Physical fitness is one of the most important aspects of soccer performance. A skillful player will go along way in the sport, but without the fitness part of their game they will not be the complete player.
Aerobic endurance fitness is one of the most important physical fitness attributes for soccer players. Players need to be able to maintain a high level of intensity throughout the 90-minute game. Another very important fitness component is anaerobic fitness, which means running speed and particularly repeat sprint ability. Players also need good agility, strength, power and flexibility. See more discussion on the important fitness components for soccer.
Regular training is required for all areas of fitness. Start with a good plan. Here are some important factors to remember when planning an effective training program. The training should be directed to achieve specific goals and be individualized to maximize the physical capabilities of particular players. In order to improve, the physical load needs to be increased over time as the players get fitter. By using cross-training and by incorporating fitness into the training drills it will keep the conditioning interesting and maintain the motivation of the players. There is more information about training for sports, and also an article about training for speed in football.
Regular fitness assessments are required to monitor training improvements and to determine which components of fitness are best to concentrate on. There are some good soccer specific fitness tests and others that can be used to test the overall fitness of soccer players. There is much more about fitness testing for soccer.
The physical demands will vary for players in different playing positions, and the training should reflect that. The goal keeper has very specific fitness demands. Fitness training for the goalkeeper should concentrate on explosive power and flexibility. The body's intrinsic reaction time is not something that is easily trained, though practice and technique can enable the goalie to better read the play and be in the best position to make quicker decisions. Read more about reaction time.
- Discussion on the fitness components for soccer.
- About fitness testing for soccer
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