Dynamic Soccer Player
Correct Postural Alignment
Correct Postural alignment for a soccer player is important with regards to achieving Neuromuscular Efficiency,
Or to put it another way, the ability of your nervous system to communicate with the muscles. So that when you are required to perform instinctively and at random, the body does so in synergy.
Therefore a player must be able to maintain and enhance both Structural and Functional Efficiency, so that the body’s center of gravity is always over the base of support for any given movement in the game. Where the kinetic Chain automatically adjusts to a multitude of different movement patterns, functional strength is demonstrated to its maximum, and no individual bodypart is put under any undue stress.
This permits less tension and effort when executing sudden and explosive soccer moves, and adapt better in generating and accepting force.
There are players who exhibit many individual strengths throughout the game, yet still have an incorrect postural alignment. This can effect overall performance, and if chronic will further deteriorate muscular and Skeletal imbalances.
This not only creates unnecessary stresses on the joints and muscles, but can also effect the cardiospiritory system and develop dysfunctional breathing. These altered movement patterns can also explain why certain players are more vunerable to injuries than others.
Examples would be a player with tight hamstrings and buttocks, short hip flexors and rigid shoulders.
Postural distortions such as these can manifest into poor running and reduced movement ability, where joints become restricted so that more energy is required to perform at an optimal level.
Proper Anatomical Alignment
To achieve proper Anatomical Alignment we have to imagine a plumb line that falls vertically through 6 points of the human body, dissecting the following anatomical positions from a lateral (side view) :
Starting from the centre of the cranium (head) the line will meet the :
ASSESSMENTS FOR DYNAMIC FLEXIBILITY,STRENGTH AND PROPRIOCEPTION FOR SOCCER
- Center of the earlobe
- The tip of the shoulder
- Midway through the chest
- Slightly behind at the hip joint
- Back half of the hip joint
- Slightly forward of the lateral malleolus of the ankle bone
Below are two assessments that soccer players should consider using to determine how really prepared he/she is.
The results may give you an insight into how ongoing soccer injuries may occur or why there is a deficit in certain areas of soccer performance.
Should any inefficiencies be detected, then specific soccer strength training exercises should be implemented regularly .
Overhead Squat Assessment
The Overhead Squat Assessment will help soccer players check for any imbalances of which they may not be aware of, and give some indication of overactive and underactive muscle groups that should be addressed.
Correct Technique for OSA
From a start position try to achieve the above proper anatomical allignment with your arms fully extended vertically above your head. Arms touching your ears and feet pointing forward.
Perform a squat in a slow controlled rhythm, pushing your backside back, as if reaching back for a chair that is slightly further behind you. Keeping your chest forward and arms still fully extended.
Repeat the action for both anterior (front) and lateral (side) positions 5 times each.
Use the checklist below to make a note of any postural abnormalities that may occur during the assessment and compare it with the correct kinetic chain checkpoints as listed.
Overactive and Underactive Muscle Movement Conpensations Chart
- Feet should stay flat to the ground with your toes still pointing forward.
- Knees should track your toes
- Hips should remain centred without the back becoming arched or rounded
- Arms should sustain an angle of roughly 60° while still extended, with no bend at the elbow
Oppropiate stretching and strengthening exercises can be found for the links belowSingle leg squat assessment for Soccer Players
As mentioned previously, soccer players need to develop optimal movement patterns for any unnatural positions that may occur throughout a game of soccer
The single leg squat assessment is an important test that can help determine any potential weak links when a soccer player executes many of the functional movements associated with soccer.
For example soccer moves that involve jumping to head the ball, side stepping, decelleration, and controlling the lower body when landing on one foot.
The three important areas being assessed here are : the ankle proprioception, hip joint stability and core strength.
Correct technique for SLSA
* NOTE: Lower within the limitations of the individual *
- Standing with hands on hips, keep head naturally aligned and looking forward
- Make sure hip complex, knees and feet all track each other or that all three are in one straight line. Feet pointing straight ahead.
- Keep abdominals tight (as if preparing to receive a punch to the midsection)
- Lift one leg parallel to the opposite leg, and proceed to push backside back and chest forward while descending into a single leg squat.
- Keeping your knee behind toes
Hopefully this information will prove invaluable when assessing your present anatomical alignment, and these are just two of many assessments that can be used in helping you progress in soccer.
The OHS and SLS being the more practical for soccer and catering for a larger range of muscle groups.
Try to work in pairs when performing the assessments and get either of you to note any compensations listed above.
You can print out the checklists
It is also advised to seek the guidance from a professional body for a more detailed plan of action in correcting postural imbalances
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