Being a good soccer player requires good balance, coordination, strength, agility, and endurance. All these attributes are important for player growth, skill development and confidence. Soccer requires player to be aware of their bodies, to balance and control when taking players on, jumping to win a 50/50 ball, or defending their opponents. To learn more about the benefits that slacklining brings for soccer, we interviewed the administration team at Steamboat soccer club, a club that incorporates slackline activities to help players build leg muscles, work on posture, and stabilize knees and ankle joints.
A challenging fun
Linda John, director of coaching at Steamboat feels that incorporating slacklining into their season plan brings an element of fun with a challenge. "To find success, you must be focused, engage your core and be persistent." she says. It’s also a great activity to work on team culture and make training fun!
According to Sam House, the Goalkeeper Coach and Personal Trainer, all the strength, power and speed in the world is useless until it is adaptable. Balance is one of the key ingredients to unlocking an athlete's physical ability by making the body adapt to exteroceptive and proprioceptive demand. Slacklining provides a unique situation in which the ground moves underneath the individual and forces the body to adapt, strength is almost taken out of the equation. Attention to breathing, mental focus and mobility become the most important qualities. The benefits of incorporating this type of training are almost endless for our athletes and ourselves.
From a goalkeeper's perspective, our game is mostly mental followed by periods of intense physical exertion. This makes slacklining a perfect addition to a goalkeepers training regimen. Throw some juggling in there, maybe a few shot stopping drills while on the line and I feel that is a constant counterbalancing, breathing, the ability to trust your foot placement and most importantly having fun. It a great way to bring fun to a training environment but also improve one of our most important skills, balance.
Leg strength and stability
Chris is a U15-U19 Girl’s Competitive Coach and Personal Trainer and as a climber for the last 50 years, he is no stranger to a slackline. 30+ years ago he would run some webbing between a couple trees and have a blast training, resting, and recovering during downtime. As a personal trainer he has incorporated slacklining with many of his clients for almost as long. As a coach, Chris believes slackline training is incredibly important for soccer players. Female players in particular, can benefit from this form of training because they historically have much higher incidences of major knee injuries than their male counterparts. The single leg strength and stability gained from slackline training is exactly what they need in their exercise programs to improve performance while more importantly decreasing their chances of injury.
Located in the Colorado mountain town of Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat Soccer club instills a life-long passion for the game of soccer through player-focused programs in safe, fun, and inclusive environments. They strive to develop players that embody athleticism, sportsmanship, and teamwork; encouraging them to reach their full potential in soccer and in life. Our club is unique and different from other soccer clubs in the US says Linda.
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