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Individual Training

By Mike Woitalia 03/28/2020, 11:30am EDT

John Cone on staying fit with individual training
by Mike Woitalla
As competitive players face this period of isolation, we checked in with John Cone, a previous Youth Soccer Insider contributor on health, fitness and sports science, who has served as fitness coach for MLS, NWSL, college, youth and U.S. national teams. Cone, also an instructor for U.S. Soccer's highest level licenses, is the co-founder of Fit For 90, a player-monitoring platform for performance, development and injury prevention.

SOCCER AMERICA: What's your coaching like during this novel coronavirus shutdown?

JOHN CONE: Certainly we are being met by fairly unimaginable circumstances. But working with a large number of teams, ranging from youth teams through professional teams, the core question and discussion is largely the same -- how can we keep the athletes in safe environments, and at the same time, maintain some semblance of performance?



SA: Guiding players through individual training is something that's necessary even in normal circumstances ...

JOHN CONE: Working with teams across so many different environments, there are a large number of instances in which individual training is needed. For instance, frequently at the youth level, there are players who for a variety of reasons cannot make training and need to maintain their trajectory of fitness relative to the team. Or, in the college or pro environment when players are injured, or away from team training and need to improve or maintain fitness levels, and injury resistance.

Generally speaking, methods for individual training exists on a continuum. The ideal in any sport is always training as complete a picture as possible, where the opposite end of this picture is the individual training on their own. Individual training is absolutely essential in a variety of moments -- we are now in the most extreme case.

SA: In our first interview, you stressed the importance of coaches "considering the individual" while designing training even for team practices.

JOHN CONE: Right, at the most fundamental level, the objective of individual training of any variety is to meet individual needs. From the physical perspective alone, this starts with the fact that each player, each day is working from a finite pool of energy that must be managed effectively to at once avoid over-training and under-training. Essentially doing just the right amount of work.

This requires coaches getting detailed information on each player's recent playing and training history, other sport or physical activities, and injury history. Also crucial is considering a players' age, maturation and growth. For example, the kinds of aches and pains a player may be experiencing during a growth spurt is an important consideration. The data and information needed to create an optimal fitness training plan is similar whether for a team environment, or in a case such as the one we find ourselves in now, which requires players training on their own.

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IMPORTANT: The shelter-in-place order during the coronavirus pandemic means staying at home. It may be permitted in some areas to leave the home to walk, run or bike if it can be done without violating social/physical distancing regulations. Do not leave your home to exercise without confirming public health orders and public health recommendations. These could change daily.

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SA: Can you give us some examples of important considerations?

JOHN CONE: It can be broken down as:

1. Daily readiness.
2. Prior day(s)' training loads.
3. Future days' training and match schedule (inapplicable in the current situation).
4: Type of work needed in terms of both metabolic and movement demands.

For parents and youth players, we provide general training plans incorporating a general training prescription for each player position.

These include exercises designed to increase fitness that can be performed in relatively small spaces and provide workout variations to accommodate players' "readiness" -- the level of energy a player has on a given day. Because the goal is for an athlete to maintain the quality of each acceleration performed during each bout -- and steadily increase the amount of work they can do of each type of fitness. Variation is also important because too much of one thing gets boring.

SA: Any general advice on how often players should workout?

JOHN CONE: That depends on a player's readiness. But generally speaking, two to three maximal (exhausting) workouts per week will help keep a player fit. I also recommend cycling equally through workouts over time so a different style of fitness is performed every two-three days.

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• The individual PDF Fit For 90 training sessions can be downloaded free of charge HERE.

• Fit For 90 is offering a webinar "Topic managing individual fitness development" -- geared toward college coaches and youth coaches working with players ages 13 and above in both club and high school environments on Monday, March 30 at 12 noon ET. Registration LINK.

(John Cone has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and an M.S. in Exercise Physiology, his coaching licenses include the USSF A, and he is a certified strength and conditioning coach (CSCS). Cone has served as Portland Timbers Director of Sports Science, assistant coach of the Carolina Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City. He is a U.S. Soccer coach instructor, and has coached youth and college ball. He is the co-founder and CEO of Fit For 90.)

Coronavirus Update

By FYSA 03/20/2020, 12:45pm EDT

All FYSA Membership

FYSA Board of Directors & State Staff

March 18, 2020

Based on the updated information provided by US Youth Soccer (USYS) & the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) is mandating that all FYSA sanctioned activities within our association be immediately suspended through April 15, 2020. This includes not only FYSA related programs, but also the following activities: sanctioned leagues and tournament play, practices/training, all tryouts, team travel, and group meetings. FYSA will not be sanctioning any soccer related activities during this period. As a reminder, players participating in unsanctioned activities are not covered by FYSA insurance

Health organizations from around the world are advising that gatherings of 10 or more people are to be discouraged to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We continue to monitor the situation and rely on expert advice from our state and national partners for when it is safe to resume all soccer programs. Please continue to take all advisements and instructions from local/national healthy agencies to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

Thank you for your continued patience and we will update you with more details soon.


The Florida Youth Soccer Association


Associating a New Club with GCF

Got Soccer requires each team to apply for association with GCF. This is a simple process and only needs to be done once. After your club's initial acceptance, your association with GCF will carry over from season to season. Once your initial club association is finalized, you will then be able to place your teams into the appropriate division.

Instructions for associating your club with GCF:

1) Log into your GOT Soccer Organization account and select the "Home" tab.

2) In the navy blue menu bar, select "Events".

3) In the gray menu bar, select "Search".

4) In the Find Event search tool, type "GCF" for the Event Name and click "GO".

5) In the search results, click on upcoming "GCFYSL Fall/Spring 20__ Season".

6) In the box, League Application Form, locate the Club Application and click on "Apply Now". (Please do NOT use the Team Application at this time.)

7) Click on "Apply to GCFYSL Fall/Spring 20__ Season".

8) Click on "Join League".

9) A pop-up window may appear notifying you that you may add teams at a later date, click OK.

10) Your club association with GCF is now complete!

League Divisions

GCF is a competitive league and teams are to be coded competitive  (BS ACY YYYY MC1).  There are four main divisions, which are ranked from higher competition (Division I) to to lower competition (Division IV). 

Division I corresponds to the old GCF designation of State Cup.
Division II corresponds to the old GCF designation of Region Cup.
Division III corresponds to the old GCF designation of Competitive Recreational (fka Division B).
Division IV corresponds to the old GCF designation of Recreational (fka Division C).

Division IV is intended for beginning or entry level teams and players. Focus in this division is on basic skill development, learning how to play the game, and a level of play that emphasizes participation and enjoyment of the game. No experienced teams or players are permitted at this level.

Checkout the Club pages!

Each club has its own separate webpage. Full of pictures, news, and information about each club. So please check it out! Just click on the "Clubs" icon above and go to your favorite club's page.

Upcoming Events

GCF College Scholarship Deadline - May 4, 2020

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Calendar Of Events

Also, check out the "Calendar" above to see all of the upcoming GCF, or FYSA, events.

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