College Player Spotlights Health & Nutrition Tips for Players

Top Tips For Soccer Training and Conditioning

Olivia Doak offers readers the inside scoop to her training methods that brought her great success.

Olivia Doak
Lipscomb University

In her freshman season for Lipscomb, Olivia Doak played in all 19 games at forward and led the team in points with 17 after scoring seven goals and dishing out three assists to earn the Freshman of the Year award for the Lady Bisons.

The 2016 Lady Bisons tied the program record for wins (12-5-2) and reached the ASUN Championship game for the second consecutive season. It was certainly a great season for Doak and the Bisons. And the success was built on hard work and dedication.

“We have practice for an hour and 45 minutes every day, but on top of that we also spend two days a week in the weight room after practice,” she said. “Our strength and conditioning coach gives us a program for weight training. All of the training is soccer specific so we work on explosiveness and getting our legs stronger. We also work on upper body with bench press and dead lift and pulls up.”

Doak — who was a member of the Tennessee SC 16 (TN) team that competed in the US Youth Soccer National League and won the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championship — said the strength program is similar for each soccer player but results are tracked to check on progress and to adjust the workouts based on performance.

Running is another important part of training.

“We do a lot of shorter sprints and soccer-specific fitness during the season,” Doak said. “But in the off-season I run a lot. Even after training I will go for a long run on my own.”

Three tips

1. Run for distance. Doak says she has always enjoyed running. “I like to run at one of the many parks we have around Nashville,” she said. “I like to do at least three miles. I believe the more fit you are, the better you can compete on the soccer field.”Monitor pace.

2. Monitor pace. When Doak hits the running trail she always has her watch on and keeps tabs of her time. “I try to run pretty hard and push myself,” she says. “It depends on the hills but I try to keep it under a 7-minute pace. I try to go as fast as I can for as long as I can.

3. Self-motivate. Doak says she has always been very self-motivated and uses that to her advantage when training. “I’ve always trained a lot on my own,” she says. “I think being the last one to leave practice and running on your own is very important. I also would suggest young players get used to the weight room before coming to college.”