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Principles Of Training For Sport And Exercise In Soccer

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In the fundamental studies of recent years, among the priority areas for developing the problem of increasing the effectiveness of tactical training of young football players, they need to build training based on age patterns of competitive and training volumes of the versatility of technique and tactics of the game is highlighted. In the modern theory of sports training, technical readiness is characterized by the degree of mastering by the athlete of the movement system corresponding to the characteristics of the sport and ensuring the achievement of high sports results (Clemente, 2016).Technical preparedness cannot be considered in isolation, but together with the physical, mental, intellectual, tactical capabilities of the athlete.

It is generally recognized that modern football has largely changed the functions of players, and accordingly the requirements for athletes and their level of preparedness. But as before, the basis of the skill of football players is tactical and technical readiness (Clemente, 2016). In modern football, the intensity of the game increases, which requires the player, first of all, the ability to quickly and effectively perform tactics in an unexpectedly changing environment, time and space. A team that wants to succeed now has to play fast, that is, it must have players who have rational tactics and combine it with speed of movement, which is why some football experts use the term “speed technique” (Clemente, 2016).

The Principles of Physical Fitness

Although all this seems like a boring and far-fetched theory, it’s the basis. And this basis is important for the formation of a high-quality complex of physical fitness.

The principle of unity of special and general physical training are:

  • The fact that the training of soccer players uses exercises from special physical training and general physical preparation (GP).
  • Special physical training is a set of exercises with a set of specific tactical and technical actions. There is even a common misconception that all modern-day coaches’ footballers train exclusively “with the ball”, and physical fitness exercises are few. But, as practice shows, it is impossible to completely abandon the OFP (Clemente, 2016).
  • Some power qualities, flexibility, speed and coordination, endurance, are trained more efficiently with exercises from physical fitness classes. Because these exercises are specialized in developing individual qualities.
  • The practice of some children's trainers shows, for example, good coordination results from 2 lessons per week in dancing. Some clubs use yoga exercises. But more often than not, trainers use the usual techniques of physical conditioning exercises.
  • Special exercises are necessary for the development of specific actions. For example, a one-touch pass at high speed. But, again, without good general physical preparation, one cannot talk about special training.

The principle of maximum manifestation of qualities in training

Outwardly, it resembles the principle from the “old school”, but, in fact, it is confirmed by modern observations. The essence of the principle is that in training, game exercises are performed with maximum dedication (maximum loads). Then, in the game, actions will also be performed at maximum. Because the body learns to reveal its capabilities. Without 'training' to get the desired performance in the game simply does not work (Clemente, 2016).

The principle of the variability of loads

It is noted that even maximum loads do not always lead to progress. The body 'gets used to them,' adapts. As a result, instead of progress, a marked decrease in the level of training. Also, even at a high level, it can be observed that not all coaches use this principle. And this, in the end, also adds to the number of injuries. In addition, this principle is designed to consider the speed of recovery of soccer players after matches. It is different for everyone and certain changes are needed. Hence the following principle (Clemente, 2016).

The principle of an individual approach.

Of course, we are talking about using this principle to a reasonable extent. Most actions, in modern soccer, are group. Therefore, someone, during training combinations, will work 'to the limit', and someone at 80%. And here it is individually difficult to approach. However, reasonable individualization is needed. It allows you to focus on those qualities of a particular soccer player that are lagging behind (Clemente, 2016).For example, one needs more work on speed, the other on endurance. Also, the principle of an individual approach is used for players after an injury.

The principle of repeatability or cyclicality

The essence of cyclicity in repeating a set of exercises, general approaches, etc. at certain intervals - cycles. It is usually customary to divide the gaps into microcycles (inter-game), mesocycles (middle cycles) and macrocycles. For what purpose? The fact is that in each cycle certain training tasks are solved. For the convenience of organizing the training process, periodicity is also used. A microcycle, most often, is a weekly interval. It consists of a recovery period (for those who played in the previous match), a period of intense training and a recovery period before the game (Clemente, 2016).

Recovery periods do not mean rest. Ideally, the day after the match, players go through a whole range of procedures (from running to massage) to speed up the recovery process. Before the game, usually, the load is 50-65% of the maximum (peak). Peak loads are reached during the period of intensive preparation. During the period of intensive preparation, the trainer can solve both urgent and strategic tasks. For example, as an urgent task, there may be a quick draw of certain combinations. And in the context of strategic tasks - training speed qualities, both by means of general physical training and special exercises (Dello Iacono, 2017).

