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Coaches Blog

Sam's Blog is a bi-weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam Snow is the Coaching Director for US Youth Soccer.


Circuit Training

Sam Snow

The circuit training method to improve fitness and technique is a unique way for the coach to achieve a number of objectives simultaneously.  It also gives the coach a chance to enliven the training routine.  A circuit consists of a number of stations at which different exercises are to be performed.  It can be set up on the pitch or indoors, using a variety of equipment—cones, flag posts, benches, for example.  An imaginative coach will be able to design a circuit on which fitness and technique training can be combined (economical training).  The number of stations in a circuit is determined on the basis of the players' previous training and ability levels.  It is important for the players to perform to the best of their abilities at each station, so jog between stations to lower the breathing and pulse rates, yet stay on the move.  A thorough warm-up should always precede the exercises.  Explain to the players how to execute the exercises at each station before beginning.  Occasionally the coach will put a time limit for the entire circuit to be completed and other times not.

The circuit can be set up to run clockwise or counterclockwise.  The players can go through the circuit in pairs or singles.  When the focus is on fitness then pairs may work best so the partners can push one another.

The circuit system is intended for use over a period of one month, with gradual increases in the number of repetitions and the length of time spent at each station.  However, the coach may also wish to use the circuit for a change of pace during the season or when weather conditions impede other activities.  During the off-season, circuit exercises may be performed daily, especially when the team is unable to train together or to begin training at the same time.  The circuit allows players who arrive late to begin working out without requiring the immediate attention of the coach.

For more information, read the full article here.