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Soccer training regimen program 0809

Page history last edited by ecop 13 years, 4 months ago


The Benefits of Soccer:


Can this sport help improve the body’s physical state?



  By: Jesse Caldwell



Description and Rationale



Soccer is exercise and it is also fun. When people play soccer they learn discipline and how to get along with others. They may also decide to play other sports and this leads to a more active lifestyle (Neil Stafford). These are habits that can last a lifetime after they are taught. In the Philippines, the vast majority of the people are poor. They live in closely cramped locations, where life is hard and surviving on a day-to-day basis is the main goal. Because of the poverty, most of these people cannot afford to go to a track to exercise, and if you don’t play basketball there is not very many other options for exercise and physical fitness.


That is where soccer comes in. This sport requires almost no equipment to play. In basketball you need a hoop to play. But in soccer all you need is a ball. You can start kicking it around anywhere and with anyone. It improves self-esteem and helps teach people how to work with others.


What exactly does soccer do for the body? What muscles and organs does it help develop? Why do the poor of this country not already play soccer? In South America it is very popular among the poor. How does playing sports and exercising increase your awareness of nutrition and the condition of your body? In the Philippines have there already been attempts to introduce soccer to the poor?  Are there youth programs already in place teaching this great sport to the local people? Are there places where people can play? For example is there any parks or public fields?


The initial purpose of this project will be to research the biomechanics of soccer and the human body, and how teaching soccer to poor youth can impact their lives. This aspect of the project will take place either in the Brookside area or in Valley Golf.


It is hoped that teaching this great sport will impact people’s lives teaching them a great form of exercise and will help develop life skills.




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Human Physiology

Soccer is a sport that fully maximizes the human body involving all of its systems in play. Every single movement that a player makes on a field requires the body to make many complicated decisions and carry out complex tasks. The human body is made up of many different systems and organs, which work together to help sustain life in the body. A few of these systems are the muscular system, the skeletal system, the nervous system and the digestive system. In these systems many important organs are contained, some of these are the heart, the lungs, and the brain. When playing soccer all of these works together to let the human body carry out certain movements and actions.



  Skeletal System

The skeletal system is the system that forms the body shape. It is composed of over 206 bones, which vary in size but work together in forming a rigid framework. It works along with the muscle system in allowing our body to move. It protects the body’s vital organs and is able to repair itself if injured. The main components of the skeletal system are bones. There are four categories of bones: long bones, short bones, flat bones, and irregular bones. Although all the bones in the body are work together and are important while playing soccer, the major bones that the body uses while playing soccer include the Femur, the Tibia, the Vertebrae column, and the Metatarsus. The Femur bone is the upper leg bone. It is the longest and strongest bone in the body. It helps support the upper body when standing up and moving around. The Tibia is the second longest and strongest bone in the body. Both of these bones are vital in the body’s movement while playing soccer, with running and kicking. The Femur helps support the upper body and the Tibia helps to support the Femur and the movement of the legs. The Vertebrae Column is the backbone of the body. It helps move the upper body in twisting and turning and in moving forwards and backwards. In soccer these movements are very important because the body needs to be able to move itself around and make sudden turns while in a game. The Metatarsus is the middle part of the foot and is composed of five metatarsal bones. These bones are among the most vital for a soccer player. The body kicks the ball with the Metatarsus because the toes are too weak. The Metatarsus also works with other bones in the foot in adsorbing the shock from the ground that the body receives while running in a soccer game. Because soccer is a contact sport played between two teams, injuries often occur in the skeletal system which results in bones breaking or becoming fractured. The bones in the leg and the metatarsal are the most common skeletal injuries among soccer players. To try and prevent injuries to the tibia soccer players wear shin guards to absorb the shock from a kick.



 Nervous System and the Brain

The nervous system is a complex network in our body that carries messages from our brain to other parts of the body. These messages travel by way of the brain to the spinal chord where various nerves branch out to the entire body. There are two sub systems in the nervous system. They are the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The largest system is the central nervous system. This system contains both the brain and spinal chord. The peripheral nervous system branches out from the central nervous system, connecting nerves in other parts of the bodies to it. The brain is the most vital part of the body and controls almost everything. The brain is made up of five main parts. They are the cerebrum, the cerebellum, the pituitary gland, the brain stem, and the hypothalamus. The cerebrum is the largest part making up about 85 percent of the brain. It controls our voluntary muscles sending messages through our nervous system to various parts of the body and is the major thinking part of the brain. The cerebellum is found at the back of the brain and its job is to help with coordination, balance and movement. The pituitary gland produces hormones and the brain stem controls involuntary muscles. The hypothalamus controls our body’s temperature making us sweat when it is hot, and shiver when it is cold.


