If your main sport is soccer then it’s important to run track in order to become a better athlete. There are many track and field events that complement your primary sport.
Not only do these track events allow you to improve your speed but they also improve your posture, general movements, and motor skills. They improve the energy and power needed on the soccer field.
Some coaches even suggest young soccer players such as high school boys play other sports such as basketball, baseball, and lacrosse.
These sports and track events allow you to control your body weight and fight through contact by outmuscling your opponents.
What are Track Events?
Professional coaches advise athletes who play soccer to participate in track and field events during the off-season for soccer training.
These events are primarily divided into three different categories. Each category comes with its own challenges that allow soccer players to become better athletes.
These categories include the following:
- Sprints or relay runs.
- Sprinting or running on the track with obstacles.
- Running on the track to cover a specific distance in a short period.
Why Track Events are Important for a Soccer Player?
Many soccer players lack general strength because of their body type and they can’t move properly in terms of linear speed mechanics.
Speed in its essence is a complex mix of nerves and body muscles and track events eliminate poor movement patterns and offer better body control and agility.
What Track and Field Events are Best If You Play Soccer??
According to a study and professional players spend to utilize the 90 minutes of a soccer game in the following manner:
- 15 minutes standing: 17 percent
- 38 minutes walking: 42 percent
- 14 minutes jogging: 16 percent
- 22 minutes running: 25 percent (where each sprint lasts for about 2 minutes or less)
The data suggests that soccer athletes go through low-intensity aerobic work for 75 percent of the time. But it certainly doesn’t mean that you should completely discard aerobic training. It, of course, matters to perform better in the game.
However, training for short sprints is critical for good soccer players and it’s not advisable to devote major time of training to slow distance running. You must have the aerobic capacity and the aerobic system and short sprint events will help you to sustain it.
You can compete in long sprints by joining the track team and it will help you to outperform your opponents.
There are many types of events such as triple jump, high jump, long jump, long-distance and middle-distance running, and throwing events but the following are the best ones for soccer players.
100 Meter Sprint
This track event is all about speed. You need to run as fast as you possibly can to finish the line on the tracks straightway. It allows you to run faster than other players to reach and lead the ball to its destination.
200 Meter Sprint
It’s pretty similar to a 100-meter sprint but it provides you with additional strength that comes in handy in the soccer field to run and cover a longer distance.
400 Meter Sprint
It’s a long sprint that will equip your body with tolerance for pain, strength, and speed. It’s one complete lap of an outdoor track with a standard size.
800 Meter Run
Both 400- and 800-meter runs rely on speed endurance and they can be very excruciating. It’s a great way to improve your endurance.
4 X 100 Meter Relay
This track event improves your ability to work with a team. In this event, 4 athletes participate where each player has to run for 100 meters. The first athlete carries a baton and s/he needs to pass it to the second player after 100 meters and so on.
4 X 400 Meter Relay
The mechanism of this event is just the same as the event mentioned above. But in this event, each player needs to run for 400 meters.
What are the Benefits of Track Events?
Running tracks comes brings so many advantages to the table and some of the most important ones are listed below:
Track events allow you to develop explosiveness and speed. Sprints as well as other sports improve your to and end speed, acceleration, and coordination. Most high school coaches suggest sprinting to young athletes because many young players never had the opportunity to improve their speed.
Better off the Line Acceleration and Speed
Sprint also helps you to have better starting skills to control the soccer ball better and jumping events allow you to improve your vertical. In simple words, it helps you to teach your top speed within no time (faster than your opponent).
Improved Sense of Competition
Soccer is a competitive sport and track events allow you to run against others. Keeping yourself involved in competitive events is a great way to improve your motor skills and deliver a game-breaking performance.
Less Energy Consumption
Track events not only allow you to learn proper running form to become faster, but they also help you to become more efficient at running by consuming less energy. It comes in handy, especially in the last quarter of the soccer game.
The track develops your cardiovascular performance by improving endurance. Interestingly, studies show that long runs allow you to use your energy more efficiently as these events open your aerobic energy pathways.
So, those 5K cross country runs might not be able to make you faster but they can definitely help you to outperform your opponents in the last part of the game.
Most of the professional and college football players ran track and played multiple sports during their high school years. It only shows the importance of track events for soccer players.
It’s said that you should do what successful people did to achieve a certain goal and it’s especially true for high school athletes who are planning to play soccer as their primary sport.