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Football Fitness Exercises!!

Updated: Dec 17, 2023



It's that magical time of the year again, where coaches are beginning to plan for pre-season and start the process of preparing sessions and periodization models. Increasing fitness levels continues to be one of the main objectives for coaches at all levels. However, with many players returning from summer lay-offs, it can be a complex process to get right as a coach. The days of isolated (and seemingly endless) running without the ball are coming to an end. As coaches get more information on how to manage and build fitness levels without exposing players to injury, training sessions are becoming more structured and clinical. Of course, finding the best exercises to bring out high tempo and intensity still requires research and consideration from the coaching staff. This week, we took a look at some session ideas that coaches can implement with their teams upon their arrival back to training.


Below are some examples of the exercises. If you enjoy them, we have a free PDF for coaches where coaches can access Six Football Fitness Exercises. You can download your copy here.



Exercise One: 3v3v3 Transitional Game


Eleven players are organized into three teams of three players and two goalkeepers. The game takes place on a 20x45 yard area with a 5-yard channel in the middle. One team begins as the attacking team (in yellow) starts in the middle zone and can attack either goal. Once they enter an attacking zone, they have 10 seconds to score. If they are successful in scoring, they go back to the middle and immediately receive another ball to attack the other goal. If the defensive team win the ball, they immediately break out and look to attack the opposite goal. If the attacking team lose possession, they can immediately counter-press but once the ball travels into the middle zone, they must then transition to become a defensive team and remain in the zone. Play 3x4 minute games and keep the score throughout. (See below)




Exercise Two: 10v6 Possess and Progress versus the Press


Twenty-one players are organized into two teams of ten and one goalkeeper on a 20x30 yard area with a 5-yard channel around the outside. One team begins as the defensive team (in blue) with six players on the inside plus one in each corner. The possession team (in red) also have six players on the inside and four around the outside (in a shape replicating a supporting back four). The objective for the blue team is to win three balls back and successfully pass them to one of their teammates in any of the four corners. The red team are trying to use their 10v6 overload (with the help of their supporting players) and complete four consecutive passes inside the area, before breaking out and scoring. If the red team are successful in scoring, they increase the number of balls that the defending team are trying to win back. For example, if they complete four consecutive passes on the inside and then break-out to score on the very first ball, now the blue team has to win four balls before the set is over. If the possession team get to eight balls, then they win the set and the teams rotate positions and roles. The offside rule applies to the final pass breaking out. (See below)




To watch more exercises, please check out the video below.



If you would like to follow up with Gary Curneen about personal consultation, please email him at: gary@modernsoccercoach.com

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