During this webinar we will explore the importance of focus, concentration, rhythm and timing, coordination, balance, motor planning and sequencing, and decision making; skills that are vital in any sports including soccer. Playing soccer requires several types of skills, including physical, mental and emotional.
Some of these skills come naturally to some players but must be learned by others. Whether naturally skilled or not, all players must hone their soccer-playing skills to be competitive. Physical skills that must be learned and mastered in order to play competitive soccer include stamina, speed, strength, reaction, ability and coordination. Reaction and coordination are skills that typically come naturally, but can also be improved through extensive and repetitive practice. Game-specific skills need to be developed for soccer players to effectively play the game. Specific skills include dribbling, heading, passing and punting. When developing and refining dribbling skills, players use all parts of their feet to pass, change direction and kick the ball. Physical abilities come into play as players use their spatial awareness, peripheral vision, speed and agility to effectively play the game. Soccer requires several mental skills that enable players to understand the rules, formations, position responsibilities and objectives of the game. Players must exercise their mental skills to keep track of vital game information. IM training has the potential to fill the gap that currently exists between unique sporting skills such as these identified as necessary for peak performance. An important aspect of combining IM training with regular sports programs, is identifying the unique requirements of the individual athlete’s performance through observation and analysis , then applying this knowledge to formulate a program specifically tailored to the individual’s needs. Previous research and documentation using the IM in sport, has focused primarily on a “one size fits all” type of program. Standard 12 exercise programs for any sport. During this presentation, I will take IM training a step further by changing and expanding existing IM exercises in to sport specific, challenging exercises that meet the individual demands of soccer players, identified though the observation and analysis process. To personalize IM programs for athlete’s it is important to identify and analyse the physical, mental and environmental factors sporting athletes encounter, and then the applications involved to plan a creative sport specific IM program, that both simulates and challenges various athletic components discovered during the observation period. I will take you through a step by step example of how observation and analysis of specific skills and movements, mental and environmental demands that soccer players encounter, combined with creative brainstorming and adaption of IM exercises, can produce a personalized, challenging sport specific IM program that can address the multiple demands present for soccer players.