Soccer or football is of one of the most popular sports around the globe, and has an ever increasing number of fans and players across the nations. To be a great footballer you need to exercise a lot to produce excellent results. You must also be follow a strict diet to ensure that you meet all the necessary caloric requirements.
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Unfortunately, des spite soccer’s popularity, the programs aimed at strengthening and conditioning players are often below-par or old-fashioned. Other than for professionals, most of the players and coaches emphasize only endurance and skills development, neglecting other crucial aspects of training. This article delves into the various fitness components of fitness for the game and offers some suggestions on how to organize a high-performance training program.
Strength in soccer
Strength is a crucial element of fitness, being of great importance to players in all sports. However, it is not given proper attention in soccer. Strength is the foundation for power and speed and is crucial to footballers to enable them to withstand the challenges posed by the opponents. Also, strength helps to resist injury , promoting quicker metabolism, developing leaner body muscles, enhancing balance, firmness and agility Strength also plays a part in a speedy recovery . Unlike American football players or rugby players, professional soccer players do not require absolute strength, they require instead a well-thought out and designed program aimed at gaining strength that will enhance performance. Relative strength (the absolute strength while factoring in the body weight) is more essential in football than absolute strength. Proper strength training programs ought to focus on multiple, functional work outs (like lunges, push-ups, squats and step ups) as well as involving a balance of opposing muscle groups.
Endurance in soccer
An appropriate soccer fitness program should be designed to build a superb aerobic base . Several studies have shown that soccer outfield players cover about 13km (or 8 miles) in a 90-minute match. As such, the athlete’s cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance are put under significant pressure. However, the endurance aspect of training is already given significant emphasis in soccer, as it is common for a footballer to run for at least an hour in training to enhance their performance. When analyzing the specific sports requirements of football players, it is clear that they engage in different intensities of activity for varying durations during play, including running, walking, jogging and sprinting, all done in different directions. Therefore, it would help to have interval training with high and low intensities of workouts rather than doing low-intensity activity like jogging.
Other important aspects
The following are other elements of fitness, crucial for soccer players, that are commonly ignored or neglected. These should be given proper attention:
- Training for speed and agility in soccer
- Flexibility training
- Warming up and cooling down
Serious soccer players must train and adhere to a sport-specific conditioning program in order to perform with excellence . They must address the real needs of the game and not do workouts aimlessly.