Best Plyometric Exercises for Youth Soccer Players

PLYOMETRIC TRAINING FOR YOUTH SOCCER

Plyometrics are valuable in various sports and they are a fundamental element for youth soccer players. Plyometrics, or explosive movements- are a great tool to help young soccer players get better on the field.

As young athletes deal with the challenges of soccer, adding plyometrics to their workouts is a way to develop into stronger and more well-rounded athletes. 

Benefits of plyometric training:

  • Enhances power, explosiveness, and strength
  • Boosts speed, agility and fitness
  • Contributes to agility, coordination, and balance
  • Helps with injury prevention
  • Provides sport-specific conditioning

Related:

Power and Strength Standards for Youth Soccer Players

Strength & Conditioning Advice for Young Football Players

From observing and training young soccer players on the pitch and at our gym, there are a variety of different plyometric exercises that I find are beneficial for youth soccer players. 

Best Plyometric Exercises for Youth Soccer Players

lateral hurdle jump: Soccer involves a lot of lateral movements, such as sidestepping opponents or quickly changing direction to get possession of the ball. Lateral hurdle jumps help youth players improve their lateral agility and quickness, improving their ability to navigate the field effectively.

Box jumps: Box jumps benefit youth soccer players by replicating explosive movements like heading, improving vertical jump for effective ball reach. These jumps also strengthen crucial lower body muscles, enhancing stability and power in soccer-specific actions. The controlled landings foster better proprioception and coordination, vital for injury prevention and overall athleticism.

Skater jumps: Skater jumps involve lateral movements, which are common in soccer when players need to quickly change direction, evade opponents, or cover ground sideways. Soccer requires quick and powerful movements on a single leg, incorporating single leg plyometric training can be a highly efficient and safe approach to enhance sprinting and jumping performance in preadolescent soccer players.

Broad jumps: Broad jumps are excellent for soccer players, boosting explosive power and agility, vital for the sport. The rapid extension of lower body muscles in a broad jump mimics soccer’s dynamic movements like sprinting, jumping, and quick lateral movements. This plyometric exercise not only strengthens the legs but also engages the core, enhancing stability. Broad jumps improve coordination and spatial awareness, crucial skills on the soccer field.