Pre-Season Soccer Training – The Basics

Effective pre-season training is important for all soccer players of any age, whether you play for a team in the Premier League or your local college team and the work done in pre-season can define the competitive season ahead, making the difference between winning trophies or being also-rans.

The Pre-season soccer training schedule should be planned out by the coach in order to maximise each session. Ideally training should begin at least five to six weeks before the season actually starts.

Each training session should start with a thorough warm-up taking care not to strain any muscles in early pre-season. Ideally each session should begin with a five minutes gentle jogging followed by gentle static stretching, followed by more jogging followed by a more intensive stretching session, while taking care not to over stretch and cause damage to muscles, tendons or ligaments.

Stretching for soccer should include all major muscle groups, with a mixture of dynamic and static stretches. Dynamic stretching exercises that are perfect for soccer and include swinging the arms and circling the shoulders, twisting the upper body and swinging the legs as if kicking an imaginary ball, be careful not to over stretch with these exercises. Static stretches do not involve movement of the joint and are essential for the quadriceps and hamstrings. Ballistic stretches which involve bouncing to maximise the stretch are no longer advocated and should be avoided.

Running is excellent for aerobic conditioning and should be encouraged as improved fitness will pay dividends later in the season, this should involve distance work, sprinting and running that involves work with the soccer ball. Dribbling the soccer ball around cones or across a defined area will improve conditioning, speed and ball control at the same time.

Work with the soccer ball can be extended by spending time controlling the ball with the feet, knees and head, a perfect way to practice this is to divide players into pairs and have one player throw the ball while the other controls and returns to his partner .

Each session can be completed with a short game possibly integrating two touch soccer which will improve ball control and passing accuracy and also encourage thinking and movement off the ball. Following the game a cool down with stretching should take place to minimise aching and tired muscles which will aid recovery for your next session.

During early pre-season is it important not to over exert the players and to make the sessions fun which will motivate if players are tired not too push them too much, this can result in injury and lack of enthusiasm. Another important factor for any training session is adequate hydration, ensure all the players have a water bottle and keep adequately hydrated throughout the training session.

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How to Start Playing Soccer

Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to play soccer? People think that it is a simple sport in which to be a good player all you need to do is run around the field and kick the ball. Soccer is a much more complex game. It is a sport that requires lots of practice in order to be a good player. Soccer takes time, dedication and responsibility. There are many players considered to be "born with the talent to play", like Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, those players, like many others conquered all what they have today by being extremely dedicated to the sport and by always training hard.

Soccer is a game that involves lots of skill. Not just footwork or ball control, but also being mentally prepared and willing to do your best. Some of those skills include:

• Rules – understanding the rules of the game is the most important thing before playing it. The knowledge of what is right or wrong is the key to the success in soccer. It is a game where details matter a lot.

• Ball control – first thing to be noticed is if you are good in controlling the ball. Even though a player has a great skill in dealing with the ball, practice is always needed to maintain and improve them. If a player lacks from those skills, then definitely practice is much more required with much harder work. The manipulation of the ball is a hard skill and is not fast to learn, it takes a long time to improve soccer skills. Ball control does not mean just using your legs, it involves the whole body. A player must be able to head the ball, and use the whole body, except hands, which can only be used by the keeper.

• Fitness – Soccer is a sport that requires much more running than other sports. It is important to be in a good shape to be a soccer player. All the running that you do during the game is exhaustive. In order to keep a great endurance and to perform their best throughout the whole game players must be in great shape. Nowadays, fitness is becoming more important than never to be a soccer player. For instance, a professional player runs about seven miles a game.

• Formation and Positioning- Formation varies a lot between teams and coaches. It consists on the way a determined team plays the game. There are lots of different types of formation. Normally, coaches choose the ones that they consider to be the best fit for their team based on which players they have. A good player should be able to play in any kind of formation. Thus, it is important to be knowledgeable about every formation, what is the role in the game and where to be positioned in the field. Positioning is crucial for the formation. Players must know where to be positioned according to the team's formation. If a player fails to be in his / her correct position, the whole game can be negatively impacted.