The game of soccer is played at a fast tempo, with players making split second decisions. The human body must react to what it sees, hears, and feels quickly to be able to make the right decision of what to do. This is very important in soccer because a player needs to be able to decide what action they should take, for example shoot the ball or pass it to a teammate. The brain is able to make these decisions and then send messages to various muscles and parts of the body telling it what to do through the nervous system. Repeated use of these messages to muscles and other parts of the body sends the messages faster and more natural. For a soccer player to improve their decision-making they must practice continually.



Nutrition and Digestion

Food is digested and processed in the body through the digestive track. During this process, nutrients that come from food like carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins pass through channels into the bloodstream. The blood moves these nutrients to the rest of the body. The waste that the body can’t use passes out of the body. Eating the right foods and receiving the right vitamins and minerals are crucial in helping our body maintain itself and grow. For the human body to be at its utmost level of performance in soccer it must have the proper fuel.  Foods that are high in carbohydrates and the right kind of fluids are essential for a soccer player’s body. The best type of diet is one that is high in carbohydrates such as bread, pasta or rice, and high in vegetable and fruit intake. Also keeping the body hydrated is very important in soccer, because when dehydrated the body will tire easily and be more prone to injury. The best way to do this is by drinking seven to eight cups of water a day and a sports drink like Gatorade after a practice or game to replace the electrolytes that the body spent. The pyramid below shows what a proper diet of soccer player should be.



Muscular System

The muscular system is composed of over 650 individual muscles, working together to provide the power for the body to move around. The muscular system is made up of two kinds of different muscles. These are involuntary muscles and voluntary muscles. Involuntary muscles are muscles that we cannot control, for example the heart. Voluntary muscles are ones that we have control over and can command. In the muscular system there are also three different types of muscle tissues. They are the cardiac muscle, the skeletal muscle, and the smooth muscle. The cardiac muscle is the muscle that surrounds the heart. One unique characteristic of it is that it forms branching fibers and is attached together, unlike skeletal muscles, which are attached to the bone. Skeletal muscles are around 40% of a human’s body weight. Many skeletal muscles are used automatically, but they are still controllable and are voluntary muscles. Smooth muscles are made up mostly of internal organs and the digestive track. Smooth muscles are involuntary muscles because we cannot control them. When playing soccer the muscular system is a crucial factor for the player’s body. The body needs strength and power in running and kicking the soccer ball and it receives this from the muscles. The bigger your muscles are the more powerful these actions will be. Training your muscles to become bigger and stronger let the player’s body sprint faster, kick harder and not get pushed around by other players. The muscles that are most important while playing soccer are the quadriceps which are located on the front of thigh, they are important for kicking power and running. The hamstrings, which are located at the back of the thigh, are important for sprinting and stopping at high speeds. Also having solid abdominal muscles are important for soccer players because they improve balance, allow quick upper body movement, and if the body’s abdominal muscles are strong the player has a lower chance of getting a back or upper leg injury.

Mechanics of the Muscle System

In the muscle system, voluntary muscles are composed of two types of fibers; fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers. Fast twitch fibers are fibers that use anaerobic metabolism to create fuel and they generate short bursts of speed and acceleration, but they fatigue more quickly then slow twitch fibers. Slow twitch fibers use oxygen to generate ATP and can carry on for a long time until they fatigue. Fast twitch fibers create as much force as slow twitch fibers in their contractions, but what differentiates fast and slow twitch fibers are the speed that they contract at. Fast twitch muscles contract very rapidly, giving short bursts of speed and so they are good for sprinting. Slow twitch muscles contract more slowly, but they can continue for a long time and so are good for endurance. Most muscles in the human body are composed of about 50% fast twitch fibers and 50% slow twitch fibers. In soccer the human body needs a solid balance of fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers because players often need to sprint in a game for short periods of time. But because the game lasts so long and a soccer field is a long distance to run up and down during the course of a game, slow twitch muscles are required for endurance and stamina.


