Coaching children in fundamental movement skills is the most important aspect of the coach's work.
Premier Sports College

Dedicated to Coach Education for Soccer

10 Things to know about Physical Fitness Conditioning for Soccer

NOTE: If you are NOT a coach - please forward to coaches in your club
  1. Soccer is a game of skill played at speed. The ability to control the ball quickly, kick/pass it even quicker again, getting to the ball first and breaking the tackle are examples of the type f skill and speed that are needed.
  2. In terms of physical fitness, skill is the most important component of preparation for soccer. After skill, speed, acceleration and agility are the key components of fitness needed.
  3. Research in soccer has shown players stand or shuffle around for 15%, walk 45%, jog 20%, stride 15% and sprint for under 5% of game time. 
  4. Research has shown that some strikers can spend 70% of the time standing/walking, 15% jogging, 10% striding, 2.5% sprinting and 1.5% shuffling and jostling for possession
  5. It is normal that the sprinting and shuffling activities (4 - 5%) account for most if not all the main action of the game.
  6. It is a very interesting fact that over 75% of time a player plays the ball he gets to it inside 10 steps (3 to 15m). Interestingly enough club players spend longer at top speed than international players - passes are probably more precise etc.
  7. One study in football showed that the average duration of high intensity bouts were 3.94 seconds by individual players and the recovery between playing bouts can be on average up to 49.72 seconds.
  8. Research on South American football by Barros et al (2010) shows that wing defenders players cover the most distance at 23+ Km per hour  in a game. At top speed they cover 563 metres. Forwards cover 481- m,  midfield wingers 475-m, midfield central 376-m and central defenders cover 352-m in total.
  9. Soccer can be classified as a game of skill, anticipation, quickness off the mark and fast acceleration sprinting ability. Endurance training should not be seen as the foundation of fitness; The weights room has more to offer the soccer player than the rolling grass area in the local park.
  10. By running slowly, players become very good at running slowly. By running at 85% effort, players become very good at running at 85%, but that is not the pace at which games are won and lost!
While the last form of interval training we mentioned above is "approaching" the necessary game speed, the players will still tire earlier than they should in a game because they will not be used to moving at actual game speed pace. Oddly enough these are the teams that get tired during the second half of the game. There is a simple reason for this: their training has been at too slow a pace. It is a well known fact that players become good at training at the speed at which they train. The problem is that in such cases the coach increases the training to avoid such fatigue in future games and this is not the solution. Decreasing training and increasing the pace of the running session (or the pace at which conditioned games are played) would be more advantageous to the team's progress.
below we provide a one page excerpt from Module 3 (Endurance Training for Soccer) at end of this newsletter.

What all Soccer coaches should know:

  1. Premier Sports College is a dedicated Sports Education Institute run by coaches for coaches. We will be announcing our accreditation alliance with one of the UK largest quality control education providers within a few weeks.
  2. Our Start-up offer: Any coach who undertakes the International Diploma Strength and Conditioning (Soccer) is provided with Module 8 at no cost.  
  3. Module Certification:   After each module students are awarded a special Premier Sports College module certificate to download to reference the work they have completed on a module by module basis. So even if one does not complete the full diploma course one can still gain a number of certificate awards for the modules of interest.
  4. Overall Certification:  Upon completion of the full course successful students are posted out a College International Diploma Certificate as well as a second Certificate from the internationally recognised accreditation body (to be announced shortly).
  5. Courses for Soccer Coaches: Presently we deliver continuing educational development courses for the soccer coach in 3 different aspects of coaching
  • Physical fitness and conditioning
  • Child and Teenage coaching
  • Player functional development
SPECIAL INVITATIONVisit Premier Sports College now and click on the Free Course button
We offer a sample course (no cost to you)  which illustrates how we present our topics, content and references. It costs only a few seconds to gain entry - visit and enjoy.
1. Physical Fitness - International Diploma in Strength and Conditioning 
This is a wonderful all-round course which presents the coach will the relevant modern research for physical fitness conditioning for soccer. the course can be completed in 6 to 18 months depending on the pace each student wants to progress at. It is very comprehensive, exciting and thought provoking for the coach who wishes to progress further up the coaching ladder. It is aimed at developing coach leaders as well as coaches who bring an all embracing approach to coaching, training and preparing teams. The course consists of 8 modules. All modules have a MCQ (multiple choice questionnaire) assessment (20 questions - each with 4 possible answers) but at the end of the course a written project is completed (Module 9).

International Diploma in Strength and Conditioning (Soccer)

2.  Child and Teenage Courses -  A range of courses are available
The college presents a series of general short - one module - coaching courses in relation to the young athletes and players from 3 to 19 years of age. It also delivers other interesting courses on other general topics which relate to building up the overall confidence and background knowledge of the coach. These courses are suitable for all youth coaches, managers, teachers and parents.
Each course carries an accredited certificate by a UK national awarding body and the overall assessment is by completion of a 20-question MCQ.

