5 Must-Haves in Your Soccer Bag This Season

Spring is finally here, which means a new soccer season and time to get the latest and greatest gear.  A nice sized soccer bag can fit a good amount of items, but a question that seems to linger over most players minds is what exactly should be inside your soccer bag? A stocked bag should not be filled to the brim with items you might not necessarily need at all times. Instead, it’s important to pack the basic essentials that can last you throughout the season.

 

Here are a few pro tips to ensure the best use of your soccer storage for each practice and game.

 

1. Invest in a Quality Pair of Soccer Cleats

Consider trading in those $30 rip off Diadora’s for some genuine leather, Nike Mercurial Vapors. Besides the mere fact that they will give you the confidence boost of knowing your sharing the same cleats as professionals Christiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Alex Sanchez, and more, a good pair of cleats can make you a better player. Quality boots minimize the risk of injury and don’t leave you sore after a 90-minute game.

2. Have a Spare Ball 

You will never regret having an extra soccer ball on you. Whether you’re using it for practice or simply grabbing it on the go to shoot around with some friends, a spare ball will always come in handy.

 

3. Keep Extra Shin Guards

It never hurts to pack an extra pair of shin guards either. Keeping a low-cost pair in your bag can save you the 20-minute hassle of searching for your nice shin guards right before you’re about to leave for your game.

 

4. Pack a Pair of Clean Socks

The power of some clean soccer socks can go a long way in a desperate moment of need. Sticking to basic white can come in handy but if your team has a specific color, buying a matching or extra pair of socks can always come in handy.

 

5. An Extra Water Bottle

There’s nothing more glorious than finding an unopened bottle of Poland Spring at the bottom of your bag after chugging the last of your sports drink.

 

Be sure to refer back to these tips and check out the links before shopping around for your soccer bag this season!

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Gym Workouts that will Improve your Speed, Strength, and Power

Training for game day might not only mean practicing on the field, but also hitting the gym. A good soccer player has an acquired skill set along with a balanced training schedule that focuses on different parts of the body. In order to be a well-conditioned athlete it is important to not give too much of your focus on one specific area, but condition your body as a whole. The gym is for developing horsepower on the field which is crucial for improving performance. By developing power in the weight room, you can actually become a faster runner and stronger athlete. However, it’s important to remember that not all exercises and machines are necessarily your ticket to high endurance and stamina. Selecting the proper exercises is critical because not all workouts are equal. In this article you will learn some workouts specific for improving your power, speed and agility, and legs.

    1. First let’s start with power. 

To improve your power, you can do a simple workout of single-leg hurdle hops. How this works is you stand on one leg and hop up about 6″ into the air and land naturally. Be sure to land softly with your hips down and back, to stabilize your knee and ankle when landing.

2 sets of 4 hops for each leg – Rest 30 seconds between sets

2. This next tip will focus on speed and agility. 

This skill can be improved with 3-way lungesThis workout is just an expansion of a regular lunge. First, start with your back straight and upright, doing a regular lunge forward so your front knee makes a 90 degree angle to the ground. After you bring your knee back and you return to start position, step laterally to the side. After you return to start position, step backwards to do a reverse lunge. After completing all 3 steps with your right leg, do the same to the left leg.

2 sets of 6 reps – Repeat for each leg

3. Finally we can focus on legs (leg strength). 

The perfect workout for yours legs would be squatting. To start, be sure to stand shoulder-width apart and angle your toes forward. Bend your knees and sit back as if you are about to sit in a chair and then return to your upright position. It’s helpful to place two small plates under your feet before starting in order to isolate the quad muscles. Squatting can also be done independently, with a bar (20-30 lbs resting on your shoulders), or with a 25 lb barbell.

5 sets of 10 reps- 3 minutes rest between each set

Be sure to refer back to this article and use these tips for your next gym day!

How to Fuel up Before a Game

Preparation is key to success for any athlete before a big game, and it’s necessary to keep in mind a few helpful hints that could increase focus and swiftness. Many soccer players take game-day prep very seriously to ensure they will be able to successfully withstand the full 90 minute game. Without the right regimen, it’s easier to become distracted, anxious, and lethargic. We’ve put together some essential game day tips for you to try before your next big game.

  1. Hydrate yourself with water

Staying hydrated is important before, after, and during a game. Sports drinks and juices contain electrolytes that help replenish and restore cells, but may also contain other additives such as large doses of sodium, which end up doing more harm than good. It’s best to hydrate properly the day before, with natural or electrolyte water, drinking a solid 8 ounces. During the game, it’s best to hydrate with small and frequent sips, while after the game, you can intake larger amounts of water at once.

  1. Sleep

Getting a full night’s rest is essential for optimal performance, and this doesn’t just start and end on game days. It’s important to build up a solid routine and stay on a sleep schedule of about 8 hours per night. Before a game, banking up on extra sleep of even 10-11 hours per night has been proven to improve athlete performance.

  1. Pay Attention to Diet

Incorporating a routine and balanced diet is key. ut the night before a game, it’s best to load up on a carbohydrate-rich meal, which will boost energy and stamina levels the following day. It’s best to eat breakfast within the first hour of waking up, and having a high-carbohydrate, moderate-protein and low-fat and fiber meal 3 to 4 hours before the game. Eating properly prevents hypoglycemia, light-headedness, fatigue, and inability to make technical decisions. Overall, the proper diet provides a player with more energy to last the whole game without tiring.

  1. Remember to Have Fun

Don’t doubt your skills and abilities, because mental distractions will hold you back from performing your best. Going into a game with an open mind and the belief that you will do well is known for improving performance. Confidence is key to success!

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