This past weekend, we (University of Toronto men’s soccer) played our final regular season game against Royal Military College. It was an easy 5-0 win and we had already clinched first place in our division.
For that reason, we didn’t want to risk playing some of our regular starters and wanted to give the guys who hadn’t played much this year a good run.
So that meant I got to work with the guys who weren’t playing!
And we had some serious fun in the end zone.
The beautiful thing about playing at Varsity Stadium in Toronto is that, aside from being a great stadium in the heart of the city, there are sandbags all around the stadium providing anchoring for the benches and nets, and the like.
So we made full use of the 40-lb sandbags and had a wicked soccer-specific crossfit workout.
After our regular 35-minute pre-game warm-up I took 4 guys (who were healthy and not starting) with me behind the net and explained how our workout was about to go down.
Here’s what we did…
1. Sandbag swings x 25 reps…
2. Sandbag run 40-yards to the side of the end zone…
3. Sandbag front squats x 25 reps
4. Sandbag run 40-yards to the side of the end zone…
5. Burpees x 25 reps
6. Sandbag run 40-yards to the side of the end zone…
7. Sandbag stair runs (up stadium stairs) x 5 reps
8. Sandbag run 40-yards to the start!
This whole ordeal took about 7.5 minutes and left the guys gasping for air. Not too mention that their legs felt like lead!
And the best part is that 2 of these players actually went into the game in the 2nd half. Haha!
After this first set, I gave them a full 7.5 minutes to recover and then we repeated it again, with a few small progressions.
We then finished with some core exercises and then it was half-time.
In the second half, I continued to work with 3 players (2 of them had been subbed out from the game) and we did a power-building superset workout.
80-yard dash pushing the field hockey net (took about 45 seconds at full speed) Â - amazing for sprint performance and power development.
Sandbag cleans x 45 seconds
These 2 exercises were repeated 3 times each with NO rest for a total workout time of about 6 minutes. This was repeated twice!
You might be wondering what on earth I was thinking to make these guys work so hard DURING a game, right?
Well, the truth of the matter is that we have playoffs coming up this week and we need to continue to improve our fitness.
We are already the fittest team in the league but we need to be able to go that extra mile, especially considering that 30 minutes of extra time is now a possibility.
I have no doubt that our team will be ready for the kill this coming saturday as we embark on our quarter-final match.
In the meantime, we’ll be playing the U-18 Toronto FC team on Wednesday night as a SERIOUS preparation match for what lies ahead.