Those are a few of the most important skills that a good soccer player is required to know. Soccer is a complex game, but once learned it is not impossible to become a high-level / professional player. However, it does not only depend on the overall understanding of the game, but also on the player's effort. Soccer practices are never enough, so put your cleats on, get a ball, and get into the field!

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Best Soccer Shoes – How to Pick the Right Pair For Your Game

The FIFA world cup is a global carnival. At intervals of four years this massive sporting event takes place and creates a great interest in the game. Football, or soccer as its known in the US, has for a long time been the most watched and played sport on the planet; every country will have their own international team. If you or your kid has an interest in playing for a local team then you will need to get your hands on the right kit. The most essential purchase would be to choose the best soccer shoes; these will help to improve performance considerably.

We should realize that there are many different types of soccer shoes now available. This gives us plenty of opportunity to find a pair that is perfect for the type of soccer we are going to play.

By searching online you will quickly come across a number of different retailers that stock the latest sporting equipment and kit. Whatever your age you can find a pair of soccer shoes online which are stylish and practical.

The actual playing surface will be the main factor in determining which actual pair of soccer shoes to buy. In Europe the games are still mostly held outside. If you are also going to play on a natural grassy surface then you should choose those trainers which feature a dozen or so studs on the base. This will help to give you essential grip; soccer is a fast game, if you were not to have studs on your shoes then you will end up sliding all over the place and may even damage your body.

If you are going to play soccer indoors then the shoe should have been designed specifically with this in mind. Studs will not be necessary as artificial surfaces will not be wet or so slippery.

All the major manufacturers of sporting shoes all produce models specifically for soccer. We can see that the top players wear designs from certain well known companies.

Nike and Adidas are still the most common sight on the feet of players from the world’s top teams. A good choice could be the Adidas Predator; this is a slightly heavy option that is great for players who need to strike the ball hard. For a lighter quicker option then go for one of the latest Nike designs.

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Choosing the Right Soccer Shoes For the Game

Soccer shoes come in a wide variety of designs, colours and purposes. The most expensive shoes do not guarantee that it is appropriate for the sport. Wearing the right shoes in playing soccer is vital in performing well in the field and also avoids injuries.

Soccer shoes are designed with cleat patterns. The cleat pattern is specifically designed with a purpose in different field conditions. These cleats may come with screw-ins which have blade. There are designs for indoor and outdoor use. The indoor shoes look similar to the tennis shoes. Cleats are categorized as soft ground (SG) or hard ground (HD) styles.

When choosing the shoes, make sure that it fits your feet exactly and you feel comfortable wearing it. Make sure that you bring with you your shin guards when buying your shoes so that you can check if it fits your new shoes. It is also important that you purchase your shoes with excellent traction. This prevents accidents caused by slipping or sudden stops.

Here are some important tips when buying your shoes. The best time in buying your shoes is in the afternoon because your feet are definitely swollen because of the day’s activity. Tighten the shoe lace as you normally do when you are in the field. Try to walk around with your new shoes to have a feel of its interior.

So the next time you buy your new shoes for soccer, make sure to take not of the tips given or you will end up losing your winning goal because of bad shoes or you might get yourself and injury.

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Hair Trends: Trendy Hairstyles For Men In 2015

While many men are not considered to be fashion enthusiasts, there are some that are. If you are a man and you are interested in knowing men hair trends for 2015, here they are:

Texture

This trend is aimed at helping you to have a masculine and sophisticated look. You need to moisturize and condition your freshly washed hair. To create the texture you need to use a hair product and then hold and control the hair using a matte finish.

You should avoid brushing or blow drying your hair in order to avoid creating volumes in areas that you don’t want. For a great look you should style your hair using your hands.

Shoulder-length hair

Many men have been having long hair over the past few months and this trend is expected to go on until 2015. According to hair stylists and grooming experts, men are able to maintain their hair in good condition for a long time since they don’t fiddle with it like women.

