Fitness Guide

THE FOUR MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF FITNESS IN SOCCER THAT SHOULD BE TARGETED

Flexibility refers to the range of motion of a joint or group of joints. It is important in soccer because the body is constantly put into awkward positions that stretch the joints (particularly in the legs) to their full range of motion. Good flexibility within a player will lead to an increase in performance, as it will allow the individual to perform a wider range of movements and so increase their ability to adapt to the unpredictable nature of the sport.

·       Cardiovascular fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is the ability for the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to the working muscle tissues and the ability for these muscles to use that oxygen for movement. Soccer is a sport that requires a sustained period of medium to high intensity physical activity. Good cardiovascular fitness is essential for improving performance within soccer, as it will allow the individual to perform throughout the entirety of the activity without a dropping their levels of movement and therefore their involvement within the game.

·       Agility

Agility is the bodies ability to change the bodies position efficiently. Agility is a core component of fitness within soccer, as the activity requires sudden changes of movement throughout, often at high speeds. Greater levels of agility will lead to an improvement in performance for an individual as they will be able to change direction quicker and therefore perform movements superior to opponents or adjust their path of movement suddenly to gain an advantage.

·       Coordination

Motor coordination refers to the ability of the brain to coordinate the muscles to perform an intended action. It is an important component of soccer, as it is needed constantly to accurately direct the ball to its intended destination while taking the correct path. Good coordination will lead to an increased level of performance in the sport, as players will be better able to control the path of the ball and perform more difficult skills with a higher frequency of success.

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