article is based around an interview with Jeremy Boone, founder of the
Carolina Athletic Development Institute in Charlotte, USA. We would like
to express our thanks to Justin for sharing some of his knowledge of soccer
Does your approach to training and competition with various levels and
types of players (younger, women, elite..) differ in anyway ?
A/ Yes by all means. All of the training programs that I create
are based on the demands of the sport, the position of the sport, and
the qualities of the individual. In addition to those three, there are
a few other training considerations as well. For example, when training
the female soccer player, it is important to train the ability to stop
or decelerate. More specifically, teaching the ability to correctly load
the body (absorb shock) in movement. Or when working with young athletes,
training loads for a 10 year old female will be quite different than a
10 year old male. This is because of the differences in the human developmental
process between genders.
Q/ What do you think is/are the key aspect(s) in weekly training
A/ It all depends, let me explain. I use the term coined by
my colleague Vern Gambetta "planned performance training". The
key aspect here is recovery and not the training itself. You are only
as good as your body's ability to recover. So if you have two games in
a week in season, than where you put recovery is critical for your players
success. In addition, it is based on the goals and objectives of the overall
program. Whether it is a team or an individual athlete, I use a needs
analysis profile. Together we determine what the theme is for the training
year and build everything around that. Generally speaking, speed and strength
are qualities that need to be trained on a continual weekly basis where
flexibility is a day to day objective.
Q/ You advise a lot on recovery after training or competition,
briefly what should any player look out for ?
A/ First and foremost players and coaches need to realize that
performance and training is only as good as a player's body ability to
recover. Presently, overtraining is a hot topic in the field of sports
science. Warning signs for players might include decreased performance,
technique breakdown, less energy, loss of appetite, lack of motivation,
depression, and disturbed sleeping patterns. The best way to avoid overtraining
is implementing a sound planned performance training program. Simple tips
that players often overlook are adequate sleep and a balanced nutritional
diet. Teaching players how to relax and go through a proper cooldown has
had significant results with my players here in the states. Other methods
of recovery might include self-massage, contrast baths, whirlpools, and
specific relaxation techniques.
Q/ Have you noticed an improvement over the years in player's attitudes
to training (diet, warm-up..) ?
A/ Overall I would definitely say yes. Primarily in the area
of speed training. Every soccer player that I work with wants to get faster
and stronger. There are many soccer players that can dribble, pass, and
head the soccer ball. What separates the better from the best is athletic
performance, who has the quicker first step. On the other hand, the more
specific components of training such as a players nutritional habits are
not taken seriously until the teenage years here in the states. This is
unfortunate because all of these younger players drinking coke and eating
foods high in sugar are affecting their bodies ability to physically recover
and get stronger.
Q/ What do you look for in a younger player ?
A/ You must remember that as a soccer fitness specialist I look
more for athletic ability. The very first thing I look for is does the
player love the game and can he/she have fun. If not, than all else does
not matter. The second thing I look for is their ability to move without
the ball. Are they coordinated? Can they change direction quickly? Does
movement look effortless? The third thing I look for is the player's ability
to recognize and then react to soccer specific situations. Overall, playing
the game itself is the best assessment.
Q/ How much of a role does sports science play in your preparation
A/ Sports Science serves as a strong foundation for everything
that I do. Especially with so much new research coming out almost on a
daily basis. The present research on power production and ways to objectively
test it in soccer specific situations has been the most influential for
our training programs. It is as important to remember however that coaching
is an art form as much as it is a science. There are many days where I
have planned a specific speed training session and have been forced to
totally change what I wanted to do. For example, I might have planned
for a player to perform 6 x 30 yd uphill sprints followed by a 45 second
run at 75% effort. If by the fourth sprint the quality of effort has significantly
decreased I might go ahead and stop it there. Practically all of my planning
is what my colleague Vern Gambetta calls contingency planning. In other
words, using sports science as a foundation for planning, but always being
prepared to change the plan if needed. This is where the art of coaching
is so crucial.
Jeremy Boone is the founder of the Carolina Athletic Development
Institute in Charlotte, NC. The Institute is dedicated to providing athletes
with comprehensive training and conditioning programs based upon the athletes
sport, position, and the individual. He is also the consultant of Speed
and Strength for the Atlanta Beat (WUSA), the Charlotte Eagles Mens
A-league Soccer Club (the Eagles won the Men's Div. III 2000 National
Championship), and to various college programs. He is an Official Content
Provider for the www.internetsoccer.com
network. He has worked with athletes from the novice to professional stature
in multiple sports including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, softball,
swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Boone has lectured
on various topics of athletic development and sports therapy to colleges,
national conferences, and sports clinics/camps. His primary areas of focus
includes recovery & regeneration and the developing athlete. Please
read more about Jeremy's work and ideas at: www.soccerrecovery.com.
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