Developing Leg Strength in U10 Players

Discussion in 'Coach' started by csoccer, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. csoccer

    csoccer New Member

    Jul 1, 2003
    Texas
    I have a group of U10's that are playing competitive soccer this fall in preparation for Club tryouts next summer. Several of the boys have great skill on the ball but lack the leg strength to finish, cross or clear.

    I am looking for a few exercises drills that I can give the boys to work on outside practice to develop their leg strength (both legs). Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance for the assistance.
     
  2. Motterman

    Motterman Member

    Jul 8, 2002
    Orlando, FL
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Roller skating or Rollerblading works good. It's fun for them and their legs get a good workout.

    Being so young, I don't know how receptive they'd be to traditional leg strengthening exercises, etc.
     
  3. csoccer

    csoccer New Member

    Jul 1, 2003
    Texas
    I think they might be a little young for weight training. What other traditional exercises might you suggest? Thanks.
     
  4. Motterman

    Motterman Member

    Jul 8, 2002
    Orlando, FL
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Knee bends: Standing up straight, legs about shoulder width. Arms out in front. Bend the knees without bending over. Almost like a squat, but without bending/hunching the back.

    Running in place trying to get your knees up as high as possible.

    Those are some of the ones I remember doing.

    But, since you are trying to improve clearances and shooting, maybe some work on technique of using the hips more to generate power/foot speed would do some good as well.
     
  5. WhiteOut

    WhiteOut New Member

    Aug 26, 2003
    Indianapolis
    u10 leg strength

    persoanlly i don't feel it's so important to do long crosses and shots just yet. nevertheless, i do some work on it about every fourth or fith practice session. what i have found is htye will develop it naturally for the most part, but i have used a few line drills from time to time that seemed to help--at lest get them *trying* to make the longer shots. before i mention the ones thta have worked for us, i will remind you not to forget to teach proper technique first. and you can do that just standing still, showing them *exactly* where the plant foot should go, how the striking foot should contact the ball. slo-mo, then half, then regular speed. most of them will get it and duplicate the technique if you show them...then have them do it with one approach step--not a huge run, prep touch, etc.--work up to that.

    1. one game we do that they just love--i dunno the name, so we just call it 'that game' and everyone gets a great laugh:

    --start w/ 3 lines--oneat each post, and one inside the half circle--coach stands off to the side between the 18 and the circle.
    --post lines have balls, and coach has a few balls. coach sends a ball across to be shot on an open goal first touch., player keeps advancing to goal.
    --as soon a ball is struck, post 1 player passes a ball to about the penalty spot to be finessed to a low corner, player keeps advancing
    --as soon as ball is struck, post 2 player tosses up a lob for an offensive header to low corner.
    --players rotate--even tho they are in lines, once they get this everyone is moving pretty quickly, so no real standing around--they have to pay attention.

    1 pt for each goal, 1 bonus pt if score all 3.

    i might run 2 reps each side, then take top 3-4 scores and run a playoff to find a winner--they all love it and cheer for one another. later when they start to develop good technique and finishing, i add a keeper.

    2. at times, i'll run gauntlets down each side line--they may only shoot on goal after beating second defender, and it must be on that first step after beating them--the may not dribble to setup the ball perfectly--they must shoot within 1-2 steps of the win. defenders are made to practice good defender technique, but not to win the ball--merely challenge ball carrier. if you setup your gauntlets properly, you'll have them beating second defender at about the corner of the 18--teaches them they CAN shoot from out there! open goals at first--i want them haveing some success early to build their belief.

    these are just a couple easy ones that they 'get' early on and enjoy, and shows them they can do it withou having to come clear to the goal box.

    i found a ton of great stuff at www.finesoccer.com

    just remember the theme of your session--if it is shooting/crossing/finishing, then stick to coaching points about that even if you see mistakes in other areas at that particular session.
     
  6. bigdush

    bigdush New Member

    Jul 22, 2003
    Parker, CO
    Some not-so-intense hill training could probably help develop some leg strength, just don't get to crazy with it. When they get a little older you can do plyometric excercises, they seem to work well because they are done using natural body weight as the resistance.

    Another simple excercise is to set your youngsters in front of a chain link fence and have them pound balls at the fence (using both pegs of course). You can start with standing strikes (no stepping into the ball, plant leg already planted next to the ball) and move onto a regular run-up strike. Chain link is good because it kills the ball.

    Overall, I wouldn't worry about leg strength too much though. Keep them always with a ball at their feet and they will develop the leg strength as their desire to hit different types of passes develops.

    Just some suggestions.
     
  7. Isisbud

    Isisbud New Member

    Mar 10, 2003
    Encinitas
    Strength is the LAST thing in the world an 8-9 year old needs to develop under ANY circumstances.

    Every MINUTE you spend not working on touch and skill is a wasted minute--at that age.
     
  8. Pokeden

    Pokeden New Member

    Jul 20, 2003
    I concur!
    This age needs to develop skill-foot and eye; as well as coordination, perception, and understanding of the game.
    Too much of the wrong thing will lead to players playing for their size and strength...not for their abilities as true soccer players.
     
  9. Bleacherbutt

    Bleacherbutt New Member

    May 1, 2001
    Rochester, NY
    I agree on the strength training for young kids. However, speed and agility training is key for competitive soccer. Teaching kids to run with proper form will yield bigger dividends faster than just touch drills. Agility is necessary for quality defending. It's worked for me and my teams.
     
  10. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

    Real Madrid, DC United
    Aug 3, 2000
    Raleigh, NC
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    100% correct. High schools are filled with players who have no ball skills but are big and strong. Heck, you might even say that about the National Team. Only at the high school age should physical development be at issue. Just let them play.
     
  11. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 3, 2002
    Denver, CO

    exactly. Not only will their bodies not respond to this type of training, but you run the risk of boring them, and injuring them (weights.)

    You are better off accepting their age related weakness and focusing on something you can control..
     
  12. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with most of the other posters that think that at this age, to worry more about touches then strength. Maybe throw in some more drills or games involving passing or shooting. I'm working with some under 10s and we spend a lot of time with game that use the basic skills; passing, shooting, throw ins and some defending. Something you might want to suggest is finding a wall outside and just kick the ball against it using both feet. It will help with both touch on the ball and use of the muscles in the legs.
     
  13. elainemichelle

    elainemichelle New Member

    Jul 20, 2002
    A couple sprints should be enough plyometrics to build leg strength at that age.
     

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