If you decide to go for long hair, you should ensure that you visit your barber regularly for regular trims. You should also keep the hair clean and regularly use a great conditioner.

City slicker

This style requires you to have a good hair cut. The sides and backs of the hair need to be shorter than the front. You can comb the hair or style it using your fingers. For a perfect look, you should wear a modern suit.

Top knot

This is where you tie your hair at the back. To achieve the style you only need to brush your hair at the back with your fingers and then tie it into a ponytail or top knot. While this style can suit almost everyone, it looks great on a rugged man with a beard.

Hair band

Since the 2014 world cup, many men have been spotted wearing hair bands. All you need to do is to hold your hair using a hair band. For ideal results, you should match the style with a granddad top and jeans.

Conclusion

These are some of the hairstyles for men that are expected to be popular in 2015. If you are a fashion enthusiast you now know the styles that you should go for. For ideal results, you should ensure that you get the style done by a professional. You should also ensure that you maintain the hair in good condition by applying all the necessary products.

Pakistan’s Chances In The World Cup 2011

Pakistan has a realistic chance of winning the World Cup and more so because the pressure on them is much less compared to the other teams this time. Moreover they are not playing in front of their home crowds, but are still playing on familiar flat tracks. Beside being a very balanced side, this Pakistan team like always have players who can deliver a knockout punch at the most crucial stage of the game, which is very important in One Day format of the game. I expect Umar Akmal to be the trump card for Pakistan. Each player is capable of winning the match on his own. Ahmed Shahzad looks an exciting prospect. He could be even more dangerous on the subcontinent pitches. Mohammad Hafeez seems to coming into his own and can be crucial for Pakistan’s chances in the World Cup. His spin bowling in the middle overs could be handy.

Shahid Afridi can be a match winner on his day. If one of those days happens to be a game in the knockout stages of the World Cup, it will brighten Pakistan’s chances in the World Cup. What more could be said of Abdul Razzak. There is no other better all-rounder than Abdul Razzak in World crciket in shorter format of the game save Shane Watson. Yunus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq can play perfect anchor and the other attacking batsman can play around them. Kamran Akmal can be a great finisher and can provide explosive start at the beginning of the innings. If Umar Akmal comes good, nothing can stop Pakistan from winning the World Cup. All the players in the current Indian team play almost in a similar style. They could play different sort of game according to the situation, but Pakistan has variety in their batting. Ahmad Shahzad is an attacking batsmen. Mohammad Hafeez can carry on the innings and has the ability to score quickly at the same time. Yunus Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq can play a waiting game and drop anchor. What follows is firecracker. Which team has batsmen like Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, and Abdul Razzak coming at 6,7, and 8. None of the team in the tournament has a more lethal late order than Pakistan. If I have to pick one team to win this tournament, It is Pakistan. They have everything in their favor. I would not be surprised if they also get a lot of crowd support from the crowd.

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A World Cup Experience

Every four years the world stops to watch one game loved by all, the FIFA World Cup. Started as a tradition in 1930 pitting the best football clubs in the world against one another, the World Cup has grown to be the most watched sporting event in the world. Billions of people gather around their television sets to watch their favorite team compete for the most coveted trophy in sport, the Jules Rimet Cup. This event attracts millions of visitors to the host city, providing a great opportunity to showcase the local flavor and culture of that particular city.

Originally alternating between Europe and the America’s, FIFA World Cup host cities were expanded to Korea and Japan as co-host cities in 2002. This year’s Cup is being held in South Africa, making it the first World Cup to be held on African soil. The Cup kicks off on June 11 and continues until July 11 when a champion is crowned. Being a host city is a very prestigious accolade to add to a cities history, much like being an Olympic host city. Each host city expects an average of 3 million people to visit their city to watch up to 64 matches.

