As soccer evolves, the competitive season is getting longer, and players face continuously increasing demands. One of the key aspects of the training calendar is the off-season, and we must carefully balance the goals of all parties involved: the player, the coaching staff, and the high-performance team:
- Players will be on a spectrum; some will want or need some heavy time off, while others will want to keep training to earn a starting spot.
- The coaching staff always wants to continue to develop their players, and, in their eyes, the off-season is the perfect period to achieve that goal.
- The high-performance team lives in the middle and will gauge what is best for the player from a physical and mental standpoint while considering everyone’s desired goals.
Planning for the upcoming season and determining training rhythm and associated training load progression is the first step in getting the off-season right and setting the team up for optimal preparation and success the following year.
In fact, reverse planning is a very common thinking process regularly used in professional sports; we study the end goal and its demand and requirements and work backward to build a plan that will help us grow to that desired outcome.
Next, I will go through a series of bullet points highlighting the basics steps in planning for the upcoming season.
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