Three drills to help football endurance

The key to building match endurance is repeated fast runs with short rests. Manchester City's head of sports science Sam Erith has devised three drills to keep you going until full-time
Three drills to help football endurance

Drill 1: Dribble and run (Beginner)

“Start on the touchline with a ball at your feet and get set to run across the width of the pitch. Dribble the ball as fast as you can until you are parallel to the centre spot, leave the ball there, run at 80 per cent speed to the opposing touchline, run back to the ball at the same pace and dribble it back to your starting position as fast as you can.

“Your rest time should be the time it takes to complete this cycle – so if it takes you 90 seconds there and back, take a 90-second break. Repeat this six times.”

Drill 2: Back and forth (Intermediate)

“You need training partners and two balls for this. Start halfway between the centre spot and the goal-line, with one of your training partners positioned 10 yards behind the centre spot, a ball on the centre spot and the other in the middle of the goal holding a ball – they should be in a straight line.

“From your starting position, sprint to the centre spot and pass the ball to your partner, sprint back past your starting position all the way to the goal-line where your other partner should throw the ball up to you for a header, before sprinting back to your starting point.

“Take time to recover by swapping with one of your partners, taking up the job of passing or throwing up the ball for a header. Repeat the cycle until you have each completed six separate runs.”

Drill 3: Getting around the pitch (Advanced)

“Start at one corner flag and gently jog around the perimeter of the pitch until you’re back to your starting point. Now run at 70 per cent of your top speed to the halfway line, before slowing down to a jog for the rest of the lap. Once back at your starting point, run at 70 per cent for the full length of the pitch, slowing down to a jog at the opposing corner flag and making your way round to your starting point.

Fitness permitting, you can either repeat the first three steps or continue building up the distance covered in your sprints until you work your way up to being able to run around the pitch at 70 per cent in one go.”

Go all out for 90 minutes

Avoid doing these drills closer than two days before a game as you’ll burn yourself out. If your game is on Saturday, opt for one drill on Monday and one on Wednesday.

Sam Erith Fitness

Sam Erith

Manchester City's head of sports science

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