By: Dan SchuckSports Performance SpecialistSpectrum Sports Performance
It is the second day of January, over 3 months away from their first game, and several of the Orlando City Soccer players are putting their preseason preparations into high gear. We started out today focusing on building a solid base for their bodies to help them endure the rigors of the upcoming season. Much of our focus in these next two weeks will be to identify compensations in their movement patterns, improve their ankle, knee, and hip stabilization in all planes of motion, develop and maintain good core strength, and build an endurance base for the players. Many times, people see a professional athlete and start imagining all of these unbelievable exercises they can do, and want them to be doing the most advanced movements and lifts they can put together. The truth is, most of these players will benefit tremendously from doing the simple things such as a bound to stabilization (jumping from one leg to the other leg and balancing on that leg without a hop or flailing limbs to keep them from falling). So on day 1, we are going to start with Mini Bands around their knees to promote glute activation; our plyometrics will have no countermovement and will be one rep at a time finishing each repetition with stability. They will do a resisted linear march with a focus on maintaining good body alignment and force production throughout the kinetic chain. We will finish with some linear-based conditioning and move on to our power and strength portion. The strength sets will concentrate on tempos in the eccentric phase of the lift, and require more stabilization around the joints. We always finish with an extremely important component: recovery. The players will use a combination of bands, foam rolls, tennis balls, and other items to work the soft muscle tissue, stretch, and help the areas we just worked extremely hard to recover quicker.