Train How You Play

Building the Soccer Players of Tomorrow.

Train How You Play

November 21, 2017 Training 0

Training with deliberateness, intensity, and focus will bring you an advantage when it comes down to a game.


It’s very easy to say “Oh it’s just a training session,” or “I’ll take it easy in this session as it’s not an official game.” Yet, training makes up 80% or more of your overall development. For every game, you have an average of 5 training sessions. Those training sessions form and prepare you for the competition ahead. If you slack off in team or individual sessions, even if it’s a light practice, it will show when it matters; in the game. 


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How Training Influences Games

Kurt Zouma and John Terry Train


Training is the preparation and the shaping of the team’s tactics head of game scenarios. When in a team session, you need to have the mindset as though you are in a real, live game. You have to be present in your focus, and fully engaged to get the most out of it.

Training Performances Do Not Influence Games. 

Training Performances are the have a direct relationship with the performance of a player in a game scenario.

Individual training sessions help build technique, conditioning, the physical state of a player, and confidence. However, if a player is not fully engaged and is simply going through the motions without intensity, the practice and repetition account to nothing, and in a game scenario, chances are the player will struggle to perform.


Group training sessions tend to be more focused on the tactical preparation of the game, or the cohesion of the team. They, more often than not, are meant to build a player’s understanding in team-orientated scenarios. If a player is slacking off during these sessions or not taking it as if it were a game, chances are the player will have a negative outcome on game-day.


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Why Intensive Training will Bring Positive Performances

It’s really simple. The more you are used to doing something, the more comfortable you become doing it. That’s why many top-level athletes use repetition to improve on a certain skill in their game. It’s a really easy concept to understand. Let’s apply this to training for an upcoming game. If you pour your heart out in training and really focus your energy into any session, chances are you will get used to the high intensity and bring it out in any official scenario. If you are constantly loathing during training and having your mind wander; guess what? There is no switch you can turn on when it comes to game day. Your game will likely feature that loathing you had during your session. It’s that simple.

Aubameyang Perfecting His Sprint

Aubameyang Perfecting His Sprint

Intensity sets a standard for performance. In a training session where you are lethargic and uninterested, your mind automatically sets that as a standard for performance. The next time you head into a match, your mind will shift into the mode in which you are used to training at. Whether that “mode” is of a high intensity one, or a lethargic one is up to you.

A pretty obvious reason of why training competitively with passion is important for your development is the simple fact that the more intense you perform in a day-to-day basis, the more you will improve. Who will improve more? An easy-going player who takes each drill lightly as if it didn’t matter, or a player who consistently puts 100% into their training?


How to Treat a Training Session Like a Game

Here are some areas of your training sessions that many players don’t replicate as if they were in a game-scenario.


  • Preparation
    • Simple, prepare for a game like if you were preparing for a game. Form good habits from the get. Besides, a preparation for a game starts a week in from the game is started, so you should be constantly looking after your diet, physical state, and mental sharpness.


  • Equipment
    • I had a coach who hated whenever he saw a player in training without shin pads. He would always point out that you were always going to wear shin-pads in game, so why not in training? That slight advantage can sometimes be the difference.
    • I always wear the same cleats in training to the ones I am going to use in a game.
    • I’ve never trained in pants. Reason: You don’t wear pants in games.


  • Intensity
    • We’ve talked about this one before. Your mind adapts to the intensity and effort you use in your training and automatically applies them to a game scenario. Whether that intensity is low or high is dependent on how you treat training sessions


  • Competitiveness
    • Don’t let yourself down in training. Yes they are your teammates; but you should always be looking to win, even if it’s a simple rondo or a simple 2 v 2 drill. There are not teammates in training, so look to always win in every situation. (Unless they’re your teammates in a drill of course.)


  • Warm Ups and Cool Downs
    • Injury prevention should always be done. Don’t get into a habit of skipping these even if it was a light session.


  • Standards
    • Own a high standard of your skills. Having a high standard will push your ability to keep improving which in turn, will benefit you come game day.


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