Soccer Return Preparation: Are You Really Ready to Return?

Soccer Return Preparation: Are You Really Ready to Return?

Footballers are looking to increase fitness as a return to sport is now in sight. It is important that certain types of conditioning are not overlooked. Most committed footballers have been practising skills at a good intensity on their own and are now back with their team along with cycling and going for runs.

However, it must be stressed that things like max sprint exposureacceleration / deceleration work, and higher speed runs must be practiced & progressed as the return gets closer. This is to ensure we are prepared: for ‘worst case scenario’ of situations that require this, to perform in the common demands of football & to protect against injury.

High speed running can ensure the hamstrings are protected & conditioned, it prepares the body to be conditioned against fatigue that could otherwise lead to decreased performance and slower muscle activation & when trained correctly can improve speed & performance.

It’s just as just important for a defensive midfielder as it is for a full back to practice longer runs & high-speed efforts as there is always a chance that players will be exposed to these demands in a game, offensively & defensively. A high level defensive midfielder can still cover 500m of high speed distance (over 19.7km/h for men, 18.0km/h for women) in a 90 minutes game, of which include efforts of very high speed running (over 25.2hm/h for men, over 25hm/h for women).

If in a team setting, small-sided games can be manipulated to meet these requirements, but alone, sometimes sprints & intervals must be run to meet these requirements, although they may seem less attractive to a lot of footballers. Examples include box to box runs with short rest period & sprint efforts with large rest times.

Man With Soccer Injury

B. ExSci, M. Clin Ex Phys, ESSAM, AEP

High Performance Exercise Physiologist

Joshua DeRooy is an exercise physiologist with a particular interest in ACL injury management with experience treating both surgically & conservatively managed, return to sport & improving performance. Josh has a extensive experience in the sporting field recently with a stint in Brisbane as the Lead Sport Scientist for Brisbane Roar W-League squad, & previously with Blacktown City FC, North Sydney Bears RL & South Sydney Rabbitohs NYL.

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