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2022 Ohio Soccer Outlook: Supplemental Training

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Now that we are solidly in 2022 we are excited to dive deep into our 2022 Ohio Soccer Outlook Series. To start us off we have collaborated with Coach Joe Penell, of QTSD© to bring you more information about supplemental training and why it is important for your player. If you don't already have your player in consistent supplemental training, I suggest you seriously consider making supplemental training a part of your player's development in 2022.


Note: QTSD© is a sponsor of Ohio Soccer Moms and Dads. We rely on our sponsors for financial support of our website and the work we do.


What is supplemental training?

Supplemental soccer training is additional training for an individual player outside of their typical team training. Supplemental training comes in many forms. Nearly all serious soccer players participate in supplemental training of some kind even if it's just a summer camp or SAQ. Most elite level players participate in 1-3 training sessions per week that are in addition to their club’s team training AND the majority of these players are continuing this schedule year round.


Supplemental Training in the Modern Game

In every aspect of child development there are different rates of growth and change. This is no different in the game of soccer. Coach Joe shared with us that “Supplemental training is an important piece of a serious soccer player’s development. While team training (club/HS etc.) plays a major part, there are certain elements of development that cannot be easily coached in a team environment.” Just like in a classroom, players have different learning styles and come to the field with different levels and areas of knowledge. An interesting point Coach Joe made was that in addition to learning styles, rates of development and biometric factors are different for each player, another key reason players need training outside of their team environment is the difference in a players motivation to improve.


Coach Joe Pennel shared additional thoughts. “Some players need 1-on-1 professional attention for them to grasp coaching ideas OR build their self-confidence. Others need supplemental training to catch up to peers they are competing against. And some may be looking for a training environment with peers/coaches that will push them outside their comfort level to stay at a high level of performance.”


Additional aspects parents should consider is the style of “supplemental training”. Each format of training may benefit different players in different ways. Coach Joe suggests considering the following:

  • Technical training - More oriented towards helping players develop the control of the ball in different individual situations (i.e. first touch, passing & receiving, creative foot skills, finishing, etc.)

  • Tactical training - Oriented towards more team-oriented decision making and understanding of the game (spacing, movement off the ball, formations, etc.)

  • Speed & Agility - Training format more focused on developing a player’s balance, foot speed, body control, and more.

  • Strength Training - Training more focused on developing a player’s strength, power, and injury prevention.

  • Small Group Training - Can be a mix of all of the above; allowing for application of individual learning in smaller groups.

Supplemental training is for players of all ages:

There is a supplemental training option for players of every age. When we spoke with Coach Joe he broke down supplemental training age-by-age.


There are various ages that should consider supplemental training; each with a different important focus:

  • 5-6 years old (small group) - Focus on small groups that teach the basics of soccer; allowing for development of a strong foundation of skills, body control, and passion for the game. Less competitive, more fun!

  • 7-8 years old (small group) - Start to introduce more detailed expectations on top of the foundations learned. Coaches should also encourage individual development, creativity, and social interaction with peers. Start to introduce competition balanced with fun.

  • 9-12 years old (private, small group, & camps) - Players should be focused on more individual development combined with small groups to allow them to test out newly learned skills with peers. Heavy focus on individual control of the ball.

  • 13-HS age (small group & private) - As players shift to 11v11, the previously strong focus on technical skills starts to shift to a more balanced tactical and technical mix (as players should have built a strong technical foundation in the 9-12 ages).

  • College + (Small group & private) - As a higher level player, college athletes should be focused mainly on two aspects; maintaining sharpness of technical skills AND speed of play (execution, decision making, etc.).


The importance of training year round:

Sporting priorities are different for every family and every player. For players who play multiple sports; the typical Fall and Spring season may not fit their schedule meaning they may not be able to play competitively in each season. For the most serious player the typical Fall spring season may not be enough. Supplemental training provides year round access to player development.


While summer and winter may be the best opportunities to focus on developing outside of club and team environments, Coach Joe recommends “supplementally training 2-3 times per week during these “off-season” time periods.” He continued by explaining that it is even more important to have supplemental training while “in-season” however “training needs to be adjusted to reflect a player’s overall training load (i.e. club practices, games, and tournaments).” Under these circumstances, supplemental training should be reduced down to 1-2 times per week.


Coach Joe added. “Over the past decade of professionally coaching teams and players, we have learned that “in-season” training requires a shift to re-sharpening technical skills, re-visiting tactical understanding, and helping players regain any lost confidence. While in season, many players start to lose their individual technical edge (due to more focus on team development at club/HS practice) or suffer a lack of individual confidence from multiple factors. Players also have to be aware of over-training concerns” Over training concerns could include mental burnout, physical fatigue, injuries and more.



Image Courtesy of Quick Touch Soccer Development (QTSD©)

Joe Pennell is the owner and director of player development at Quick Touch Soccer Development (QTSD©). He is nationally licensed with US Soccer, certified with United Soccer Coaches and holds a Level 1 (Spain) Expert Certification in LaLiga Formation Methodology. In addition to Coach Joe’s extensive soccer education he has been a professional supplemental soccer trainer for more than 12 years and coaching youth soccer for more than 8 years.



QTSD© Website/Social Media/Contact:

Phone - 614-316-3464


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