Fitness is one of life’s ingredients for healthy living.
All sports people need a certain level of fitness to enable them to participate in their chosen sport, and football players are no exception to the rule.
Football today is a fast-paced, high-energy sport. And regardless of what stage you are at in your career, you will need to engage in a fitness programme that helps you achive the stamina and strength required for the rigours of the modern day football game.
Recently, while taking a break from all the stress of the daily routine, I took a stroll to the open playing fields not far from my house, to watch the local youngsters taking part in football trainings and matches.
Now let me just tell you, on these soccer fields/pitches, there are some good games of football played.
A particular match comes to mind: this game was between the home team and their local bitter rivals. With the game poised at 0-0 at half-time (in spite of all the skills and techniques displayed by players on both sides) the two teams returned for the second half with one aim in mind: to win!
Whilst I enjoyed watching what was a very good game, I cannot help but point out where I believe the home team lost the game…
The Manager of the away team must have noticed the weak links in the home team’s midfield, and his team used this weakness to their advantage to eventually win the game. The two midfielders for the home team were clearly not physically fit enough for the second half as the opposition ran riot in the middle of the park with their skills, techniques and pace.
The Manager of the home team had no answer to what was going, but he eventually took the two tired midfielders off the pitch…a little late in my opinion because by this point, the home team was already losing. If the substitutions had been made much earlier, the home team might have had a better chance of winning the match.
So how does this story relate to fitness in football?
What I am pointing out here is the need for fitness in all sports and most especially in football, to help young footballers to withstand the physical demands during and after a match.
Remember, the main purpose of fitness in football is to help the player(s) cope with the mental and physical demands of the game, while at the same time, enabling them to efficiently use their technical and tactical skills. Fitness can be achieved in various ways but any fitness programme has to be created specifically for the sport or purpose it is needed for.
In the coming articles on football fitness, I will be sharing some key points about the relationship between health-related and physical-performance-related fitness programmes, and the core areas that are related to football.
In the meantime, share your views on fitness in football by leaving a comment below.
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