Conditioning in Soccer

Jonathan Taylor, Shaun McLaren, Ryan Curtis (Editor), Courteney Benjamin (Editor), Robert Huggins (Editor), Douglas Casa (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In addition to the high technical and tactical demands, soccer match-play requires players to possess well-developed aerobic, anaerobic and neuromuscular capacities. Therefore, physical conditioning strategies aiming to develop these capacities are integral to the training process. To implement a successful conditioning programme, the physiological demands of soccer must be considered with respect to fatigue development/ resistance (i.e. central and peripheral mechanisms) and the associated implications on match performance. Furthermore, the multifactorial nature of elite performance dictates that time-efficient physical conditioning methods are needed. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a popular method used to enhance the fitness of soccer players, due to the time efficiency and adaptability of this method to achieve desired physiological outcomes. Specifically, four HIIT types – long interval, short interval, sprint interval and repeated-sprint training – can be used depending on the desired adaptations. Game-based training is also a popular training method due to the time efficiency of combining technical and physical training. The physiological outcomes achieved through game-based training can be manipulated through player numbers, area sizes and rules. Both HIIT and game-based training are effective in developing aerobic, anaerobic and neuromuscular capacities; however, the programming of each presents a unique challenge. This chapter briefly discusses the soccer fatigue mechanisms and appraises the role of HIIT and game-based training in conditioning soccer players with specific reference to developing aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElite Soccer Players - Maximizing Performance and Safety
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780429465536
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2019


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