Top-level players must be able to cope with a very high level of repetitive effort given the ever-increasing length of actual playing time:
· Rigorous base-level work (aerobic) will improve the players’ physiological capacities and thus increase the length of time they can play for.
· Regular coordination and stability exercises are likely to enable an improvement in individual technique and physical control.
· Speed and agility are unquestionably among the indispensable qualities required of the modern player, and over and above the development of these two qualities on a purely athletic level, work on speed with the ball specifically tailored to football should be undertaken as early as possible.
Alternating between high speed and low speed exercises during training sessions will prepare players for the fundamental requirements of the modern game based on changes of pace. To summarize, increasing the pace and the ability to maintain it are the two areas in which it is vital that the players progress in order to reduce the number of technical or even tactical errors they make that are caused by tiredness, and thus to improve individual performance as well as the collective performance of the team.
It is important therefore to continue to work on these essential elements: agility, explosiveness, speed and power. The modern footballer needs pace and the ability to change gears, and training methods must take this into account. Training should always be based on endurance, but work on pace should include high-speed and low-speed exercises.
Including sequences of three or four exercises at fast pace in tactical sessions (for example build-up play, counter-attack with defensive regrouping each time) will enable young players to cope with the demands of top-level football.
Finally, as we know that speed is without doubt the most indispensable quality required of footballers today, it is thus necessary when training young players and during specific training sessions, to develop and work on speed in all its forms:
· Speed of reaction
· Running speed
· Speed of execution (taking out the opponent with the first touch of the ball)
· Tactical speed (increasing the speed of transition between attack and defence)