no matter how skilled you are, you CAN still get tired if you literally try to make more plays

In basketball if you try to lead a game in assists and steals and rebounds... Damn you might be tired!

But if your team does that, you're going to be very hard to beat. But DEFINITELY the concept of my 90% being someone else's 100% - that's the most primary point to me, because that's going to affect EVERY play of every game, regardless of strategy.

Sometimes it takes a bigger more obvious analogy to realize how simple something is. If your 14 year old player went and played against 8 year olds, no one would ever think about his conditioning. But if he played against pros, the coaches would all probably tell him he needs to run more even if he's running 50 miles a week. He'll appear to have low stamina, but it's only because he'd have to work so damn hard to keep up with the pros. Very few pro coaches would see someone struggling with stamina, and tell them the route out is long-term progressive overload of the movements which allow them to run. And again, a 14 year old who is already running every day, is very different than someone who simply doesn't ever run/sprint. He's working harder to keep up with 16 and 17 year olds than they are with him. This kills a lot of careers because when you work so hard to get talented, you wind up playing against older players. I was pushed into endless running AND plyos because I lacked stamina, lacked bounce. What I needed was strength, and not just in the traditional lifts! So my career was doing everything WRONG, then unravelling it.

If you have a super hardworking, skilled 14 year old, here's how to mess them up...

1. Advise them more running because they lack "stamina"

2. Advise them loads of plyos because they're not "springy"

3. When you finally resort to strength training and diet, put the on weight gain diets with low nutrients and massive calories and have them train primarily upper body and even the upper body work with half reps

4. When they try to train their legs, and their knees are in pain due to years of 1 and 2, either tell the to "skip legs" because they're already "doing legs" by playing their sport, or tell them to avoid knees over toes and every other zone that is tough for them.

Range, [17/06/2022 01:35]

Oh yea his soccer coach has him doing all the suicides/agility/plyo work at practice. But how can I tell him not to listen to his soccer coach? He's got a heavy schedule with soccer, gym & school. Too much for a 14 year old who only knows he wants to play his sport atm

Ben Patrick, [17/06/2022 01:36]

Range right he's probably fucked and has very little chance of knowing what his potential is, or succeeding in the world stage. You're his only hope. Fortunately you can give him SIMPLE workouts! And with measurable progress! Do NOT try to do too much. For example, Dense style training and keeping exact training journal and getting him super strong in the movements that will hold him up!

Paul Pettigrew, [17/06/2022 01:37]

I know your being serious here but I laughed at how you put that across😂 but totally get what your saying. LOL exactly! My own life was literally a recipe of how to wind up with a 19 inch vertical

Ben Patrick, [17/06/2022 02:35]

It's really not easy to wind up with a 19" lol!!!! Takes masterful planning, doing the opposite of what you need for many years. My 6 second 40 and 19 inch vertical were school records. Probably never broken since. And I was BY FAR the hardest worker on my team.

It would make a great list actually, like a hierarchy checklist if an athlete wants more stamina:

1. Are you the fastest on the field?

2. Are you the strongest pound for pound on the field?

3. Are you the most skilled on the field?

4. Would you smash everyone on the field in a sled contest?

5. Are you addressing the areas of stress which your sport doesn’t maximally push? (Ie: a football player in pads, might get extra adaptation by wearing track spikes or using an Air Runner and working up to greater peak speeds)

That’s just a sample. I’m going to make this next week’s YouTube breakdown, so I’ll polish it. All the feedback here has created a great topic to educate people.

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