Pre-season training was traditionally about improving fitness. After a break players needed to be whipped into shape before they went back to playing competitive games.

Nowadays the idea of using pre-season solely to build fitness has been left behind.


In youth soccer players simply don't become "unfit". When the season ends they don't suddenly pile on weight or stop moving so there isn't the need to undo the effects of a summer of excess.

This is great news for players who previously found themselves doing hill runs or stair sprints. Now pre-season is (or should be!) all about familiarising yourself with the ball.

Of course, there's always an element of fitness but it's by no means the be-all and end-all.

Four-week Pre-Season Plan

Not sure where to start? Try our four week pre-season plan and get your players ready for their best ever season



in Email newsletters, Pre-season

Wow that has been some off season this year with the pandemic and all the changes that have had to happen to get coaching soccer back on track. Getting the team back together can be a tricky business at the best of times so you can make use of Soccer Coach Weekly's Pre-season Guide to help you get the team ready for the first matches of the season. MORE

Time to build your squad

in Email newsletters, Pre-season

With the move back to contact in my area of the world it is now a great time to run trials to build your squad for next season. It is not something I have given time to yet because trials when play is non-contact is not ideal. A player might be brilliant with individual skills but put them in a match situation and they will show a different side – and that includes player attitudes. MORE

Pre-season prep

in Email newsletters, Pre-season

Over the holiday period you want to be playing games and keeping your players aware of the techniques and tactics you will want to use during pre-season and be ready when the season starts. MORE

Team building: run player trials

in Email newsletters, Pre-season

It is always at the back of your mind over the holiday period – especially when moving from different stages 7v7, 9v9, 11v11 – will I have enough players and will they all be able to cope with the different numbers. So it is good practice to plan soccer trials and work out how many players you want for next season. MORE

Academy players

6 great games for pre-season training

in Pre-season, Small Sided Games

Turning up for friendly games, or for the first match of the season, needs planning. Do your players know where to play or what tactics you will use? Do they know if it’s 7v7 or 9v9? You need to get your players into the swing of match play again so playing appropriate games and activities... MORE

Pre-season | Week 2: Developing skills

in Pre-season, Tips and advice

The second training session is, in theory, where the hard work really begins. So having eased yourself and your players back into the swing of things, now is really the time to extend thinking, develop ideas and deliver a programme that will see your team flourish. MORE

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