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The Science of Training – Soccer PDF

The Science of Training – Soccer PDF

Physical training is a key part of preparing to play soccer (football) at any level, but organising a genuinely effective training programme requires both an understanding of the physiological principles involved and a practical knowledge of the demands of the game.

Bridging theory and practice, this book explains the design of scientifically sound fitness programmes for football.


● planning seasonal training to peak at the right time.

● training for strength, speed, aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

● designing appropriate sessions for training and rehabilitation.

● best methods for recovery from exercise and reducing injury risk.

● preparation for play in different environmental conditions.

● evaluating the effectiveness of training programmes.

● diet, sleep, lifestyle, young players and long-term development.

Clear explanations of the physiological concepts and sport science research evidence are given throughout, and the book contains many examples to illustrate the training principles in practice.

This is an essential text for students of the game and a valuable resource for coaches, physical trainers and sport scientists working in soccer (football).

Thomas Reilly is Professor of Sports Science and Director of the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University.

He is President of the World Commission of Science and Sports, and Chair of the International Steering Group on Science and Football.

The importance of training as necessary preparation for playing soccer is now underlined at all levels of the game.

The top players gain an edge to their performances as a result of the structured training procedures they undergo.

Recreational players too benefit from training, being able to play the game more safely due to their improvements in fitness and game skills.

Whilst playing and practising games skills play a large part in preparing for match-play, these are not enough on their own without a formal programme of fitness work.

It was the need to provide a theoretical framework for soccer training that motivated the writing of this book.

The application of scientific principles to training for soccer calls for a bridge between theory and practice.

The fact that fitness for games embraces many components and many concepts makes the design of training programmes for soccer players quite complex.

It is essential that practitioners understand training principles so that they are able to intervene when things go wrong, when plans are disrupted and performances are under par.

There are therefore no universal formulae for fitness but rather trainers must have an understanding of the adaptation processes that accompany the various forms of training.

Where possible the fitness work can be integrated into games drills to impact directly on practice, ensure validity and economise on players’ time.

The fitness training of soccer (football) players is the subject of this text.

Its main purpose is to provide a scientific basis for the design of fitness programmes for the game. In the soccer profession there is a need for a scientific approach to training which is currently being recognised by professionals in the field and relevant governing bodies worldwide.

Professional development programmes for coaches and physical trainers extend the likely interest beyond the traditional physical education and sports science communities.

What is missing up to now is an evidence-based book on which practitioners can rely and which provides readers with a theoretical framework for the correct training practices to be used.

This proposed book provides information on how to train, what to do and when to do it, as well as the reasons for doing it in the ways prescribed.

The content of this book should be relevant to all those concerned with closing the gap between theory and practice and effecting a link between science and soccer.

There are expanding research programmes within sports science that are focused on soccer, whilst practice can also benefit from the many research investigations that inform the theory of training.

More and more, the results of these research findings are being translated by applied sports scientists and are being adopted by practitioners.

In some instances practitioners need to be cautious before taking up practices that become fashionable in advance of any scientific evidence for their value.

Physical trainers and coaches should have an interest in the content of the book.

Those sports scientists operating in a soccer context will have a primary attraction for the material that is covered.

The range of training modes described and the illustration of major practices will be relevant to those working with youths as well as with amateur and professional teams both males and females.

The material is also geared towards students of sports science and science and soccer, as well as individuals working towards acquiring coaching qualifications.

In order to cater for this range of readers, the text embraces the training options that are available and outlines their physiological basis.

There is a progression from an outline of training principles to their expression in targeting specific fitness components.

Specific examples of training sessions are described where appropriate.

Environmental factors and lifestyle are also considered and placed in perspective.

In these ways a holistic view of the training process and means for its evaluation are presented in a novel and original manner.

An explanation of training principles is provided at the outset.

There is guidance on planning the annual programme, conducting the pre-season training, avoiding overtraining at key times in the seasonal calendar, accelerating recovery from strenuous exercise and reducing injury risk.

Separate chapters cover different physiological and performance aspects, including strength and power, weight-training, aerobic and anaerobic training, and alternative training methods applicable to a soccer context.

Attention is directed also to warming up, cooling down and coping with different environmental conditions.

Nutrition, diet, sleep and lifestyle are deemed essential elements in complementing physical conditioning in the systematic preparation of players to perform at their best in competition.

The contents include details of training sessions and the rationale for their design.

Evidence from the scientific literature is used to support the sessions that are illustrated.

Scientific arguments are presented where appropriate.

The readership must have an understanding of the game, an interest in sports science and some knowledge and experience in physical training or coaching to gain optimal benefit from the text.

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