The task of the coaching staff is much more complicated. Special means of intensifying recovery processes are used. The match itself, in the middle of the week, is, in fact, a 'peak' part of the microcycle. As if on this day there was a workout with maximum load. Nevertheless, modern clubs and coaches are simply obliged to have a sufficiently wide and deep composition for rotation. Otherwise, injuries and a general decline are inevitable. In many cases, a recession can begin, for example, in the next season or even a couple of seasons after the team has made obvious progress (Dello Iacono, 2017).

The macrocycle consists of preparatory, competitive and transitional periods. Here, too, have their own moments. During the preparatory period, the volume of training first increases, and only then does the intensity of the exercises increase. First, exercises on general physical exercises prevail, and then the proportion of special exercises (technical and tactical) grows. In Europe, the preparatory period includes friendly and “exhibition” matches (various kinds of commercial tours in North America and Asia). Therefore, it is believed that in Western Europe there are 4 periods, preparation for the season, “rolling in the season”, competitive and final (Dello Iacono, 2017).

During the transition period, after the actual end of the season, ideally, teams should not immediately go on vacation. There is a gradual decrease in loads. First of all, players need psychological, emotional relief. Many clubs, for this, conduct a series of friendly matches. But experts also suggest using non-soccer, but sports hobbies of players. By the way, the approach to cycles in physical fitness in South and Latin America is somewhat different. Especially in countries where they play according to the “two championships” system in a year (Dello Iacono, 2017).

The principle 'from simple to complex'

Both the development of exercises and certain tactical and technical actions should be built from simple to complex. Although this seems quite obvious, many trainers ignore this principle. Especially those who have just accepted the team (Dello Iacono, 2017).However, sometimes you can understand the coaches because they require a quick result.

Continuity of physical fitness

The players are “people too”, and small pauses, days of a violation of the regime, are permissible. But only if they are planned and, not surprisingly, are part of a physical fitness plan. But if a soccer player begins to deviate from certain attitudes and recommendations, then everything becomes worse (Dello Iacono, 2017).And no “increased intensity' will return the player to its former level. Maybe after a certain time. But, in practice, many players fail to return.

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In practice, even in top clubs, they do not always follow the principles described above. It should be noted that the unpredictability factor intervenes in the theory. Although this does not at all cancel the importance of strategic planning for the season. The head coach should clearly develop a tournament strategy, options for possible changes. This is a big risk. But, as practice shows, it is better to have a strategy than not to have it (Dello Iacono, 2017).

Training methods

The task of training is to obtain a certain effect, result. Of course, in practice, the training tasks are specific. But here, in this section, it is important to understand what the effect of training depends on. Of course, it depends on various factors. But one of these factors is the training method. There are two main methods for organizing a workout: continuous and intermittent.

All training tasks, conditionally, can be divided into two types:

  • Achievement of functional shifts.
  • Achievement of tactical and technical shifts.

If the coach wants to get functional shifts (speed, strength, endurance), then he uses the method of continuous training. The essence of the method is that the player is given a specific task, which he performs without pauses. The intensity of the load can be either constant or variable, low and high. If the intensity is low, then these are, as a rule, exercises that are aimed at recovery. High intensity and load indicate the desire of the coach to get progress on a specific parameter or several parameters (Belozo, 2018).

The variable intensity of the exercise is aimed at adapting to real game loads. For example, the scheme: acceleration - step - run – acceleration (Belozo, 2018). It is important, for example, the accuracy of the pass, the speed of processing the ball, the completion of the game combined with an accurate shot. Then the trainer uses the intermittent training method. That is, between exercises pauses are made and the players, for some time, are in a state of complete rest to restore functions. The tactical and technical exercises require clear spatial-temporal coordination of actions, which also depends on accuracy (Belozo, 2018). If the accuracy decreases due to fatigue, especially against the background of a high intellectual load (a difficult combination), then the effect of the exercise is also. Since, in fact, the exercise itself will not be performed. Therefore, pauses for recovery are important. Trainers do not choose any one method. They come from certain tasks and goals, for example, for a match, for a certain tournament period, etc. And for this period one or another method is used, even as part of a microcycle (Belozo, 2018).

After the match, the method of continuous training with low intensity and a small amount of exercise for recovery. Then the method of continuous training with constant intensity to obtain the effect on the endurance parameter. Then, at the peak of the cycle, continuous training with variable intensity. Before the match, training with breaks to practice the game in the game with a specific opponent (Belozo, 2018).

Training and Practice

In order to effectively use space and time, the trainer can use various forms of exercise.