The human body is able to move through the use of skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are composed of a pattern of increasingly smaller corresponding pieces and is connected to the bone by a tendon. Fascicles, which are bundles of skeletal muscle fibers, are a core component in the make up of the muscle. Each fiber is an lengthened cell that contains nuclei. The fibers in the fascicles contain myofibrils, which are composed of thick and thin filaments made of protein. The standard arrangement of these strands gives striated muscle its striped appearance. The basic functional component of a muscle is the sarcomere, which is located in the myofibril. A sarcomere is made up of thick filaments of myosin, and thin filaments of actin, Muscle contraction is the result of these thick and thin filaments sliding past one another. When the contraction begins, stored calcium ions are released into the cytoplasm. Calcium ions expose binding sites on the actin molecules. Then Globular heads that are on the myosin can bind to these sites, forming cross bridges. Repeated binding and release moves the filaments relative to one another and as this occurs simultaneously in many sarcomeres, the entire muscle shortens or contracts.



The following excerpt below explains the process of contraction in scientific terms.

“At rest actin and myosin are prevented from contacting each other by two other proteins: tropomyosin and the Ca++ binding protein troponin. Upon stimulation, Ca++ is released from internal stores and binds to troponin, which induces a conformational change of tropomyosin and allows actin-myosin interaction.

The myosin head can bind hydrolise ATP (loss of one phosphate) to ADP. This gives energy to the myosin head to bind to actin and to bend pushing the acting filaments along. ADP is then resubstituted with ATP and actin and myosin come apart. Hydrolisis of ATP will start another binding and sliding cycle. Pushing the actin filament along and resulting in contraction of the cell” (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~sjjgsca/muscleSlidingFilament.html)



In a strenuous game like soccer the muscles must continually receive oxygen to sustain the production of ATP. During a soccer game or other demanding exercise the muscle fibers reach their maximum rate of producing ATP and large quantities of oxygen are required to maintain this level. But as the activity goes on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems cannot bring in enough oxygen to meet and sustain the demands and so oxygen debt occurs. Oxygen debt is where oxygen is temporarily unavailable and because of it a buildup of lactic acid occurs. (Lactic acid is a by-product of cellular respiration.) When the muscle has a buildup of lactic acid it means that the cells cannot receive enough oxygen and are switching to anaerobic energy production to maintain the high energy levels. Lactic acid only stops being produced until oxygen is available for further metabolism. The effects of lactic acid to the body are muscle soreness, which can occur for several days after the activity.




Optimizing Muscle Performance in Soccer

In soccer training, exercising and developing the muscle system is very important. When a player develops their body’s muscle system they increase their muscle endurance and power, trying to optimize it to fully benefit their game. In soccer, muscle power and strength are beneficial but they must also come with speed, because soccer is played at a high tempo. So most weight lifting done in a gym will not entirely help a player because in lifting weights the body is not developing speed but power. Instead for a soccer player to benefit from conditioning their muscle system they must focus on strength endurance. Strength endurance is the ability for the muscles to function at a high level for a long period of time. The best way to do this is by an activity called “Plyometrics”. Plyometrics are exercises that stretch the muscle before contraction causing the muscle to contract quicker and with more power. Plyometrics are usually done in various jumping exercises, which focus on the speed, and stretching of the muscle before contraction. Plyometric activities should be kept to a maximum of three times a week so as to not strain any muscles. A Soccer player’s body should also have a strong core foundation with strong abdominal muscles and lower back muscles. The best kinds of exercises for this are sit-ups and leg lifts that are done repetitively. A soccer player’s body should receive a proper diet that is focused on carbohydrates and fluids to avoid dehydration. Dietary supplements are not needed as long as the player’s body receives these. A player’s body needs time to recover from strenuous training and a proper amount of sleep and rest is required for a player to be at their full level.




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Potential Solutions

In order to live a healthy life, we must be active. What better way to do this then soccer, which exercises all of the body’s main systems while playing. In the Philippines, however, this sport has never really taken off. Basketball is the main activity instead. But soccer represents something that almost everyone can participate in; all you need to play is a ball. In order to gain public awareness of the benefits of this sport there must be an introduction of the sport to the general public. Below are 3 possibilities with an analysis of the advantages and disadvantages for each. 


Possibility 1 -Create A Local Soccer Team





Create a local soccer team made up of local kids from around the area. They would be taught how to play soccer and they would learn how soccer could increase their current state of fitness. The kids would play with teams in their surrounding area, showing the sport of soccer to people who would not otherwise experience it.