3.  Functional Screening - International Diploma in Functional Movement, Analysis and Development
This exhilarating course presents a wonderful opportunity for coaches of child, teenage and adult teams to screen, analysis and correct functional and movement skills of all players on their squads. In total there are 8 modules in the course which is extensive and performance driven.  Premier Sports College are very proud of the depth and range of content of this course and we expect it to become a market leader in future coaching development.

International Diploma in Functional Movement, Analysis and Development

Module 3  - Topic Excerpt
Module 3 of the course discusses the whole area of endurance training and its relevance to soccer preparation. The excerpt included below begins the topic that addresses the issue of Multi-Sprint Stamina training as the way forward for high intensity soccer performance.

It is vital for soccer players to be able to repeat constant bursts of efforts of speed, skill, tackling, accelerating and decelerating among other activities consistently and irregularly in a game. The ability required by the player may be summarised under the following headings:

  • Soccer games are start-stop-start games
  • Players must be in a position to contest the ball in an instance and against more than one opponent at any given time
  • Players must be able to control the ball and deliver the ball to team-mates
  • Players must be able to accelerate quickly towards play or away from opponents offensively and defensively
  • They must be able to make and ride tackles
  • They must be able to score from play regularly
  • They must be able to decelerate quickly to play the ball or make a tackle or turn
Players need to be able to repeat constant bursts of efforts both with the ball and in trying to gain possession of the ball for the duration of the game.

The following elements of stamina are important for soccer training:

  • Multi-sprint stamina ability with/without the ball
  • Speed Repeatability ability with/without the ball

Definition and Appreciation of Multi-sprint stamina training

Multi-sprint stamina training is a form of interval training that is more specific to soccer than traditional interval training.

Interval training can be best described as bouts of exercise interspersed with short rest intervals. It is based on the concept that more work can be completed at a higher relative intensity compared to continuous-type training.  

The foundation interval training work for speed and speed repeatability development in soccer is called multi-sprint stamina (MSS). It is achieved by completing efforts or run distances that are short – determined by the needs of the game. The intensity of these runs or efforts should be in the region of 85 to 95% effort and the recovery between the runs is kept relatively short. Large volumes of longer than sport specific distances such as 200m, 150m and even 100m will mean that the players are not training at game specific intensity levels and will tend to be in the region of 75-85% effort which is of little use on game day. The soccer player must use shorter distances where faster speed of movement is required.

 This is obvious to all involved in coaching when they examine the examples below:

  • Long interval running such as running interval 600m's is of very little benefit to a soccer player. Even the fittest team could find it difficult to repeat 8 x 600-m with 2 or 3 minutes rest in 1 minute 45 seconds for each repetition. This would represent running each 25m in 4.4 seconds. But in a game 25-m runs need to be covered in less than 3 seconds with a run-in start. 
  • So perhaps the players should run 8 x 200-m instead with 2 minutes rest. Well very good male team players might be able to complete these in 32 seconds - and that is pushing it. This represents running 25-m with a run-in start in 4.0 seconds. But even this does not adequately prepare the player to make quite a few 25-m runs in 3 seconds with a run-in start. 
  • Let us take the coach who has his/her players run repeat length of the soccer field with 2 minutes rest. Well it could be expected that if a player was running 10 such repeats he might cover the distance in 13 seconds - but I doubt it for 10 reps? This represents running 25-m with a run-in start in 3.25 seconds. But even this does not adequately prepare the player to make quite a few 25-m runs in 3 seconds with a run-in start. 
While the last form of interval training we mentioned above is approaching the necessary game speed it will still tire the players because they will not be used to moving at game speed pace. Oddly enough these are the teams that get tired by half-time or during the second half of the game. Unfortunately their training has been at too slow a pace. It is a well known fact that players become good at training at the speed at which they train.
Players need to train over short distance at fast paces in order to endure the pace of the game.

The intensity and duration of the work intervals and the length of the rest periods dictates the training response. Very short, all-out bouts of work coupled with longer rest periods are used for both actual speed and speed repeatability development. Now lets us not get confused here – when players are running flat-out, they are developing speed and if it is done at or near the end of a training session it is actually speed repeatability. Both these are important to the soccer player.


Most modules in our courses contain 120 to 160 pages of exciting, interesting and thought provoking content - something every soccer  coach will enjoy getting their teeth into.
Until our next Newsletter, keep up the good work! Premier Sports College  is here to be the ultimate and most up to date source of Soccer Coach education.
Click the link for all the details on the major soccer course - International Diploma in Strength and Conditioning (Soccer)

Click the link for all the details on major soccer course - International Diploma in Strength and Conditioning (Soccer)


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