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  • Writer's pictureVision Football

THE OFF-SEASON: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE

While the phrase 'off-season training' has the word OFF in it, it is absolutely not the time to switch off. If anything, it's the time to do the complete opposite. Switch ON.

As off-season time is upon us here in Australia, we want to ensure that players avoid making the same mistake that they keep making year after year. Taking the 'break' from football as a literal 'break'. We need to change the way we look at this time of year. We need to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to evolve, and get one step closer to becoming the player we want to be.


Now, this does not mean that after a long and tough season you don't deserve a break. Absolutely. Take a week or two off to relax. But then we have to start working. As a player, the off-season is the best time to develop your craft. With no team trainings, you can push yourself that extra bit harder, and you can tailor your trainings to eliminate weaknesses from your game, or to further reinforce your strengths. But where do you start?


Start in your room. With a note book, or the Notes app on your phone. The first thing you have to do is be honest with yourself. Analyse your own game and write down your weaknesses. I know this sounds simple, but we often lie to ourselves and hide our weaknesses. It's human nature. But to get the most out of the off-season, you have to be honest with yourself. I'll go first. My biggest weakness as a player, and particularly as a centre back, was my physicality. My jumping and speed to be exact. I was honest with myself, which allowed me to focus my time into making an off-season program that benefitted me and worked on the things I needed to work on. I've been spending time in the gym working on the things that will help me jump higher, and run faster (younger players, I recommend you focus on your technical and tactical development. While the physical side of the game is still important at your age, your priority should be on the ball). Analysing your own game (in an honest way) is the key to a productive off-season.


STEP 1: I lose the ball often when I try to beat my defender. I also struggle to play at a high intensity for the full match because I get too tired.


Now, after you have found your weaknesses, you need to figure out what you need to work on to eliminate that weakness (GOALS). Think carefully about this, as it is a crucial step, and make the goals specific. Don't work on too many things as doing a small amount of everything will only result in small progress. Pick 1 or 2 weaknesses that you think are most detrimental to your game, and find a solution for them. Less is more.


STEP 2: I lose the ball often when I try to beat my defender. I will improve my 1v1 attacking ability, particularly by learning to be able to beat my player on both the outside and inside to make myself unpredictable. I also struggle to play at a high intensity for the full match because I get too tired. I will work on my fitness, both aerobic and anaerobic.


Once you have your weaknesses, and targets, plan ahead. Make a realistic training schedule (program) that you will stick to consistently. Whether that is 2, 4, or 6 trainings a week, make sure you stick to it. Consistency is so crucial for a successful off-season as the moment you miss a session, you'll miss two the next week, and then 3 and so on until you rarely train. Set a realistic amount of trainings.


STEP 3: I have looked at my schedule, and I will fit 5 sessions in per week, every week consistently.


If you can train 4 or 5 times per week, this does not mean that 100% of your time training has to go towards fixing that weakness. It is important to work on other things too, to keep them sharp. Create a training program, with a focus for each weekly session, and obviously ensure the target that we set in step 2 is being met.


STEP 4: Training Program

  • GOAL: Improve 1v1 Attacking and Become Fitter

    • Monday: Aerobic Fitness (Long distance)

    • Tuesday: 1v1 Attacking Focused

    • Wednesday: Overall Technique

    • Thursday: Dribbling + 1v1 Attacking Focused

    • Friday: Anaerobic Fitness (High Speed, Short Rest)

Now, when you get some time today or tonight, sit down, follow these steps, and create your off-season plan. Once you have it, get out onto the field, work hard and smart, and most importantly, enjoy. Playing football is a privilege.


STEP 5: ENJOY!!!


Thanks for supporting our blog, I hope that this step-by-step guide helped, and hopefully you are able to reach every goal you set this off season. If you need any help creating your program, reach out to us on Instagram or through our email. We're always here to help. Let's get to work!


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