The average athlete seeks to improve their game through consistent repetition of skills, and very few players will go beyond the norm to push their training. Today there are many creative ways of improving skills through sport specific conditioning and agility training. With the pressure of better performance and recovery, what soccer player or coach isn’t wanting the secret to improving ball-handling, speed, reaction time, and posture?
Here’s a secret. Two words: sand training.
Training in the sand, or as our community might call it, “beach soccer,” has incredible benefits when properly introduced to players. This style of conditioning is easy for soccer players to adapt and highly recommended to anyone seeking to use cross-training methods to improve their game.
Some of the physiological and technical benefits of beach soccer:
- Increased exertion. Research shows about 20-60% more energy required, depending on the exercise
- Improved VO2 max. A fancy term for better oxygen intake during hard workouts which makes for better endurance in athletes
- Terrain change. Sand is low impact and challenges the muscular-skeletal parts of our body in soccer with a new surface
- Mental toughness. Sand workouts are notoriously difficult but make moving on the field feel like a cake walk compared to it
- Train your feet. Athleticism starts in the feet and utilizing a natural stroke and kick without cleats can help train feet to work more efficiently.
- Watch “How Sand Benefits Grass Players,” from the United Soccer Coaches Convention (Chicago, 2019)
- Enroll in a FREE online Seminar with Pro Am Beach Soccer
- Host a clinic for your club to introduce beach soccer *
- Be willing to step out of your comfort zone
- Check out Pro Am Beach Soccer’s Schedule and Youtube Channel
- Watch how you can improve your own skills — like a bicycle kick progression