Football training has progressed massively over the past few decades, with sports science transforming how clubs prepare for competitive action.
Improved training regimes have made players fitter and faster than was previously the case, helping to raise standards in the sport massively.
Regardless of the level of a team, formulating a training plan is crucial to its success. Read on as we look at top tips for training a football team.
Pre-season training is an essential part of preparing a team for the challenges that lie ahead, and careful consideration must be given to how it is structured.
Having had a few weeks out of action, it is imperative that players build their base level of fitness back up before undertaking more strenuous activities.
Working with training footballs is a great way to achieve this, helping players get up to speed fitness-wise while improving their skills and touch.
As the new campaign approaches, teams should play three or four warm-up games to ensure all of their players achieve match fitness for the big kick-off.
Some respected professional coaches argue that tactics are overrated and that the quality of the players available is far more important.
However, all football teams should spend time working on their basic shape and system so that everyone understands their individual role.
Tactics can undoubtedly be utilised to make teams perform better than the sum of their parts, which is a handy tool to utilise against higher-ranked opponents.
Teams should also learn to be tactically flexible to ensure they can adapt to the different challenges presented to them during the course of a season.
Sports psychology has become increasingly important in football in recent years, particularly for clubs operating in the professional game.
Many clubs now employ qualified sports psychologists who work with players to formulate individual plans to support their mental well-being.
This is designed to help them handle the unique pressure of professional football, giving players the tools they need to cope on and off the field.
Having a positive mindset plays a key role in sports, and psychology is an effective way to help players maintain this throughout their careers.
The days when football players would train in the morning before heading to the pub after lunch are largely a thing of the past in the modern era.
Nutrition has become a buzzword in the sport in recent years as clubs wise up to the links between living a healthy lifestyle and athletic performance.
Many professional clubs now utilise the services of qualified nutritionists to formulate individual diet plans for each of their players.
Eating healthily and staying well hydrated makes a massive difference to footballers and should be an essential element of every club’s training plan.
Rest & recovery
Numerous academic research studies have highlighted the importance of rest and recovery when it comes to performance in sports.
Undertaking a structured warm-up and warm-down should be part of every training plan to help minimise the risk of players sustaining injuries.
It is also essential for players to get enough rest in between training and games, particularly with regard to establishing a formal sleep pattern.
Sleep is when the body repairs itself from the stress and strain of daily life – failing to get enough can significantly impact physical and mental well-being.
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