Stage 1 Layout – your starting 4 defenders on matchday.
Stage 2 Action – Your starting 4 defenders form a barrier like so, should get a set of 4 players to try and make their way to the other side of the pitch, the 4 defenders have the job of stopping them, using the barrier to do so.
Stage 3 – Nice and simple routine to get your defence into the idea of keeping a shape and a line.
Create a sizable T shape with four markers.
It is a race, the starting player sprints to the middle cone, touch the middle cone then side stepping to the left cone then continue the side stepping right cone then back to the middle again, the going as fast as possible moving backwards to the starting point. Then the next player in the group sets off.
Make sure you divide the team into two groups.
Ensure the players touch each cone throughout the race or they start again.
- Quick Feet
This is a fitness exercise that works with adults only, DO NOT use this in any youth development environment whatsoever.
A line of markers at the edge of the box, setup something similar at the half way line. Distance should work our approximately 35 yards, line of your players starting one of the markers and they have 7 seconds to make it to the other, when reached they have 7 seconds to rest then ready themselves to start again, and the running begins to bring the group back to the original starting point. That would be considered done twice, this routine is to be completed 8 times. Once a set of 8 is completed, the players get 120 seconds rest and subsequently start again.
6 sets of 8 is the usual philosophy but this can be adjusted based on your teams fitness levels and your own judgement.
Fitness is something that is very important in football, as you know if you aren’t fit enough you wont be able make enough of a difference, and that is a guarantee.
What you have to do is keep it in perspective though.
If it is entirely required for your squad to focus fully on fitness improvement, keep in mind something called the fatigue factor, your players body will indeed do its job in terms of performance when fit, but it needs time to recover during a fitness routine.
Maintain the philosophy of short and sharp, do not let any fitness session last for more than an hour. Minimum breaks allowed and maintain a high intensity level. Including these protocols (you will be hated for it) will see an excellent result.
Not sure if this is an original or not, but I couldn’t sleep one night and I came up with the below. As it turns out there is a similar routine included in the Coerver Diploma.
Split your group of players into 2 teams, team A and B. Team A starts with a pool of 5 balls, their job is to keep possession as long as possible. Lose possession and they move onto the next ball until the team run out. The whole thing is timed, and at the end the time recorded is used as a benchmark against Team B.
The two groups swap roles once recovery is completed and the process starts again.
- Movement of players to create space
- Ball retention
One of the most important aspects of the match day is the warm up, ideally the routine should be uniform and regular each fixture, this ensures that each player knows the process and can focus on the muscle warming and preparation.
Reduce the time spent on warming up on a summer day, as the warmth will help the process. Spend more time on it on a cold day. Another aspect is to blend muscle stretching and football together, ensure your players get a good touch of a ball whilst gradually warming up all of the body.