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Introduction

Typical soccer seasons have periods of intense training, matches, tournaments and also rest periods at whatever level of football.  As coaches we should be aware of the effects of training and also not training in order to best plan our seasons for optimal performance.  Also refer to Periodization in Soccer.  For the purpose of this article 'detraining' is referred to as the loss of training induced adaptations, as a result of insufficient training stimulus (Mujika I, 2000).  Football performance can be defined as the loss of the following athletic attributes/components (discussed below).  For the purpose of researching the components that integrate into soccer performance they are seperated.  Their importance is subjective to the reader.  In a number of cases were draw associations from other 'similar' sports where quantatative research in football is not available.  Most stuides and research are showing that a 2-3 week period in the absence of training will not affect performance in the more important physical components of soccer.

 

Aerobic Endurance (Energy Systems)

Arguablity the most important physiological component to soccer is aerobic endurance.  Maximal oxygen consumption was reduced significantly after 8 weeks of detraining (semi professional footballers)(Caldwell, BP, 2009).  Figure 1 below shows the effects in generic sports training to detraining over a period of 84 days and factors influencial in Aerobic Endurance.  Studies have shown that at various periods of a season a players anaerobic threshold will be different (i.e. showing the effect of training and games on a player)(Clark, NA, 2008). As expected pre-season anaerobic threshold values were the lowest.  Enzymes important in this process can take several months to return to a baseline level following 3 months or more of detraining.  Studies in Spain showed detraining of 4-8 weeks from muscle biopsies showed reduced Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibres and enzymes that are important aerobic and anaerobic endurance.

 

Detraining effect in soccer

Fig 1. Effect of training cessation on the physiological determinants of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Q: cardiac output; a-vDO2: arteriovenous di4erence in oxygen; SV: stroke   volume; HR: heart rate. Adapted from the data reported by Coyle et al. (1984).

 

Sprinting

Sprint times significantly increased (times increased) in 50m sprint tests in professional footballers (Ostojic, SM, 2003).

Agility

8 weeks of detraining between seasons resulted in significantly higher 15m sprint times in the Illinois Agility Test (Caldwell, 2009).

Flexibility

8 weeks of detraining resulted in reduced flexibility in lower back and hamstring muscle groups (Caldwell, 2009).

Body Fat

8 weeks of detraining resulted in increased body fat levels of semi-professional and professional footballers (Caldwell, 2009)(Hoshikawa, Y, 2004).

Strength

12 weeks of detraining resulted in significantly reduced strength/power gains in youth players (Ingle, L, 2006).  A study showed that an average decrease of 14.5% strength after an 8 week detraining period.  It appears strength losses occur after a 2-3 week period in some studies and a 4 week detraining period in another (Cormie, P, 2011).

 

Conclusions

The psychological benefits from detraining (rest periods, off-season) are less well researched and are difficult to provide quantative research for.  But it looks safe to assume that 2-4 week break periods will not affect performance.  Greater than 4 weeks and the affect of detraining with start to show in various components of physical fitness.  

Aerobic Fitness Sessions

Detraining Effect

Introduction Typical soccer seasons have periods of intense training, matches, tournaments and also rest periods at whatever level of football.  As coaches we should be aware of the effects of training...

12-02-2015 Hits:3880 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Running With the Ball and Conditioning

Dribbling technique that can be also used as a conditioning and fitness exercise if needed. Running with the ball technique training and also football specific conditioning. Can also be used...

16-07-2013 Hits:15024 Aerobic Fitness Drills Ray Power - avatar Ray Power

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Conditioning With Dribbling

Dribbling exercise that incorporates conditioning to varying degrees as desired. Improve dribbling, turning, ball manipulation skills with football-specific conditioning. ...

15-07-2013 Hits:12582 Aerobic Fitness Drills Ray Power - avatar Ray Power

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6 Ball Game (Aerobic)

Small sided game focusing on developing Aerobic Fitness (High Intensity) and immediate transition on attack. Finishing is also trained in high reps as the defending unit is frequently outnumbered. ...

30-03-2012 Hits:27841 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Fitness Ladder (Aerobic)

Fitness and conditioning activity used to develop aerobic capacity and also threshold capacity. Exercise integrates technical training at repeated stations whilst training aerobic energy systems. ...

12-02-2012 Hits:28729 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Directional Possession with Targets (Hig…

Possessional exercise with direction where players have to work in a high intensity environment. Developing aerobic capacity in a small sided game scenario. ...

20-11-2011 Hits:22819 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Transition Fitness (High Aerobic)

Develop a teams ability to work at Moderate to High intensity for sustained periods. This possession exercise works the aerobic and lactate systems to induce a training overload that replicates...

20-11-2011 Hits:22306 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Numbers Up Transitions with Conditioning…

Develop Possession and Creating Goal Scoring Opportunities in Numbers Up Situations. Also train a teams ability to work at high intensity for sustained periods and increase the Intermittent Aerobic Capacity of players.

10-11-2011 Hits:14234 Aerobic SSG's TonyDeers - avatar TonyDeers

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Training Zones for Football Fitness

The below information should help provide you with guidelines for designing fitness and conditioning sessions with specific training objectives.  Due to the intermittent exercise profile of football, players require a...

31-10-2011 Hits:13600 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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2 Ball Aerobic Possession (Low Intensity…

Develop the aerobic capacity of players in this exercise an train the ability to perform moderate intensity over long periods of time. Also trains possession skills in small groups. ...

