This is a high intensity football-specific conditioning drill, designed to challenge players both technically and physically. Technical skills developed include passing, receiving, crossing and shooting, while the physical skills showcased are aerobic endurance, speed, agility and power.
We tend to use this session as a physical component of training early in the week to develop and maintain aerobic endurance, as well as building up players’ tolerance to high intensity football, with sufficient recovery in the lead-up to match day. It’s engaging in the way it challenges players to produce high standards of technical and physical skills, both of which are required to play at Premier League level.
Football-specific drills are more satisfying for the modern day professional as opposed to the traditional methods of training. It challenges the players to execute skills to high standards whilst the body is under physical stress.
What do I get the players to do?
We set up as shown (1), on a half-pitch. Players make their way around the area, following each pass as they go and running at full pace between each section.
Every station can be adapted to work different techniques – for instance, passes, shots or aerobic activities. Speed and agility is another aspect which can be altered depending on the outcomes you are looking for.
We run this as four sets of three-minute reps, with 90-second recovery time in between, with the drill designed to be repeated down both sides of the pitch in order to enable players to work both feet technically.
What are the key things to look out for?
Subjectively we are looking to assess whether the players can maintain technical skills whilst under physical stress. For instance, can the player maintain a quality pass, can he make the correct decision when crossing or shooting, and can he execute the necessary skills?
From a physical perspective we are looking for the player’s ability to achieve the desired workloads while delaying fatigue, which would potentially reduce their ability to recover between sets. We want players to express speed, show good agility and accomplish power when shooting, as well as undertaking changes of pace, when required.
We work closely with our sports science staff to ensure these demands are being met through subjective assessment primarily, and objective assessment using GPS.
Poor execution of the skill demands occur due to the physical requirements of the drill, misplaced passes or poor decision making when it comes to crossing or shooting.
This drill is designed to replicate the technical and physical demands of competitive football and correlates with later stages of match play, and the players’ ability to maintain both high technical and physical skills when under fatigue.
Drill duration is dependent on current training status and the physical ability of the players. It can be manipulated to suit the needs of the players.