Front: All players perform the same exercise, usually across the court. The advantages and disadvantages are obvious. The coach can see all the players well, but there are few options for an individual approach to each player.

Group training on points: Players are divided into groups, each of which performs certain exercises on a certain part of the field (hall or terrain, depending not only on the place but also on the training tasks). Coaches can divide players into groups according to various principles. For example, on groups of the defensive and attacking plans. Or a group of major players and a “reserve.' In the context of group training, the coach sets individual players individual tasks. But, also, the coach can focus on teamwork to build mutual understanding, for example, between central defenders or the entire line of defense, including the goalkeeper. The obvious disadvantage of this method is that it is difficult to evaluate the load as a whole for the team. Also, the coach is forced to concentrate on individual groups, excluding observation of other groups of players (Belozo, 2018).

Pendulum training: A type of group training in which players are divided into groups and groups into subgroups. Subgroups, after doing the exercises, change places. Often this method is used in tactical and technical training (Belozo, 2018).

Circular training: Players are divided into groups that perform exercises at specific points. At the command of the trainer (usually after a certain time), groups in a circle go to the next point. This method is often used when high-intensity training is needed. During transitions and after passing the circle, as a rule, pauses are insignificant or absent. But here we need a very clear organization of the training and high commitment from the players. However, the coach himself must be careful. Excessive intensity will have negative consequences (Belozo, 2018).

Cardiovascular Endurance: Cardiovascular endurance is the ability of the human body to utilize and transport oxygen, the process involves lungs, heart, blood circulatory and respiratory system to take in oxygen and remove waste products from the body during exercise. It can be defined as the proportion of vo2 max at which a player can perform and sustain for twenty minutes of exercise (Belozo, 2018).Cardiovascular endurance is an important thing to consider in all sports for better performance, recovery, and training of athletes. Stronger cardiovascular endurance represents the longevity and fitness of players that how long they can do exercise and how fit they are at playground without any fatigue.

Components of fitness: Fitness of a player can be defined by two main components. First component of fitness is related to health that includes muscular endurance, strength, cardiovascular endurance, body composition and flexibility (Belozo, 2018). Second component of fitness is related to skills of player including agility, power, speed, reaction time, coordination and balance. Health is defined as the state of complete mental, social and physical well-being and absence of infirmity and disease. There are many factors affecting health of an individual, almost everything that we encounter, eat, think etc. every day is influential to health. For a soccer player, fitness includes physical fitness, mental fitness, nutritional fitness, emotional and social fitness. According to chief medical officer from department of health, Dr Liam Donaldson, ten important tips are necessary to adopt by soccer player to keep fit. These tips include

  • Stop smoking and if you can’t stop then reduce consumption of tobacco
  • Healthy diet is necessary for players that contain balanced amount of nutrition with plenty of vegetables and fruits.
  • Adopt daily routine full of physical activities
  • Manage time for yourself and avoid stress by talking about things that make you happy.
  • Don’t drink alcohol excessively.
  • Stay away from bright sun and sunburn
  • Safe sex is necessary to keep yourself healthy
  • Take screening tests regularly for any disease
  • Learn basic health concerns and first aid like breathing, circulation, and airways
  • Follow highway codes and be safe on road


While training the soccer players it is important to note that the players should not be trained intensively, because it may hinder their performance in the ground. Overtraining is a phenomenon that makes a player restless and addicted. It is also estimated that, overtraining is the major cause of mental and psychological issues (Strudwick, 2016). Players may do not find any improvement in performance that further deteriorate their abilities. Overtraining issues can be improved through proper rest, diet and realistic training and performance goals. Rest is the important strategy that may improve the performance of the athlete (Strudwick, 2016).


  1. Belozo, F. L. (2018). Effect of game format on the intensity of soccer training. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte.
  2. Clemente, F. M. (2016). Small-Sided and Conditioned Games in Soccer Training. Springer, Singapore.
  3. Dello Iacono, A. M. (2017). Game profile-based training in soccer: a new field approach. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  4. Strudwick, T. (2016). Soccer Science. Human Kinetics.


  1. Belozo, F. L. (2018). Effect of game format on the intensity of soccer training. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte.
  2. Clemente, F. M. (2016). Small-Sided and Conditioned Games in Soccer Training. Springer, Singapore.
  3. Dello Iacono, A. M. (2017). Game profile-based training in soccer: a new field approach. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
  4. Strudwick, T. (2016). Soccer Science. Human Kinetics.
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Principles Of Training For Sport And Exercise In Soccer. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 9, 2023, from
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