To correctly prescribe training intensity and volume, the need to look at the demands of the game is paramount. There are different types of demands (mental, tactical, physical, etc.) a soccer player will encounter in practice and on game day. The most important, as a fitness coach, are the?physical?demands.
The mean distance covered during competitive matches is 10.80 ? .92km or 6.71?.57mi., while the average pace of the athletes is 8:20/km or 13:25/mi. On-field time mainly consists of continuous activity; walking, jogging (low, moderate and high intensities) and sprint efforts. (1)
Not only do soccer players have to sprint, but they also have to maximally jump, kick and change direction during these sprint efforts. Explosive-type efforts such as sprints, jumps, duels, and kicking only represent ~5% of the total time. ?The other 95%, corresponding to low-intensive efforts, are composed of walking, slow, and moderate running (35, 40, and 20% of total time, respectively). (2)
Although the explosive type movements stated above are only performed for ~5% of the game, these explosive sprints, jumps, etc. generally correlate with scoring chances. Scoring?opportunities can directly effect the outcome of the game whether a goal is scored or not. Players generally have to make a maximal effort (i.e. sprint, jump, etc) to create a goal scoring opportunity. Max efforts that do not produce a goal still take a metabolic toll on the players involved in the scoring chance. This can be a detriment when players aren’t fit enough to reproduce maximal efforts later in the match. ?Coaches need players that will give them the best opportunity to win on the pitch for the full 90 minutes.
Are your athletes fit enough to play a quality 90 minutes?
1. Bangsbo J, Norregaard L, Thorso F. ?Activity Profile of Competition Soccer?. August Krogh Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark. Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences. 16: 110-116, 1991.
2.?Cometti, G. La pr?paration physique en football. Magny-Les-Hameaux, France: Chiron, 2002.
Latest posts by John Grace (see all)
- Overtraining – How Fatigue Can Lead to Increased Risk of Injury by Lauren Cowley - March 2, 2017
- Weightroom Strategies to Aid Conditioning in Soccer Players by Christopher Connelly - February 14, 2017
- The Role of Gender in Pre-Disposal to Injury by Lauren Cowley - February 10, 2017
Excellent. I think this helps support the argument for developing a proper aerobic base. The trend towards training fitness (especially at developmental level)by only playing soccer (small sided games) is detrimental to long term development. Properly developing an aerobic engine will:
1. Help the athlete train at optimal levels during later phases (e.g. greater yields from anaerobic, repeat sprint ability training)
2. Help the body cope (i.e. handle stress) more effectively during later intense training periods and in-season. Training to train!!
3. As you mentioned above, improve recovery between maximal efforts in games so that athlete is maintains performance throughout whole match.
I feel this is where the sport of soccer can learn a lot from track coaches. Everyone focuses on the interval and neglects the recovery period and the science behind how to maximize it so subsequent periods of exertion (jumping, sprinting, etc.) are close to max effort as possible. You can only train this effectively through a proper fitness program that includes running with and WITHOUT the ball (especially in the pre-season).
[…] Physical Demands on the Pitch […]