The Ultimate Guide to Football Strength Training

Coaching football is no part-time job. The hours you spend coaching practices, running two-a-days, and studying film on the weekends take dedication and a relentless personality. The minute your season finally comes to a close, it’s already time to start thinking ahead toward next season. What you do in your off-season has a huge impact on your season to come—and it’s time to start planning your off-season training now.
As you begin to build your off-season strength and conditioning strategy, there are countless variables you’ll need to assess, prioritize, and structure, so your players are peaked for performance when the season starts.

Our Sport Performance department collaborated with our Strength Coach Advisory Board to write a comprehensive guide that lays out the steps high-level strength and conditioning professionals take when designing an organized, periodized, research-based football strength training program.

  • How to organize a year-long training calendar

  • How to design a periodized training structure based on the unique needs of your athletes

  • How to optimize your periodization scheme based on how much time you have to train

  • How to assign rep, set, and loading guidelines based on block (cycle) of training

  • How to conduct a needs analysis of the sport to determine the best exercises for the biomechanical and metabolic requirements of football

  • How to identify and incorporate injury prevention methods in your training program

  • How to structure each individual training session

When they’re not playing a match, on holiday or away with the international team, if called up, your players will be training at your club’s training facilities, working on becoming better players. However, whether they improve or not, and whether your team has a solid understanding of your tactics, very much depends on how you, the manager, sets up your training schedule, whether that be for the team as a whole, individual players or assigning coaches to specific categories. Training is often an undervalued tool on Football Manager, but I can’t stress the importance of spending time to adjust your training schedule to really maximise the potential of your players and get the best out of them.

On that note, we felt it necessary to devise a guide on how best to train your players to achieve the best you can possibly get from your team.

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