20-10-2011 Hits:14160 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Small Sided Games vs. Generic Training i…

A number of studies have now shown that small sided games are an effective form of aerobic training in soccer opposed to the traditional generic (running) training techniques.  ...

18-10-2011 Hits:14699 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Physical Development of Girls vs Boys

It is important to understand pre-pubertal and pubertal physiological development of girls and boys in order to gauge expectations and plan an appropriate training schedule for them. Both...

25-09-2011 Hits:7410 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Aerobic Fitness Conditioned Match (8vs8)

Develop the Intermittent Aerobic Capacity of players in this Small Sided Game. Develop a teams ability to work at high intensity for sustained periods. ...

23-09-2011 Hits:14584 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Football Periodization

Introduction Periodization is derived from 'Period' which is a division of time into smaller, easy-to-manage segments.  In our case ''Training Periods'. Specifically, periodization is the division of a yearly training...

01-09-2011 Hits:20875 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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150 Yrd Shuttles (High Intensity)

Drill Objective(s) Developing the ability to sustain high intensity exercise specific to soccer. Develop psychological toughness. Develop turns and good running form in soccer. Drill No: HAN1 Age: 14-Adlt No Players: 1+ Difficulty: Advanced Area/Time: 25x25yrds Diagram 1 ORGANISATION: Set up...

04-08-2011 Hits:20979 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Yo-Yo Intermittent and Endurance Testing

The Yo-Yo test series evaluate an individual's ability to repeatedly perform intervals over a prolonged period of time in intermittent exercise related sports. The endurance version of this test is...

25-07-2011 Hits:32736 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Split Pitch Fitness (Low Aerobic)

Small sided game with focus on fitness. Develop the Intermittent Aerobic Capacity of players. Develop a teams ability to work at low to moderate intensity for sustained periods. ...

20-07-2011 Hits:11377 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Repeated Sprint Training (RSA) and Inter…

Testing done on elite soccer players has shown that additional RSA (Repeated Sprint Activity) and Interval training has been shown to further improve performance in Intermittent Exercise (i.e Soccer). Bangsbo et...

18-07-2011 Hits:14646 Aerobic Fitness Science TonyDeers - avatar TonyDeers

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300 Yrd Shuttle (Lactate Tolerance Test)

Set up markers (cones) at 10 yrd intervals out to 50yrds.  This test is designed to test your lactate system and high intensity running.  This test is done with a...

04-07-2011 Hits:9255 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cooper Test (VO2max Calculation)

What is VO2max? VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, is one factor that can determine an player's capacity to perform sustained exercise and is linked to aerobic endurance. VO2 max refers...

05-05-2011 Hits:19172 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Reduced Training Volume vs. Increased In…

This article discusses the balance of volume and intensity of fitness activities in soccer training sessions. Iaia FM et al, performed a study on high performance athletes by replacing their...

18-04-2011 Hits:6827 Aerobic Fitness Science Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Aerobic Possession Grids

Possessional based fitness activity that could be used in pre-season or as an aerobic integrated possession training phase. ...

30-06-2010 Hits:27901 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Speed and Agility Circuit 1

SAQ Exercise designed to develop explosive speed and acceleration. Typical activities include co-ordination and balance training integrated into the various exercises. SAQ Circuit using a variety of movements to develop...

01-02-2010 Hits:41197 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Pyramid Fartlek Runs

Fartlek Pyramid training model for soccer. High Intensity Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. ...

01-02-2010 Hits:35282 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Partner Relay (Aerobic Threshold)

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Relay races to create intermittent exercise to replicate the physical conditions of a match. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:23191 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Intermittent Aerobic Course (50yrds)

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Exercise performed without a football for older and advanced players. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:21944 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Incremental Aerobic Recovery Runs

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Series of high intensity sprints followed by various running bouts. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:20738 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Incremental Aerobic Fitness Pitch Runs

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Requires a full field and involves different intensities of running/jogging. ...

31-01-2010 Hits:21226 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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High Intensity Aerobic Circuit

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. Without ball for advanced and senior level players. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:29311 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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3/4 Field Aerobic Runs

Aerobic fitness development activity used to progress the aerobic energy systems included aerobic threshold. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:17007 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Low Intensity Aerobic Agility Circuit

Develop Aerobic Capacity in this fitness and conditioning circuit. Perform various SAQ and loaded runs in order to develop a teams (player) aerobic profile. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:19540 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Aerobic Runs (High Intensity)

Aerobic fitness circuit used to develop aerobic capacity and the ability to recover after repeated bouts of high intensity intermittent exercise. Also develops 'Aerobic Threshold'. ...

28-01-2010 Hits:18370 Aerobic Fitness Drills Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cone Retreive Race (Aerobic)

Fitness and conditioning exercise to develop Anaerobic fitness and also aerobic base and recovery training. Performed without a football and in two teams or more depending on squad size. Competitive...

07-11-2009 Hits:22616 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cone Runners (Recovery Runs)

Defending priorities in and around the 18yrd area. Focusing on preventing goal scoring opportunities and small group defending techniques.

07-11-2009 Hits:26755 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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Cone Capture

Small sided game or pre-season activity used to develop aerobic fitness in players in a fun and high intensity small sided game. Developing a players ability to recover and perform...

07-11-2009 Hits:29010 Aerobic SSG's Darren Pitfield - avatar Darren Pitfield

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