Losing your form in soccer leaves you feeling like a dinosaur on the pitch. You run out of your breath, can’t lose the man marking you, and even miss out on open goals!
But now that it’s evident that you’ve lost your form, let’s talk about how to get it back?
Soccer is one of the most physically intense sports out there. If you’re sent off during a game, have an injury, or are rotated on the bench quite often, the minutes off of the pitch can really take a toll on your form.
And that happens primarily because of the missed training sessions. Soccer players train for 6 hours a day to keep themselves fit and in form.
Since training keeps your reaction time at impressive levels, players who train regularly are quicker on the turf. No wonder they’re in better form!
But don’t worry too much either if you’ve been disconnected from soccer for a while now. Whether it was exams, work, or your routine that brought the gap in your soccer training, it’s not too tricky to get your form back!
How to Get Back in Form Soccer?
When you get back to playing soccer after a while, you’ll notice your feet already know their way around the ball. Your instincts work perfectly, and your judgment of the game tactics remains precise. Thanks to your muscle memory!
But the main shortcoming you’ll notice is in your reaction time!
Though you’re able to judge situations in a soccer match accurately and know exactly what to do (pass, shoot, fake, etc.), you don’t do it quick enough.
And that’s what gives your opponents an advantage over you and why they’re able to mark you easily.
Soccer is all about speed! It’s about how quickly you can run, how hard you can shoot, and how swift you make decisions.
And so naturally, the places to explore for getting your soccer form back are your speed, agility, and reaction time.
I won’t argue here about how practice makes your form perfect because it does. But some other tools complement your form recovery!
Irrespective of whether you train for soccer often or not, the following four tips should help anyone get back in form for soccer. And not even just back, but also improve your form like never before!
Seek Individual Training
It’s always best to have a third-person’s perspective on why you can’t regain your form back.
Sometimes, you’re doing it all very well inside your head. But to an observer, there will always be visible areas for improvement.
You don’t realize it, but maybe you’re weaker on the outside of the foot, have a less aerial threat, or can’t outrun the wingers. There could be several things that choke up the recovery of your soccer form.
You don’t usually realize these shortcomings in an intense soccer match. And end up building a vendetta against your opposing players instead.
But if you have a coach to point out your weak areas, working on them will definitely shift the momentum in your favor!
If you’re not privileged enough to play at a club or academy and don’t have a coach to help you out, you can always ask a friend or a fellow teammate for an observation or two.
Your peers are typically very critical of your form and game. And so, their criticism is always a very productive insight to consider.
Once you know the areas you have to grind harder at, nothing is stopping you from improving those.
If you can’t outrun the wingers, play in a deeper spot, or if your outside of the boot shooting is inaccurate, switch to the other side of the field. Or, if you’re weak at receiving aerial balls, switch to rebound shooting positions or start taking the corner freekicks!
Because sometimes, making the smallest changes to your style of play helps you get back in form for soccer!
Jumping high to get a scoring touch on an aerial ball, accelerating to top speed in a couple of strides, and shoulder charging your opponents for ball possession are all examples of explosive movements in soccer.
And if your cardiovascular health isn’t up to par, there’s only so much that skills are worth in this game of stamina!
I’ll split the physical requirements for soccer into two sections for bite-sized, digestible information. The first is aerobic strength, and the second, anaerobic.
Aerobic activity uses up oxygen for energy and lasts longer (running, walking, skipping, etc.). While anaerobic activity is more of short bursts of energy without using oxygen (Sprints, jumps, etc.)
And for soccer, you need a sweet mix of both!
High-Intensity Interval Training is the most tailored workout routine for soccer. It involves quick bursts of explosive energy while having relaxation times to cool down. Just like in a soccer match.
And adding up a healthy routine of HIIT will improve your cardiovascular health, speed, and explosive power. All of which might be precisely the ingredients you’re missing to get your form back in soccer.
If you can sprint faster, jump higher, and stay on top of your lungs for longer than other players, you’re already headed in the right direction!
Weight Lifting: Core and Lower Body
The dilemma that most soccer players can’t get themselves out of is whether to lift weight or not?
Soccer is clearly a sport of stamina and cardio. And the traditionalists believe that where there is cardio, there is no room for lifting weights.
But that’s all that it is, a traditional way of coaching and thinking! Soccer players make use of weight lifting to improve their physique and form more than ever today.
You no longer see skin-and-bones in soccer jerseys anymore. All you see are exceptionally fit athletes like Ronaldo, Hulk, and Bale with soaring six-pack abs. Why do you think that is so?
Because weight lifting helps you target muscle groups that you cannot hit very well in bodyweight training. And it goes especially for the core and the lower body!
Building a solid core significantly impacts your cardiovascular health. It increases your stamina and makes you sure you can generate power for a longer time.
On the contrary, your lower body strength targets your explosive power. Strong legs will help jump higher for aerial balls, accelerate faster from a stop, and cut-and-turn with much more accuracy.
All very critical traits for getting your soccer form back. And like it is for HIIT, improving your root skills and performance will undoubtedly help you get your form back in soccer!
Go the Extra Mile
So, you’ve joined regular soccer training and are giving enough time to HIIT and weight lifting but still can’t seem to get your form back?
Well, that’s when you should put in the extra effort!
If you want to speed things up and get back on track even sooner, you have to shrink your comfort time even more.
Start following soccer leagues and tournaments if you’ve tuned out for a while. Rejoining the soccer community helps you stay around the sport, even off the pitch.
And not only for entertainment, watching live matches and tournaments help you pick up new skills and tactics.
But if that’s too much effort, look up some skills you want to add to your arsenal on YouTube. Cherry-pick your favorite skills and nourish them during the extra hours at training!
You’ll be surprised at how much tutorial content the internet is full of once you start looking it up. It’s a fantastic way to work on your individual skills and dribbling.
Since not many of your soccer peers think of this way to improve their game, you’re likely to develop skills they haven’t seen before.
Increasing the diversity of your skills in soccer is another effective way to get your form back!
How Do You Get Out of a Soccer Slump?
Every soccer player goes through the unfortunate phase of a slump in his career. Even professionals like Suarez, Torres and Werner couldn’t dodge the bullet of goal-draughts.
Typically, players like to adopt the “wait it out” strategy when they’re up against a slump. But that’s rarely an effective strategy to improve things.
To get out of a soccer slump, you need to develop a proactive work ethic. Instead of waiting for a miracle, work on what’s keeping you from being your best on the pitch.
Show up to the training sessions earlier than other players and stay back longer. You’ll need all the extra practice you can get to improve your game!
And not only in just training, but you also need to be more proactive during a match as well. Don’t be shy of taking chances just because you fear you may not score a goal.
Play as aggressively as you did before and go for every chance that brings you closer to scoring a goal. If not that, be more involved with your team in passing and setting up other players.
As time goes on and you regain your confidence back on the turf, you can start moving closer towards the goal and attempting shots for yourself.
But the important thing to remember here is not patience but the confidence to get out of a soccer slump.
We all hit slumps in our careers and lose form now and again, we’re not professionals, and it’s okay!
The important thing is getting back on track when you lose your momentum in soccer. And the best way to do that is by approaching it from as many directions as possible.
Use regular training sessions, gym workouts, HIIT routines, and daily play-offs for regular improvement.
But do remember, you won’t get it all back on the same day you start your recovery. Getting back your soccer form takes from a few weeks to a few months.
So don’t be hard on yourself when you don’t see a concrete change right at the start. The key is to keep pushing forward!
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!