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How to Plan Football Training: Practical Tips from a Football Coach

For your players to produce good results on the pitch, you must approach football training in the right manner. Whether you are doing it for a hobby or you aspire to be a professional coach, you must have the right training plan in place that you should also correctly implement. 

If you are planning to be a founder of a football team with peers or want to take up a professional role in football management, you are often faced with a lot of questions. How will you structure your training routine? How often should players train? How long should each training session last? And what is required during football training? 

All of these questions can be confusing or even discourage you from taking up the challenge. Professional football coaches all have the following to say about football training.

How is football training structured?

If you adequately prepare during training, the fruits of your hard work will be transferred to the pitch on match day. Your training plan should be structured to incorporate warm-ups, fitness programs, and phases of play training sessions. 


Before diving fully into any physical activity, warm-ups are very important. They help prepare your muscles for the strenuous activity to come, hence helping avoiding injuries. Just think about Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Pique, and many other professional players. They have managed to stay at a top level for a long time because they approach training sessions correctly. The warm-up sessions should take an average of ten minutes. 

For an effective warm-up session, you can get all of the players in a circle with one of them in the middle. The player stationed in the middle will make runs trying to break up play while the others strive to keep possession. The player who loses the ball will then replace the player in the middle. You can put more players in the middle and instruct the others to do one-touch passing.

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Fitness sessions

Football is a sport which requires players to have a lot of physicality, speed, and endurance. This can all be achieved by having regular fitness sessions. It also helps defenders to fend off attackers and attackers to be as strong as defenders. If you go into a game with a huge disadvantage in physicality, your players will be bullied off the ball the entire game. Fitness sessions can last up to 20 minutes. 

To train on defense, you can place five attackers in a box of 10 x 10 yards. Two defenders will then enter the box and try to take the ball from the attackers. This improves the defenders’ abilities and also enhances the communication of attackers while attacking. 

Phase of play sessions

The goal of this session is to improve the overall defending and attacking abilities of the entire team. Just like the fitness sessions, the phase of play sessions lasts for 20 minutes. Put your back four defenders in the 18-yard box and line up two holding midfielders in front of them. On the other end, have four attacking midfielders and two strikers and let them try to beat the defenders to score. The defenders should defend while the attackers try to score. 

You can then arrange a small-sided game with 7 players on each side. The players play in 60 by 44-yard pitch with goals at both ends. The teams will then aim at scoring on opposing sides. For the players to be more agile, limit the number of touches. This small game should last for 30 minutes. 


With the above football training tips, you should prepare your players well. The critical thing is to be consistent and ensure that the training is done in the best and safest way to avoid any injuries.