The chosen city announced about 8 years prior to the matches, which allows time to prepare for the matches as well as the visitors that come with the World Cup. They are given the opportunity to show off unique culture and everything the city has to offer. Preparations include opening of new hotels, restaurants, and stadiums as well as other cultural mainstays designed to keep millions of fans entertained when they are not rooting their home country on. Attending a match is an experience unlike no other as the best of the city’s culture and flavor is brought out during the month long event and is sure to be an experience to last a life time.

T20 World Cup Cricket

What will the status of the winners be when they emerge victorious from the tournament this month? It might sound an odd question, but think about how absurd it would be in any other sport. Imagine that six months after the FIFA World Cup, another tournament, also called the World Cup, was played with pretty much the same teams fielding pretty much the same players in a pretty similar tournament format with pretty similar viewing figures (both at the grounds and on the telly), but with 45-minute matches rather than the full 90.

I'm not questioning the existence of T20, because I love cricket, and I understand that this ultra-intense, short format of the game means people can watch a whole game in an evening after work; it gives the game more appealing, more coverage, more peak-time advertising opportunity and hence, more money. It's also a great spectacle.

I just think its going to be weird when there are two world champions of cricket.

Test cricket is, of course, an identical different kettle of fish; tactics and gameplay are wholly different from the one day game. The length of time encounters take, and the massive likelihood of draws, means that a ranking system is the only way to produce a 'world number one team', whereas 50 overs-a-side lends itself to definite results in the finite time of a tournament. 20-20 is very much like 50-50 in its style and ethos: score as many runs as you can as quickly as you can; restrict as many runs as stingily as you can. It, too, can be played in a tournament, which is why we have this second 'World Cup'.

The winners will, therefore, claim to be world champions of cricket, and the best in the shortened version of the game. But the Australia team that lifted the World Cup in the West Indies a few months ago already claim that title. And 'Twenty20 world champions' does not really mean anything, at least yet: so few T20s are played internationally (England has played the most in history with a grand total of 6) India has played just 2) that no-one will really care. Also, the games are so short that a second-rate international team could conceivably lift the trophy. The flaws in a Zimbabwe side could possibly be papered over for three hours at a time that would have unduly caused a collapse over a whole day or more. What if a 'minnow' wins the whole thing? They are played so infinitely by the test-playing nations that the 'world champion' label will be redundant until they play the tournament again.

One solution would be to have an annual or biennial T20 tournament, outside of which international T20 is not played. Then it would be clear that T20, while popular and important, is not of the same caliber and class as the official cricket world cup, in the same way that the Six Nations is keenly contested every year, but with the winning side not making any pretensions to overall global superiority. Maybe the difficulties will disappear as T20 establishes its niche. But the simplest solution this time round, to avoid any argument or confusion, would be if Australia won the discussed thing. Doubtless they will oblige.

The Most Surprising Soccer Transfer of the Season

Twice a year when the transfer window opens, the soccer world goes crazy with players changing clubs and newspapers and soccer websites all over the world speculating on the latest superstars playing the game of musical chairs.

While some big name transfers such as Cristiano Ronaldo’s move from Manchester United to Real Madrid finally came to their expected conclusions, one transfer caught my eye this season. That of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move from Italian champions Inter Milan to Spanish and Champions League winners Barcelona, with Samuel Eto’o going the opposite direction.

Now, Ibrahimovic is not a bad player and on his day can be one of the best players on the planet. But he has failed to live up to his massive hype in my opinion. Who can forget the 2 Champions League matches against Manchester United last season where he was virtually anonymous?

Samuel Eto’o on the other hand has proven himself to be one of the most lethal strikers in the world. Only 28, he has his best years ahead of him and unlike Ibrahimovic, doesn’t choke on the big stage. Don’t forget, it was his goal in last season’s Champions League final that started Barcelona on the road to victory.

On top of the player exchange, Inter Milan also received a transfer fee of 45 million Euros. I have no idea how it was done, but Inter manager Jose Mourinho must surely have negotiated the best deal of the season. Or does Barcelona know something that we don’t? Only time will tell.

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