When considering training strategies for developing programs for your team, it is important to remember that the body responds specifically to the energy system that is utilized. While there is some overlap in adaptations, the basic rule of thumb is that the energy system utilized will be the one that is affected by the training.
In general, there are 4 energy systems that the body uses for energy. Rather than going into technical details, we can describe them in terms of duration and intensity.
- Energy System 1 - Very High Intensity, Very Short Duration (less than a few seconds)
- Energy System 2 - Very High Intensity, Short Duration (5-30 seconds)
- Energy System 3 - High Intensity, Moderate Duration (30 seconds - 2 minutes)
- Energy System 4 - Moderate/High Intensity, Long Duration (longer than 2 minutes)
A simple analysis of the demands of your sport can help you decide which energy systems are used the most. In soccer, all 4 are used, but Energy Systems 1 and 2 get the most use as the...
All coaches know that players that are prepared for preseason prior to arrival are better equipped for training loads. For that reason, fitness coaches often provide fitness programs for players to complete on their own during the off season.
Of course, no plan is worth anything if not completed so there needs to be understanding between coaches and players that compliance is important.
With the Afghanistan's Women's National Team, we are in the unique situation where players are spread all over the world (literally) and are either currently playing or are between season with their club teams. We have training camps set in the US and Hong Kong in late August and early September. We need our players to report to camp fit so we can focus on soccer and not on building adequate fitness.
Attached is the plan provided for the players. We have sporadic testing of 1 mile time to assess maximal aerobic speed. All communication is completed via email, WhatsApp and First Touch. The Fit For 90 group...
Recently, I met with Randy Waldrum, Head Coach of the Houston Dash, to discuss planning for preseason training. Our preseason begins March 14, with our first league match in April 16. This gives us about 5 weeks of formal preseason training, including a week long trip to Portland and two scrimmages against college teams. As we met and stated to plan, I came up with 5 things that we considered when developing our plan.
1. Duration of training camp
The duration of the training camp in days and weeks gives you an idea of how much training your team will be able to complete. Most teams have 3-4 weeks of preseason preparation. It is important to periodize the training loads, but at the same time ensure that tactical topics are covered. Mapping out the preseason training schedule by day on a spreadsheet helps to visualize the preparation time available.
2. Spacing of friendlies
It is definitely appropriate to have training matches during the preseason, both to assess the team’s progress an...
At the most recent NSCAA Convention in Baltimore, I had the opportunity to moderate roundtable discussions with Avram Grant, Stuart Pearce, and Michael O'Neill, all accomplished coaches at the club and international levels. While there were many interesting stories and experiences shared, there was one by Stuart Pearce from his career that stands out as something for coaches of all levels to contemplate.
Stuart told the audience of an incident early in his playing career when he was first selected to the England National team. I am writing from memory so I may not have every word recorded perfectly, but you will get the idea.
When Stuart got his first call up to the National Team, he was filled with doubt. He knew he was a good player, but he was not sure if he was of the level necessary to represent his country.
At the time, he was playing for Nottingham Forest, who was coached by Brian Clough. Stuart told the attendees of the time that he had gotten a call to report to Coach Clough's...
Short, Fast Intervals will help you have energy for later in the game!
By John De Witt Head Sports Performance Coach, Houston Dynamo Academy
An excerpt from Amplified Soccer Athlete Magazine
Soccer is a series of high intensity runs, like sprinting, that are separated by some lower intensity activities, like jogging, walking, or standing. The best players are the ones that can continue to perform high intensity activities later in the game. There have been numerous studies that investigate the speed and distance covered by soccer players. In a study I worked on, we found that English professional players cover on average over 11 km per match, with up to 1200 m (3/4 mile) covered while sprinting. Others found that teams that tend to win also tend to cover more sprinting distance in the last 15 minutes of the game than those who lost.
If the solution is to run faster later in the match, then why doesn’t everyone just run faster? This is because your body relies on different energy system...
From the Performance Soccer Conditioning newsletter and now in the Online Resource Library is NSCAA member John DeWitt's article "Using Time-Distance Data to Create Match-Related Fitness Sessions."
The article is the first of a series based on DeWitt's presentation from the 2014 NSCAA Convention and discusses fitness session that have the most relevance to match play. The article focuses on using data from scientific literature to inform training programs.
While coaches can use data from research papers, DeWitt warns, "most of the time-distance data that are available for public use are collected in large stadiums using tracking technologies. This means that the subjects are typically adult professional players. If coaching younger players, a more relevant dataset would be from players of similar ages."
DeWitt goes on to advise coaches that any use of data should take into consideration age differences. When determining the activities that will have...
The following article is an excerpt from the October issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine. Content contributions come from some of the top professional training, nutrition, mental-game and fitness leaders in the industry. We know you’ll enjoy your experience. Subscribe Today!
If you aren’t getting as much playing time as others, here are some things that you can be doing to stay fit
As the fall moves on, most teams are in the middle of the season and have played a few matches. Preseason is past, and teams have settled into a somewhat regular cycle of matches, training, and days off. As a player, you probably fall into one of three broad categories. You are either 1) playing all or most minutes of your team’s matches; 2) playing some minutes or playing in some matches but not others; or 3) getting little to no match playing time. This article focuses on providing some thoughts and tips for players who find themselves in the categories of getting partial to no playing time.
The following is an excerpt from John's article in the August issue of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine. Subscribe Today!
Depending on your situation, you may need some extra work to be in top shape.
This is the time of year where for most, preseason training is continuing or ending, and regular seasons are about to start. If you have prepared well, you should be in very good shape. For the top player, ‘playing themselves into shape’ is a thing of the past, as preseason preparation is very important. Most players won’t be in their ‘top’ shape at the start of the season, but will be very close.
Researchers have been interested in the question about how well fitness has been maintained during the season. Groups of sports scientists have designed and performed experiments where they measure the fitness of teams before, during and after the season. For instance, they might study two teams who have the same game and training schedule, but one of the teams does some extra fitness-specific t...