Did you run out of fuel in the 85th minute of your soccer game last week? Were you forced to the football bench during a crucial 4th quarter 3rd down? Are your skills up to par, but find that it's your endurance letting you down when it matters most? These drills are great for any fall sport athletes looking to up their self-determination and physical endurance -- so, football, soccer, cross country, whatever, this drill is for you.
Our first drill is called the Liverpool -- an undeniably intense endurance test. Typically pulled out at the end of practice, it can be the coach's revenge for not finishing a game strong or any lackluster effort during practice. The Liverpool is simple in concept, but difficult in execution -- all you'll need are four cones and your running boots!
Set your cones up fifteen yards apart so that they make a square. Then, start a timer and sprint around the cones for five minutes straight -- yup, you read that correctly! Once your timer goes off, don't stop running, but transition right into a jog for five minutes. After those five minutes are up, immediately break back into a five minute sprint, and so on and so forth. The ultimate goal here is to move for thirty minutes straight; fifteen while sprinting and fifteen in a jog.
The key here is to keep your heart rate up at all times by not completely stopping. Of course, it will be difficult to keep your top speed throughout, but continue to push yourself and you'll reap the benefits later on.
Our second drill is called the Goose Run and it's particularly fruitful for athletes that have the entire soccer or football field at their disposal. This exercise will require more than just one person, so try introducing it at a captain's practice for an even bigger challenge. Everybody will start jogging in a line along the sidelines of the field and, after every few seconds, the athlete at the back of the line will sprint to the front of the pack to lead. This will repeat until the entire team has sprinted from back to front four or five times.
As an added difficulty, try throwing some modifications into the mix. For example, give every player a ball and hold it above your head with two hands. This will work your core tremendously as it requires the rest of your body to pick up the slack for the missing power that often comes from pumping your arms. Or, try the Reverse Goose Run for extra results -- here, the athlete at the front of the line will take off in a sprint around the entire outline of the field until he or she reaches the back of the line. Once that player reaches the back, the next player will start their sprint.
On Your Mark, Get Set...
If you're looking to improve your endurance but don't fancy regular road running, these are some rather simple drills that can help. Although they're certainly not easy, the Liverpool and Goose Runs will help keep you on the field during the game's biggest moments. Even better, it'll improve your determination and mental strength, which are equally crucial factors during those late-game situations! Get out there and use our Drills of the Week, we promise you won't regret it.