Performing better in Football: Part 1

This week we take a look at how to perform better in football and what exercises to focus on when we talk about sports specific training.
12.02.2016

Football can be a tough sport to excel at but if you dedicate the time to training effectively for it you can be one of the fittest players on the pitch. We all know that footballers are some of the fittest people in the sports industry with the demands of an average player growing all the time. So where do you start when considering becoming better in your own performances?

Build your cardio base

Most footballers have an incredible cardiovascular base that has been trained on for many many years giving them an incredible engine alongside the ability to be quick and sharp on the pitch. Without these qualities it would be difficult to even be on the same pitch as other players. Having a solid cardio level is almost 75% of a footballer’s game and so it is important to try and at least have an engine to work with before you try and build other areas of your game.

Having a good and varied cardio regime in your weekly efforts is vital to your training. Aim for at least 4 days a week (pre season) and 3 days a week (during the season) of cardio training over at least 45-60mins in order to really build your stamina. There are many exercises you can perform when thinking of cardio football training and below is a small example of a typical days effort.

Day 1

5 mins full body stretching

5 mins shuttle runs

10 mins cone drills with ball

5 mins steady state cardio

10 mins sprint work

10 mins technique/ball work

15 mins game time

The above example should be a good starting base for anyone wanting to build a solid cardio base for football. The amount of varied exercises catered for football are extensive and you can mix each days training up to suit your needs and keep it interesting and challenging.

Technique and ball work

The ability to be a fully fit footballer is a big part of playing but to be able to marry that fitness base with good ball work and technique is bringing your game to another level. You see many of the top players in big games looking tired and fatigued but still with the ability to pick out the key pass or make the correct tackle. Having that ability is what separates the top players from the rest. To be mentally sharp enough to produce the correct technique at the right time is a massive separating factor for footballers.

Working on your technique and your ball skills when slightly fatigued is a great way to keep your mind as focussed as possible and keep it as sharp as can be. So if we take the previous example of a training day and alter it we can focus on other aspects of your game.

Day 2

5 mins full body stretching

5 mins shuttle runs

15 mins game time

5 mins sprint work

10 mins technique/ball work

10 mins steady state cardio

10 mins game time

Using the altered day above you can see we are trying to fatigue the mind and the body before we use our technique and ball work drills. This should test your ability to perform when under stress which will improve your ability to do the same thing on the pitch.

Replicating game experiences is vital when training as nothing can really train you for the rigours and the feel of an actual game.

Using sprints and turning work will replicate the non stop movement you experience in a game. Having plenty of technique work will keep your mind sharp and working this alongside your fitness levels will keep you on top of your decision making when you know just how tired you are and what you are physically capable of doing at that moment in time.

Next week we will conclude our look at performing better in football and look into what kind of weight training is best for the sport. In the meantime why not go ahead and implement some changes into your training regime and get ahead in the race to be the fittest player you can possibly be.

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