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Football (Soccer) training should not only offer the opportunity to develop the tactical and technical elements necessary for the game, but also develop aspects of the physiological and mental components needed for development.

This process includes young people’s personal and social skills. Furthermore, this knowledge will assist in planning and adapting to the aforementioned stages of learning. The aim of these procedures is to employ the appropriate methodology and drills that are age-appropriate and take into account growth spurts, the pace of learning and the natural potential of the individual.

Notably, although technical and tactical training are not part of the physical part of soccer, both parameters are directly and indirectly affected by emphasizing the physical importance of proper conditioning according to age trainability. Physical conditioning is increasing as an important factor in the performances of the modern soccer player. Success in recent times for woman’s soccer is due to:

  • The improved and advanced quality of training for young girls in recent years.
  • A much earlier development of physical capacities in young players, based on scientific and methodological approaches tailored to the different stages of development in youngsters.

Our holistic approach is suited to the development stages where the player adapts efficiently using our dynamic system model of training. ECE-Soccer uses the Dynamic System model (Defined as a set of two or more elements interrelated with each other working to achieve a common objective) in accordance to the age and level of the team. The Dynamic Systems model is based on:

  • “The whole is more than the sum of its parts”.
  • The understanding that training must be contextualized.
  • The athlete is considered a “whole being” with multiple skills and conditions, which are used at all times. During sports training all components coexist and work simultaneously with changeable predominance of one over the other. The challenge of maximizing performance is generating the precise methodology, which varies in context.
  • A holistic approach is taken when constructing specific exercises in accordance to the level of the player.

7 key points for specific age trainability for boys & girls performance training.

  1. The training of endurance capacity begins very early among young girls.
  2. From the end of the second growth spurt, the isolated form of training becomes more important in developing training capacities and primarily for maximum aerobic power (MAP) endurance.
  3. For young girls the ideal age for speed training is between 12-14 years old.
  4. The recommended age for dedicated strength training is around 13-14 for girls, which coincides with hormonal changes.
  5. Physiological development takes place over a long period and, as such, long-term planning will serve as a stabilizing element for her progress.
  6. Proper balance control in the achievement of motor skills is mainly based on muscular synergies that minimize the displacements of the center of gravity
  7. The period of pre-puberty is ideal for developing strength Co-ordination is best taught between the ages of 8 and 13 during a period of fast growth.

Notably, it is well documented that technical, tactical behavior of a player and team, decision making and supported specific styles of play largely relies on proper conditioning. The athlete, particularly the younger age groups, to develop at all levels of training in order to help the team perform, it is vital to respect the different stages of learning, development and level of the player in the planning process.

ECE-Soccer provides performance training to organizations, clubs and individuals using our dynamic system of training:

Strength + speed + agility + suppleness + flexibility

Balance + Motor skills + Aerobic-anaerobic endurance

Aerobic power + speed strength + technique

Pillar preparation + movement adaptation + plyometric energy

System development

FALL LOCATIONS:

Oak Brook – Mc Cook – Highland Park

WINTER LOCATIONS:

Oak Brook – Mc Cook – Highland Park

DR. NIKOLAOS KOUNDOURAKIS (M.SC. – PH.D.)

ECE-Soccer consultant Nikolaos currently works in professional soccer. In his sixteen years’ experience in player development, he has worked with professional teams and top-level players.

His specialties include ergometry, strength & conditioning, injury prevention, injury rehabilitation, nutrition, monitoring of players, long-term player development and periodization.

He has published a number of scientific articles on sports science. He is also an editorial member of the Austin Sports Medicine Journal, and member of the Publons, as being a reviewer in several scientific journals that are devoted to the topic of sports science. Dr. Nikolaos has been invited to lecture and present his work at numerous international seminars and congresses on sports performance which include:

The 3rd International Football Medicine Congress at the Swiss Society of Sports Medicine (2008), the XXXIII World Congress of Sports Medicine at The International Federation of Sports Medicine (2014), 7th & 9th World Congress on Science and Football at the Japanese society of Science and Football (2011), and the 8th World Congress on Science and Football at the University of Copenhagen (2015) to name a few.