Professional footballers are incredible athletes and achieve remarkable feats of physical endurance throughout the season. They are also technically gifted and skillful due to many years of developing and honing their attributes.
Gone are the days of pre-season runs on the beach or shuttles in the local park. Training sessions delivered at elite football clubs make the most of advanced technology, as players and coaches are always looking for the edge over their opponents. Football nowadays is huge business, with football betting sites like Find Betting Sites sponsoring major teams around the world.
In this post, we take a look at some of the top training techniques used by the world’s best footballers to understand how they can consistently achieve such high-level performances.
Varied fitness drills
In order to compete at the top level in football, you need to possess significant fitness levels and boast impressive stamina. On average, a professional footballer covers over 10km in a ninety-minute match, but it’s not just about being able to cover the distance. Footballers need to combine explosive bursts with the ability to work hard for their teammates. In training, footballers work on fitness drills that help improve their VO2 max or the maximum rate at which they can consume oxygen during exercise. This is often done in the form of interval training, where players combine jogging, running, and sprinting to improve their aerobic capacity.
Sprint drills to improve speed
You might think that only Olympic athletes work hard to improve their speed and that in football, speed is a natural attribute of the most gifted. This isn’t the case. Footballers all over the pitch need to be fast to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the modern game. In order to improve their speed, footballers build up the strength in their hamstrings and quadriceps with isometric and eccentric movements under increased pressure. Many players do this in the form of bungee cords, where they run against a bungee for a specified period, and the resistance is changed over time. This helps the faster players maintain their speed, and also, the slower players increase their speed.
Core development and strength training
As well as stamina, footballers need to work on their core and develop their strength. In today’s game, footballers are athletes first and foremost, with very little body fat and superb core strength. Modern footballers work on their core daily in training, performing sit-ups, crunches, and performing deadlifts. Having a solid core and upper and lower body strength is crucial, and footballers today try and ensure they are stronger than their opponents.
If you turn up to many Premier League training grounds, you will see players wearing compression garments. The garments are designed to squeeze the player’s lower limbs, which accelerates the recycling of toxins, which essentially makes the player stronger for the next day’s training session. These compression garments allow the top players to train harder for longer, meaning that they are better prepared for matches and are less likely to pick up injuries.
Players at the top clubs in the world benefit from virtual reality utilised by their coaches to improve their cognitive capabilities. Virtual reality can be used to assess and evaluate opponents’ tactics, improve individual decision making, and optimise a player’s return from injury. Virtual reality is even used to scout players and enhance the composition of elite squads. Many of the teams that compete in the Champions League, Manchester United and Juventus, for example, utilise virtual reality during training to help get the most out of their superstar players, like Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo.
With the intensity of the modern game, it’s essential that footballers can recover and prepare for their next training session. There are so many recovery supplements on the market, and players will take different supplements depending on their personal requirements. However, one example in the modern game is the use of beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is a nonessential amino acid that builds carnosine in muscles. Carnosine counteracts the build-up of lactic acid and supports quicker recovery.
As well as supplements to boost recovery, coaches ensure that their players have enough time away from the training field in order to rest and recover. Besides conventional time off, footballers also use foam rolling techniques, which effectively prevents a build-up of fascia and reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscular soreness). After every session, warm downs are essential and support your body to recover in time for the next session or match.
Tailored nutritional plans
A vital element of a player’s recovery time is nutrition, and top footballers follow specific diets to complement their hectic training and match schedules. These diets often change throughout the week, depending on the type of training they’re completing. For example, after a match, footballers eat high-calorie meals to replace the vast number of calories they burned during the game. Equally, on gym days, footballers will ensure their diet is high in protein to support muscle growth and aid speedy recovery when working on strength and conditioning. Elite footballers follow a stringent diet plan developed for them by sports scientists and nutritionists, and this is a vital technique employed by the big clubs to ensure their players are in the best possible condition.
Conclusion: Training techniques used by the top footballers
As you can see, elite footballers use various techniques to ensure they are in the best possible physical shape. As the modern game is so intensive and physical fitness is of paramount importance, players must work hard and ensure they allow sufficient time for their recovery to avoid injury. The world’s wealthiest clubs are also utilising modern technologies such as virtual reality to stay one step ahead of their opponents.