Independent pre-season preparation of a student football player

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Everyone in the football community remembers well that pre-season football training is one of the key stages in preparing athletes for the new season or its resumption after a break.  Some of the players prefer to train in football camps, others practice on their own at their place of residence. First of all, we have prepared this guide for such players.  

The importance of pre-season training by BidForWriting 

In 2015, Nathan Redmond (then 20 years old, playing for Norwich City FC and England U21s) was interviewed by the Telegraph newspaper about his pre-season preparation [1]. Among other things, he noted: 

I have an individual training plan that we have been working on with sports experts for the last five years. For me, the key is to maintain my speed and to be physically ready for pressure when I am in possession of the ball, so I can be difficult to push off.  

In the past, players of my build (173cm) could have problems against bigger players, but today you have to deal with it physically. In the gym, we split days to train our upper body and legs to build strength. 

On a typical training day in the Norwich off-season, we do a warm-up with a team of sports scientists to develop speed, then we play small teams or long ball possession to get our lungs pumped up and get everyone breathing. After that, we might do some sprints or shuttle runs – and that’s just a morning workout. It can last for an hour and a half. In the afternoon we go back for a running workout. Some days we have three workouts – running, gym, and football sessions, all in one day.  

After a hard workout, we jump in an ice bath and get a little massage to help us recover, but we won’t feel any pain [in our muscles] until the next day. When you come home after training – you’re usually so tired that you fall asleep right away. But the next day you get delayed muscle pain syndrome and you feel the most pain.  

Today, Nathan Redmond is 25 years old and successfully plays for Southampton FC and is a member of the main England squad.  

We have cited his interview to highlight the following points: a) pre-season training is one of the most important stages in the professional training of a football player and should be taken seriously; b) if an athlete wants to progress faster, he should have his own individual football training plan; this is especially important in the off-season when athletes do football training independently; 3) strength training (exercises to develop strength) is an integral part of the training process in modern football  

These conclusions are fully supported by scientific and statistical studies.  

In particular, a study [2], monitored the results of teams in the first five games of the regular season and how they affected the final position of the teams at the end of the championship. The budget of the club was taken into account. The championships studied were Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, English Premier League, French Ligue 1, and German Bundesliga, among others.  

The study showed that the results of the first matches have a different impact on teams with different budgets and financial possibilities. In the case of the teams with smaller budgets, the points scored from the first 5 games of the season have a significant influence on the final ranking. The higher the team was at the end of the 5th round of the championship, the higher it was at the end of the championship.  Therefore the conclusion is that the lower the budget of the team, the stronger the influence of the result in the first games of the season on its final ranking at the end of the season.  

However, for teams with bigger budgets, the position of the team after the 5th round has no influence on its final ranking at the end of the championship.  

The explanation is quite simple. For teams with smaller funds, a streak of positive results at the beginning of the championship is often encouraged and shows that the players are on the right track. As a result, they get more confidence and will put in a great effort in every match, and not lose their points.   

Conversely, teams with bigger budgets and great players feel more confident despite a defeat in the first round. In other words, they feel they can catch up quickly because they have the tools to do so (budget, good bench and baseball players, experience, top coaches, etc.).  

What practical conclusions should be drawn for coaching football teams?    

1) Training football teams with small budgets  

  • get your players ready as soon as possible (technical and tactical preparation, fitness training), so that they can play to their full potential at the start of the season; 
  • choose your opponents for pre-season matches so that your team can beat them. The goal is to give players more confidence before the start of the regular season. 
  • think of activities that will bring the players together before kick-off and make them feel more confident about themselves and their teammates; 
  • try to make the players understand that self-preparation during the off-season is essential for a successful start, and therefore for the whole championship; to provide comprehensive advice on individual training during the off-season, including which football training sessions are the most effective for pre-season preparation. 

2) Training for football teams with large budgets in the off-season 

For teams with bigger budgets, experts have concluded that off-season training must not be exclusively focused on preparing players quickly for the start of the season so that they are already at the peak of their form by the first game. These teams can win the first games even if they are not at their best, especially if they have top-quality players in the squad. It is important to consider that the end of the season (where there will likely be strong competition between the first 5-6 teams) and the presence of additional international matches for national teams or in other tournaments will also be important for the players of this category. Therefore the football training plan for the off-season is different than for teams with small budgets.  

Thus, we can responsibly say that pre-season training is extremely important for the vast majority of clubs and athletes. That being said, independent (individual) preseason preparation of players plays a key role. With this in mind, we will now present football training and individual football training plans recommended by professional coaches and experts for young players. 

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