Strength Training for Soccer
The CATZ Star was designed to address strength, power, mobility, coordination, balance, and reactive ability. The STAR program can be used as a warm-up, as part of the training program, or to target specific weaknesses an athlete may exhibit. The fact that we don’t need any special equipment and that the entire routine can be performed in a 6’ by 6’ area makes it ideal for training large groups of athletes.
The program includes three stance positions: parallel, split, single leg. The athletes will be squatting, lunging, balancing, reaching, pressing, hopping, and reacting to verbal and visual cues, all in the confines of our 6’x 6’ square using nothing but their body weight.
The entire routine is safe for any age or fitness level since all movements are merely extensions of natural patterns we utilize to carry out everyday tasks. As mobility and strength improve, the athlete will naturally be able to control deeper movements, further reaches or increased velocity of movement and may eventually add resistance to the movement patterns.
This is a progression based on successful performance, meaning an athlete will never be put in a situation they can’t control or be asked to do an exercise or movement they are not physically prepared to do. Safety is the number one priority of the CATZ training approach and the STAR routine is an extremely safe and effective way to train your athletes.
Squat and Reach
Standing with feet shoulder width apart, squat down and reach forward with both hands toward the top star, stand back up and put your hands to the side. Squat down and reach your right hand toward the right point of the star and return. Squat down and reach your left hand toward the left point of the star and return. Squat down and reach your right hand toward the right-back point of the star and return. Squat down and reach your left hand toward the left-back point of the star and return. Repeat this pattern five times. Both feet need to stay flat throughout the exercise. The athlete must return to the star position (upright standing) after each reach.
Squat jumps without rotation
Standing with feet toghether, jump forward, return (always return to center); jump right, return; jump left, return; jump right-back, return; and jump left-back, return. Your body should always face forward. Repeat this pattern five times. Land each jump softly and stick it. This emphasizes absorption and control.
Start with feet together, step your right foot: on the forward point of the star, return; on the right point of the star with toes pointing right, return; on the right-back point of the star with toes pointing right-back, return. Repeat the same pattern using your left foot. Do four sets on each leg. Perform this exercise slowly.
Start with feet together, jump forward and land on your right foot allowing the knee to bend to absorb the shock, then jump back to the star position. Repeat with the right foot going to the right side and the right-back diagonal. Always turn toward the direction of the lunge hop. Repeat with the left leg on the left side. Do three sets on each leg. Land each jump softly and stick it. This emphasizes absorption and control.
Same as squat jumps without rotation except the athletes keep their feet moving quickly (“foot fire”) after each jump. The coach gives the direction (i.e. “right-back”) and the athlete reacts to the verbal cue. The players make the jump, return to center, and continue the “foot fire”. Repeat for 12 jumps.
Winter 2004 INPLAY