Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and is the German national sport. Soccer is a team sport on a large field, many players and less physical contact. Interestingly, despite these factors, the risk of injury is higher than in most other sports. For this reason, the size of the squads of the professional teams has also increased more in the last 30 years than in any other sport.
This high risk of injury also means that many teams have to do without top performers for months, careers are ended and many talents do not make the leap to the professionals.
What is the reason for that?
There are certainly several factors that play a role, but from my point of view the main reason is that
Strength training in football is still 40 years ago...
– The current training methods in professional football are outdated. And thus a waste of money . For example, lactate tests are still being carried out. Lactate is a by-product of maximum effort between 20s and 70s. A range in which a football player with an average sprint distance of 17.3m is never found.
– Knee and groin injuries can be efficiently avoided through intelligent strength training. From a mechanical point of view, sports are primarily about efficiently absorbing and releasing forces. The more and faster forces can be absorbed, the higher the agility, jumping power and sprint speed - and the lower the wear and tear and susceptibility to injury. Muscles are motor and braking system in one. A Porsche Carrera GT is equipped with a 612hp engine and the appropriate ceramic composite brake system to deliver the driving performance expected of it - and not with 2hp and a shoe brake like a carriage.
- Strength training increases the market value of the player. Studies from the UK Premier League show that a player's salary and therefore their market value is directly proportional to their 0-5m sprint time - the faster the time, the higher the market value. It's the famous step faster. The 0-5m sprint time is directly related to the player's maximum strength, particularly the posterior chain (erector spinae, glutes, hamstrings, calves). This means the higher the squat power, the faster over 0-5m, the higher the market value.
In my opinion, the first team to recognize the value of intelligent strength training will physically dominate the sport for years to come.
What are the deficits of European football?
I've followed European football since I was a child, played up to the B youth level myself and have coached over a dozen professional footballers from 6 European professional leagues over the past 5 years. I noticed the low level of physical fitness. To put it bluntly: footballers are weak. You lack strength and muscle mass. Your body is not optimally prepared for the stresses of the game. But that is exactly what minimizes the risk of injury - and it also gives you an advantage in duels that should not be underestimated. What does this mean for training in football? Contrary to what many people think, football is not an aerobic sport. During a 90-minute game, an average soccer player covers 10 kilometers at an average intensity of 80% of maximum heart rate. The energy requirement is in the anaerobic and not in the aerobic range. During attack and defense there is only a short sprint, then the player regenerates by walking or jogging. Endurance is not a soccer player's limiting factor, but the ability to repeat short-distance sprints with minimal fatigue. On the contrary, excessive training in this direction limits the player's regeneration and performance.
Where is the potential of European football?
European football is where the NHL (North American Professional Ice Hockey League) was in the 1970's. Back then, strength training was not a priority. The Edmonton Oilers were the first team to recognize the value of intelligent strength training - and for years they won it all. I expect a similar development in football.
What benefit does intelligent strength training bring to a soccer team?
The main task of intelligent strength training is to reduce the susceptibility to injury. The squad of a football team devours millions of euros in salaries every year. Any injury-related absence of a player is an unnecessary waste of finances. Why buy 24 Ferraris when an average of 5 of them sit in the garage all year long?
Where are the physical deficits of the soccer player?
The three most common injuries in football affect adductors, knees and ankles and end careers. They also cost the teams countless millions of euros every year. Three factors play a role in all of these injuries: knee instability, weak hamstrings, and lack of flexibility/mobility. All of these causes can be easily remedied with intelligent strength training.
What specifically can be improved here?
Intelligent strength training is the most efficient solution to maximize and maintain physical performance. Injury-related absences can be reduced by at least 40% and players generally become more efficient. From their point of view, the fact that they increase their market value should be an incentive.
A lot has actually changed in the last few years. However, mostly outdated and ineffective methods are used. Agility ladders and cone drills don't improve speed or agility; they are a complete waste of time and money. The average football player has the stature of a 16-year-old. Not even the strength and athletic trainers on the teams show that they train - they are physiotherapists masquerading as trainers - they are vegans posing as butchers.
Progressive, structured strength training is the next step in taking players and football to the next level.
Where is further potential?
In hormone balance. On the one hand, an increased level of the stress hormone cortisol impairs regeneration and sleep quality, it is common for players to lie awake after a game in the evening until the early hours of the morning - specific supplements, optimization of nutrition and lifestyle - such as with a glass every day Starting water with Himalayan salt and lime juice can quickly fix this problem. On the other hand, soccer players have a remarkably low level of the male sex hormone, testosterone. This can also be improved quickly and sustainably through lifestyle optimization, nutrition and supplements. Football is constantly evolving - not just because of Pep Guardiola. Progressive, structured strength training is the next step in taking players and football to the next level….