Decrease your risk of injury with winter training
Winter has come, and for many of us that means a much-needed break from rigorous soccer training. But take a minute to read this before you move too far away from the pitch; it’s often a risky decision to avoid training altogether during winter.
Winter means cold weather and lots of rain. Neither of those things makes training very pleasant. Still, the offseason is an important time in your preparations for the upcoming season. Training during this time can help prevent injuries from occurring when you start playing competitive matches again. We spoke with one of the best youth-soccer coaches in Denmark, Carsten Dohm, who has experience with FC Nordsjælland and Brøndby IF.
“In the old days, long breaks were perfectly normal. But it’s different now that we are spending more time on training than ever. Soccer has become a different game. Players train 4 or 5 days per week. You can’t train that much and then stop training altogether for a while, and then go back to normal. That would certainly result in injuries. On the other hand, you can’t go on with 4 or 5 days [of training per week] all year, so it’s all about finding the right balance. It’s about maintaining your physical fitness; otherwise the risk of injury will increase,”
Carsten Dohm recently joined the Chinese team Shanghai SIPG, which also employs another Dane, Mads Davidsen, as assistant coach. Carsten acts as a Technical Consultant at the club, which also recently signed Brazilian superstars Hulk and Oscar from Chelsea FC.
“There are many ways to keep up one’s physical fitness, and winter training doesn’t have to solely consist of soccer. Other sports can play a role”,
says Carsten Dohm.
“Personally, I’m a fan of creating variety by combining winter training and soccer with other sports. That could include anything from fitness training to boxing to crossfit. There are many elements of other activities that can make you evolve as a soccer player. Crossfit can boost your movement in free spaces, whereas strength training with machines and traditional methods might make you feel more boxed in. Crossfit is a form of strength training that takes place in a free space, so it will help you improve physically and it will also improve your mobility. And soccer is a free sport; it’s not rigid, so those functional movements can make a huge difference.”
Self-discipline and a partner are the keys to winter training
Many soccer players know how it feels to enter a new season and struggle with getting that perfect touch back. But if you practice your ball control throughout the winter, you’ll have an advantage when facing opponents during the season. Carsten Dohm admits that it can be useful to have a partner for such training (and that partner could even be the m-station soccer rebounder), but a partner isn’t the only ingredient necessary for an effective winter of self-training.
“It requires that you have something to measure against, but a good amount of self-discipline is also necessary. You should motivate yourself and be persistent with training, even when it feels tedious; otherwise you won’t get anywhere. And a training partner will make it more enjoyable, whether it’s a teammate or an m-station. With the m-station you can actually double the number of exercises you can do alone. The m-station serves passes to you, which opens up many training possibilities, so it’s a great tool to develop your technique.”
▹ Learn how you can measure your improvement with the m-station and the app
The m-station from Munin Sports can certainly be useful for self-training, and not just in the winter period.
“I think it’s a tool for the whole year, and it’s an important tool. The new models (Basic, Original, Club og Academy Ed.) provide a new world of possibilities, as they are now easier to move around on the field.”
▹ See the different exercises possible with the m-station here
In addition to his roles as a coach and a consultant, Carsten Dohm has been an instructor at DBU’s Coach Education and an organizer at DGI’s Coach Education. He is also a Talent Manager at Hørsholm Usserød.