Improve your balance for football

Ipswich Town’s head of sports science, Lee O'Neill, on the mechanics of balance and how important it is to your game

“Balance is one of the key elements of conditioning that is underestimated and misunderstood. 
 
If a player wants to develop this part of their game, they need to understand the mechanics. Firstly, the body’s building blocks – bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments – are stacked upon each other, and the better they link, the more stable and mobile you’ll be.
 
One of the elements that forges this equilibrium is core stability. The core is the lower torso region including the abdominals, obliques and lower back. Core strength helps facilitate almost every football action, but it isn’t enough on its own – you also need single-leg strength. 
 
Combine these two elements and you will be able to perform specific actions, such as balancing on one foot, receiving the ball from a throw-in and returning it, all while holding off an opposition player.
 
Try head tennis on one leg, with a maximum of 2-3 touches per player. Play for two minutes, alternating between legs every 30 seconds. Do this three times.”
 

 

More after the break

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