Someone wanted a sample in season program, here it is, including my thoughts as to why things are done.
Testing: As far I am concerned this should not be a major emphasis in the fall. This should be emphasized in the winter/spring with the goal being to identify strengths and weaknesses to better direct the off season training. I recommend the Yo/Yo (Beep Test) with a team goal of 15.6 without the goalkeepers. The 300 Shuttle test – the key here to reflect game fitness is as little difference between the two runs as possible.
Conditioning: When the team reports set team goals. Determine leaders for each area of conditioning, so they are responsible and have ownership. Rather than have extra sessions for someone who does not test well, have a team session instead. The theme should be a little bit more often! The conditioning sessions do not have to be long and killers, they just need to be consistently applied. Training is cumulative. Conditioning should be part of every practice. No one-day is a conditioning day but different components of fitness are addressed in each practice in a sequence so they are fresh for the games. My thought is that the season is too short and each game too important to have the players going into the games with dead legs. In order to do this we need to put our heads together so that the technical and tactical work correlate with the fitness theme for the day. Do not under estimate the conditioning value of various small-sided games with defined conditions. The key is to look closely at the intensity of the small sided game and define the conditions to achieve the fitness as well as the tactical objective. Size of field, number of touches, the number of players will change the work to rest ratios which impacts the component of fitness you are working on. Also consider putting small segments of fitness, speed and speed endurance drills between soccer specific drills during practice. That breaks it up and makes it more game like. This is the ideal sequence:
Good warm-up every day. Pool recovery session wherever possible – especially Wednesday & Thursday
Day One – Aerobic Emphasis – 30 –60 seconds with 1:1 work to rest ratio. Lower intensity with shorter rest. Not high volume. Strength Train
Day Two – Speed development and agility work possibly working into speed endurance. Strength Train – Core work
Day Three: Emphasize Speed Endurance – 8- 10 seconds in duration with 30 –40 seconds recovery. Strength Train
Day Four – Speed Acceleration – Short & quick. Agility. Strength Train – Core work
Day Five – Good sharp warm-up. Footwork. Get quick
Day six – Game
This obviously must be adjusted when there are multiple games in a week.
Preseason: Plan the recovery days first! This will make it proactive not reactive. Look at specific recovery sessions in a combination of work outside and in the pool. Good recovery will allow them to work at a higher percentage of their capacity at all times. Therefore the sum total training effect of the preseason will be greater than if they are completely torn down. Also carefully consider time of day for training.
Strength Training: This should be done at the field to insure that it is done with concentartion, intensity and effort. It would be good to have dumbbells in pairs from 12, 15, 20 25 and a couple of pair of 30,s. The majority should be in the 10- 25 Lb range. Have enough so no one is standing around. They work in pairs. If they are not lifting they will be doing core work, so that a fifteen or twenty minute workout will involve no standing around. It should be total activity for the whole workout.