Grab a pick-up game of soccer to keep your workouts fresh. Taking the routine out of an exercise routine is vital to keeping you moving month after month. Something I love to add to the toolbox is pick-up soccer games. These are the games that regularly happen in parks with small groups of people who don’t really care who shows up. Regardless of whether or not you’ve played before, the common objective here is exercise and fun.
Where to Look
You can find these light-hearted games being played in parks, often around the lunch hour and near large companies with lots of employees. You can also find them on weekends in parks anywhere. If you haven’t noticed a regular group playing near you, check out the internet and search your area and you’ll likely find others keeping their game alive. The city where I live offers co-ed leagues and men and women only leagues with a huge range of age brackets. One of the big attractions to soccer is its growing popularity, its low equipment costs, and the benefits reaped from participation. Working some strategy to get the ball in the net takes a lot of leg and team work. Before you know it you are sweating and completely focused. Getting started is easy, so let’s begin.
There are a few things you’ll want to do before walking onto the field. The first is to achieve some level of physical fitness so you are able to enjoy yourself. As you’ve probably guessed, soccer is a running game, but don’t be discouraged. Jogging a couple of times per week will get your feet used to the idea. You don’t need to go fast or long, you need only to go. It will also be a good idea to switch up the speeds you run. If you are running for 20 minutes, mix up your run with slow and fast speeds for small durations. This will more closely mimic the game of soccer and prepare you for the variations. You will get the majority of the conditioning while playing with the group you have found.
Another thing to consider is the soccer equipment you’ll need. This is recreational play so the gear you buy can be very minimal. Cleats, shin guards, soccer socks, shorts, and shirts are great to have but really aren’t vital. Soccer cleats will keep you from slipping on the grass and shin guards protect the front of your legs if kicked, otherwise soccer can be played in just about anything in which you can comfortably run. If you decide to play in a city league you will have a team shirt and will likely be required to wear shin guards.
One last thing to do before heading to the field is tackle a couple of soccer drills to give you confidence and enhance your playing experience. The most used skill is dribbling the ball with your feet while maintaining ball control. If you haven’t done this in awhile or ever it is worthwhile to visit. You can get in some conditioning with dribbling practice too. Once you are comfortable going slow then pick up the speed and try mixing up the tempo by combining fast and slow speeds. Include some juggling work into your practice time as well. Start by dropping the ball to your foot and kicking it back to your hands. Get decent with one foot and then try the other. Finally, start to pass the ball from foot to foot without using your hands. This takes a lot of practice to master and won’t keep you from incorporating soccer into your workout regimen so work on it between soccer days.
Playing soccer as an adult is fun way to add a new element to a weekly workout routine. It doesn’t cost a lot of money to get involved and you can play at any skill level. Soccer is a cardiovascular challenge that enhances your hand foot coordination and builds leg and core strength. If you are looking for a new challenge that can be tailored to your desired effort level then give soccer a go…..you are sure to have a ball.