If you want to play pro soccer in one of the top level league, you’ll need speed. When playing against Theo Walcott (Arsenal) for example, who’s maximum speed was recorded at 22,72 mph, you’d better put a lot of energy in training to be fast. Then there’s another problem. You’ll need to be fast all game long. You’ll have probably more than 100 high speed runs through the game and you want to keep the intensity high.
So, being able to repeat high speed runs or sprints during 90min of the game, and recovering quickly between each run is one of the key in modern soccer. That’s why coaches talk a lot about SPEED ENDURANCE. One of the them is Jens Bangsbo, who presented different aspects of soccer fitness training at the 7th world congress on science and soccer (Nagoya). Talking precisely about Speed Endurance training and the scientific experiments that he conducted, he explained how keeping focus on this type of training improves performance when working with top level players. Using specific soccer situations in regard of the player’s position (for example: full back receiving pass, dribbling, crossing and returning to position) or specific games (with specific rules), the drills built to develop speed endurance are essential when you want to make a difference in the game. Performing a decisive offensive action and defending well immediatly afterwards, that’s what pro players must be able to do. You can’t rest when the team is working on defense, modern soccer teams can’t support having one of the player out of the defensive block. 20 years ago, it was possible. Today, no chance ! And you’d better be ready to work hard, because this type of work is difficult. It needs complete focus and it brings you to the limits of what your body can do.
How to do the work : 8-12 series of 20 to 30 seconds work at 90-95 % of maximum speed. Rest: 3 min between each serie.
See Video below for a specific situation drill (speed endurance combined with defensive work) :
If you want to take a look at the full presentation of Jens Bangsbo (one of the best fitness coaches in soccer) at the Congress on Science and Soccer, click here !