Future Soccer have partnered together with Primal Performance to offer a complete strength & conditioning program for teams. This program aims to improve players individually, while improving teams collectively as well. The goal is to improve overall endurance, and train athletes for their specific positions. Every position requires certain strengths more than others. For example, a midfielder needs to have the most endurance compared to other positions on the pitch; defenders and strikers need to be strong and fast; wingers need to be extremely quick and agile; goalkeepers must have a great deal of upper-body strength. In the Future Soccer – Primal Performance strength & conditioning program, each player will receive specific feedback for themselves on areas that need improvement, and how to do so. The focus of the program is to master the basics of movement (biomechanics) and mobility, before moving on to high intensity.
Most soccer clubs in Canada have technical directors, but very few (if any) have physical directors. This is a major reason why Canadian soccer teams are lagging behind their international opposition. In places such as Europe, the norm is to have specific coaches focus on the physical aspects of the game, as well as the technical aspects. There is no other program offered like this in Canada, and it is a major competitive advantage for any team to offer this program to their players. A player can have all the technical ability in the world, but if they do not have the physical ability coupled with it, they cannot perform what they intend to do at the highest level throughout the entire 90+ minutes of a match.
About Primal Performance
Primal Performance is run and owned by Kyle Gentle and his brother Graeme Gentle. Between them they have almost two decades of work in the strength and conditioning field. Both have worked with many different types of clientele from world class athletes, to senior citizens, and everyone in between. Kyle is a national level weightlifter in Canada and Graeme is a Provincial level weightlifter in Canada. Throughout their lives, they have competed in track and field, soccer, swimming, tennis, hockey, and baseball, all before finding their love of the sport of Olympic Weightlifting.
What is Strength Training?
Strength is at the base of all movement. Crawling, walking, running, jumping, pulling, pushing, squatting, lunging, twisting, and everything in between all have an element of strength and coordination to be done powerfully and safely. Even though a person can “run”, “jump”, or “kick”, does not mean they run, jump, or kick well. What makes someone strong comes down to how well they can produce force when they push into the ground and propel their bodies in the direction they need to go. In soccer, if player A can push into the ground with more force than player B (and that force travels through their body soundly – this is a display of good biomechanics), then player A will get to his or her destination before player B does. Every sport needs speed and good timing, and soccer is not shy on the need of either of those attributes. Understanding how to improve reaction time and strength in an athlete is always an asset.
Strength training is not all just about moving heavy weights. It is more about how well you move said weight and for the sport of soccer, how well you can move that weight (that players’ own bodyweight, gravity, and the forces of the sport) and maintain that level of force output and efficiency of movement for 90+ minutes. The sport of soccer displays all forms of movement patterns (lunge, bend, squat, all forms of gait, jumping, twisting, pushing, and pulling). The better your athlete can perform these patterns, whether the pattern be on its own, such as sprinting, or a combination of patterns such as jumping and twisting to head the ball, the more productive that athlete will be throughout the entirety of the match. The most inconsistent athletes are the ones that cannot maintain their respective sports’ techniques throughout the entire game, they break down the earliest.
What is Conditioning?
Conditioning needs from sport to sport can vary greatly. Even different positions in the same sport sometimes require different conditioning needs, as is the case with a midfielder versus a goalie in soccer. The midfielder has to have a much higher level of stamina and conditioning, as he is moving a lot more than a goalie throughout a match. Essentially, if a player can display a very similar level of force output, cognitive awareness, technical mastery, and willingness from beginning to the end of a match, that player has good conditioning. The question is, how good are those attributes to start? Through proper movement training and strengthening, the conditioning side of things becomes a lot easier and safer for the athlete. Avoiding injuries is a major aspect, and the longer an athlete can maintain good positions throughout his or her sport, and in the gym, the safer they will be. In those cases, the athlete is able to continue to progress, especially at the parts of the game that he or she really needs to improve upon and not be set back because of fatigue or injury. Most often, injuries occur due to poor movement patterns stacked on top of tired, relatively weak, and stressed athletes, which are not a good reasons to get injured. Good levels of strength and conditioning, and refined movement patterns, along with willingness, are the best ways to continue progressing at any sport, and is at the very least something that is in every athletes’ power and within their responsibility as a team member to maintain.
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- Increased strength & conditioning
- Improvement in quality movement (biomechanics)
- Increased mobility
- A better understanding of how one’s body works
- Decreasing the risk of injury
- Improving in-gym and on-field performance
- Greater confidence
- Learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- Greater individual and collective team endurance
- Building team chemistry
Strength and Conditioning is not bad for minors, as long as they are properly supervised so they perform the proper techniques and go forward with the correct progression for each respective athlete.
Depending on the athlete’s personalized program (given by the trainers) and their proximity to an approved Primal Performance gym, they will be able to do either in-gym workouts or at-home workouts.
In order for your child to adapt and improve their movement patterns, they need to expose their brains and bodies to the new positions and demands on a regular basis to see any noticeable improvement. They did not improve their soccer skills by practicing once a week.
Depending on your proximity to a gym, you may have to buy some equipment for your child at home. In some cases, no equipment will be needed other than your child’s body and brain (attentiveness while moving).
As motor patterns and strength in the gym improve, there will a direct positive-correlation to the on-field performance that will be noticeable.