When the University of North Carolina men’s soccer team secured the 2011 national championship by defeating Charlotte, it can be argued that conditioning was a key difference between the teams. The Tar Heels outlasted the 49ers 1-0 in the Men’s College Cup final, just two days after winning an exhausting double-overtime thriller against UCLA in the semifinals. Much of the credit for the Tar Heels’ fitness can be attributed to Greg Gatz, a renowned soccer strength and conditioning coach and author of “Conditioning for Soccer,” available as an iPad app.
Gatz has been at the University of North Carolina since 1998 and has worked with several national championship teams, including both men’s soccer championship squads in 2001 and 2011 and women’s soccer in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2008, along with 2006 and 2007 national runner-up baseball teams. He was nominated in 2001 for College Strength and Conditioning Professional of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and holds a specialist certification from the NSCA and a level I certification in Olympic weightlifting from the United States Weightlifting Federation.
In “Conditioning for Soccer,” Gatz provides a comprehensive training approach that builds players’ physical abilities as well as the soccer-specific skills required for dribbling, tackling, passing, heading, shooting, and goalkeeping. The iPad app comes complete with assessments for determining players’ fitness status and specific programs that improve balance, quickness, agility, speed, and strength, along with video clips that put the training into action by demonstrating the key tests, exercises, and drills.
Featuring Gatz’s comprehensive training approach that contributed greatly to North Carolina’s victory in the 2011 men’s soccer national championship, “Conditioning for Soccer” will help players increase strength to dribble through traffic and pack more power into shots on goal while improving their quickness and agility to find open passing lanes and evade opponents.