It is very important for athletes to stay in shape during the off season.It is very easy to sit around the houseand watch T.V. all day long, but for the athlete who wants to better themselves physically it is essential to younger athletes, pre high school,it is more important that you play other sports and enjoy yourself.You should have fun playing with friends and trying a variety of sports. If you do indeed play other sports, they will provide plenty of fitness, and you will not need to do any additional fitness for soccer.
Athletes 14 years and older (high school athletes), who are only playing soccer should really take off season training and conditioning seriously. The biggest advantage you will have over your opponent is in how you prepared for the season. If you come into your season fit and in shape, you will not have to waste time bending over and gasping for air during practices. Off season training should consist of long distance running. That's right, put your running shoes on and hit the streets. You should be running approximately 15-25 minutes every other day (minimum). You can also mix up your running with strength training exercises such as lunges and squats. Weight lifting is not necessary, but can benefit if you feel ready.
What to look for Coaches: Make sure your athletes are running at a good pace during at least one or two of their weekly runs. It is O.K. if they slowly jog every so often, but a good moderate pace, that makes them breathe hard and sweat is best. This not only increases their cardiovascular abilities, but makes them use their mind to persevere through the run. That feeling of success and completion of runs is what they need to feel when they train during the season, so it is good to have them in the same mind set year around.