1.      Local kids from the Valley Golf area could be involved in an activity that would let them be part of a team, teach them a new sport, and increase their body’s athletic abilities.


2.      Younger kids in the same area could see this team and want to be a part of it leading to start them playing the sport and spreading the sport in the local youth community.





1.      People who are not a part of this team may become jealous and cause problems for the team.


2.      Finding a place to practice and play would be difficult because there are very few local fields that are available to the public.


3.      Members of this team may lose their interest in school and other important activities. This would then not be helping the kids but actually hindering them and their future.


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Possibility 2 -Ad Campaign



Work with the local government in running an ad campaign that would introduce the sport of soccer to the public. This would tell the benefits of soccer through handout brochures, newspaper ads and possibly even radio and television.




1. It would be fast and effective. With local television and radio stations running commercials highlighting the benefits of the sport the exposure of the sport would be wide spread. Every household in the country who owns a TV would see these ads and the benefits of soccer.


2. People who are illiterate would be able to see and hear these ads and understand what they were speaking about. This would allow a larger percentage of the population to find out about this sport and its benefits for the human body.





  1. This would be a high cost campaign and the costs may outweigh the benefits. For television, newspaper and radio companies to agree to this they would have to receive something in return and that would generally be cash. It would probably be wiser to use this money in setting up soccer camps and other activities, which allow people to interact with the sport.


  1. There is no assurance that results will come from it. Even though people may see the ads for soccer they may not actually go out and participate in it. People possibly will also lose interest of it quickly because they may not see results coming from there participation in the sport after just a few days. This could lead them to never play the game again.



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Possibility 3 -Soccer Camps




Go into local communities holding soccer day camps teaching the youth the skills that are required to play soccer and explain the benefits the body receives from playing soccer. This would allow the kids to experience a new activity with the help of coaches who already know how to play soccer and can teach it to others. From these camps, kids can learn a new activity through the help of others.




1.      Kids would be able to learn a sport in a controlled fun environment where they would be helped and encouraged. They would be able to see if they liked the sport or not and they would be able to learn about how soccer helps keep the body in shape.


2.      Kids would not have to travel anywhere to play soccer because the sport would be brought right to them.

3. The kids would be able to learn skills from experienced coaches.




1.      Participants of these camps may learn to enjoy soccer so much that it begins to take over all their time. This could lead to a loss of interest in school and a drop in their grades


2.      Soccer camps require space to be available and in some areas no space is available. This would mean that in those areas either the camp could not be held or the camp would have to turn kids away.


3.      The parents of potential participants of the camp may need the kids for other activities, so they would not be able to go.




Steps To A Successful Soccer Camp


  •      Start with stretching and short distance jogging- This is important to prevent injury
  •       Next do passing drills- this is fairly easy and simple; it is a good starting skill to build on.
  •       After that Dribbling drills should be done
  •       Water Break-It is important to keep everyone hydrated
  •       Fake kicks and skill moves should follow the water break
  •       Shooting drills should be next
  •       The last activity should be a scrimmage, make sure that there is a water break during the game



Equipment Needed

·        Enough soccer balls for the number of participants-Ideally one ball for every two people

·        Plastic Cones-These will be used in many of the drills

·        Water-This is a must, there should be enough for everyone who is involved

·        Coaches-To have a successful camp there must be enough coaches for all the kids. There should be at least one coach for every four kids

·        The right attitude-You have to want to be there to be able to teach the kids







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Dowshen, Steve. "Your Brain & Nervous System." www. kidshealth.org Mar. 2007. 12 Apr. 2009


<http://kidshealth.org/kid/htbw/brain.html - >.


“Fitness Training” www.expertfootball.com 11 April 2009




Mole, Paul A. "Muscle." The World Book Encyclopedia. 31st ed. 1988.


"Muscular System." www.Oracle ThinkQuest Library.com 12 Apr 2009.




Ohio State University Health Education www.OHSUHED.com 12 Apr 2009.




Shaffer, Stephen E. "Digestive System." www.KidsHealth/digestion.com.              Nemours Foundation. 12 Apr. 2009


<http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body_basics/digestive.html - >.


Tiamson, Mr Clod. Personal Interview through text messages. 14 May 2009.



“The Nervous System” www.maricoopa.edu 11 April 2009.






“What Should Soccer Players Eat?” www.soccerxpert.com 10 April 2009.





“X-ray soccer” www.drjohnkrause.com  11 April 2009.





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