Dealing with variances in fitness among players in team settings

Mid-season trades. Late-season trades. Free agent pickups. Athletes returning from injuries. Trialists. Previous starters relegated to a substitution role. Physical demands of different positions. Previous substitutes promoted to the starting 11. These and others are all scenarios that a soccer fitness must deal with. Because of these factors, it is likely that the technical and tactical abilities of every player on the team are far more?homogenous?than the physical fitness of the players?at any given point of the year. As a result, not all athletes can or should be trained the same. You’ll likely have 80-90% of the team who can do roughly the same thing, but the other 10-20% of the team you’ll need to make sure they are challenged to an appropriate level without being overworked (some players may need to do remedial work while others may need extra work). The key to training in team settings is pushing every player to an appropriate level of overload while simultaneously managing fatigue to allow for adaptations.?

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Mike Young

Director of Performance at Athletic Lab
Mike is the Head Fitness Coach for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. He is also the owner and Director of Performance at Athletic Lab sports performance training center. He previously served as the fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carolina Railhawks. He has a PhD in Biomechanics, an MS in Coaching Science, and a BSS in Exercise Physiology and has coached Olympic and professional athletes in Skeleton, Track & Field, MLS and NASL Soccer, PGA Golf, NFL Football, MLB Baseball and Olympic Weightlifting. He has lectured around the world and authored 2 books and dozens of research and coaching articles.
Category : Training
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