Building up resistance against injuries
Ball control drills are highly repetitive and includes uncommon movements.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints are put to work and developed in a different way. Because of this fact they are higher resistant against injuries when a wrong or unexpected movement is made during normal training or game.
Untrained muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints on the other hand are weaker and more susceptible to injuries.
The same is true for a long distance runner who has a higher risk for injuries when he would run on a technical trail without the required training compared to a trail runner who does it all the time. A trail runner is used to place his feet on uneven terrain at different angles. By experience he is able to perfectly feel the ground and unconsciously anticipate the trail. Gym workouts to reinforce the ankles are of course part of his training.
Contribution to the build-up of basic fitness
A player must possess the required physical endurance to optimally perform during his time on the field. Long distance or ultra-distance runners fall back completely on their well build-up basic fitness. They spend up to 80% of their training on the build-up of their basic fitness by running long distances at a very easy pace and heart rate below 70% of their MHRR (Max Heart Rate Reserve).
For a soccer player this is comparable to the much dreaded loops around the soccer field. Dreaded because a soccer player wants to play with the ball. Why not combine the two?
Ball control exercises raise the heart rate considerably, but stays below 70% MHRR most of the time if we neglect the very few exceptions. This means he/she stays well within the heart rate zone that contributes the most to the build-up of basic fitness.
Warm-up before a game or training
The warm-up before a soccer game is more than just stretching and getting the muscles up to speed to avoid injuries during the following game. A goalkeeper not only has to put to work his muscles during the warm-up but he has to catch some balls to get focused on the game and to start with confidence. A field player also has to kick a few balls on goal and give a few accurate passes to start the game with confidence.
Ball control drills deliver extra ball touches and opportunities to practice some moves before the game which has a dual purpose. It contributes to gain the required focus and confidence while the muscles, tendons and joints are getting on temperature.
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