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  • Writer's pictureVision Football

FITNESS: BUILD YOUR CONDITIONING WITH THESE PROTOCOLS

While many coaches overlook the fitness component of football - we believe that it is one of the most important components, and one that should be prioritised (especially as you head into preseason)!

Don't get it twisted, technique and understanding of the game are, for me, the most important aspects of football (and the foundations of any good player) but, without a good level of fitness, they mean absolutely nothing. I have seen it countless amounts of times: top, top players on the ball who don't show it enough during matches simply because they don't have the legs for it. And it can be so frustrating. The good thing is: fitness is something that is straightforward, and requires no talent. Anyone can get fit. All it takes is hard work (a lot of hard work) and consistency.


Below are football conditioning protocols that are focused on the anaerobic system (high bursts of energy with short rest) as this replicates a game much more than continuous steady state running (aerobic).


#1 BOX TO BOX RUNS

Equipment: None. All you need is to go to a field that has the 18 - yard box markings.

  • Stand at the top of the 18 yard box and run to the top of the opposite box.

  • Short rest, and go again.

  • Time your running and your rest. I like to give myself 11 seconds to get to the other box and 14 seconds to rest - then go again. I do this for around 8-12 runs.

  • Other time examples can be 12 seconds to run, 15 seconds to rest, or if you are less fit than that you can do 14 seconds to run, 20 seconds to rest and so on. Find what works for you.

  • Make it harder each week. Shorten the rest or the time to run by a second.

#2 THE PROTOCOL

Not to scare you, but this one is not only going to make you a lot fitter, but also a lot more tough mentally.

EQUIPMENT: 2 cones.

  • Set up 2 cones 20m apart.

  • For the first set, sprint for 20 seconds back and forth between the two cones.

  • Once the time is up, rest for 20 seconds.

  • Repeat 5 times.

  • For the second set, bring one of the cones in by 5m.

  • Sprint for 15 seconds back and forth between the two cones, and rest for 15 seconds.

  • Repeat 6 times.

  • For the third set, bring one of the cones in by 5m again.

  • Sprint for 10 seconds back and forth and rest for 10 seconds.

  • Repeat 7 times.

  • Give yourself 1 and a half minutes in between sets to rest.

#3 4,3,2,1s

This is a great one to get the legs used to running again. During the early parts of preseason, it is crucial to get distance in the legs. And this drill does just that.

EQUIPMENT: None.

  • Stand on one end of the field, and run 4 field lengths at around 70%.

  • Rest for 30 seconds, and then run 3 field lengths.

  • Rest for 30 seconds, and then run 2 field lengths.

  • Rest for 30 seconds, and then run one field length.

  • Give yourself 1 and a half minutes off, and repeat.

  • Do as many sets as you want. I aim to do 3 to 4 to really push the legs and get them used to the distance.


Add any of these protocols to the end of your training session to top up your fitness (once or twice a week), and remember to push yourself. Only you know how hard you are actually working. Thanks for supporting the blog, and see you next week! Until then, get running!

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