Posted by Jon Gordon on Jan 17 2006 at 04:00PM PST
During a soccer game, a player changes activity every 5-6 secs, and on average sprints for 15-20 meters every 90 seconds. In an average game, a Soccer player runs as many as 6 miles. The aerobic system is extremely important for soccer. Along with the fact that players can cover 4-6 miles in a game, with heart rate averaging at 157 bpm. This is the equivalent of operating at 75 per cent of your VO2max for 90 minutes, showing that aerobic contributions are significant. This is also confirmed by the fact that various studies have shown soccer players to have VO2max scores of 55-65 ml/kg/min. These VO2max scores represent moderately high aerobic power. There is a high correlation between a player's VO2max and the distance covered in a game. This was supported recently by a European study that showed that VO2max correlated highly with the number of sprints attempted in a game. These two findings show that a high level of aerobic fitness is very beneficial to a Soccer player. The GREATER the player's aerobic power the QUICKER he can recover from the high-intensity bursts. These short bursts are fuelled by the ATP-PC and anaerobic glycolysis systems. Then, during rest periods, a large blood flow is required to replace the used-up phosphate and oxygen stores in the muscles and to help remove any lactate and hydrogen ion by-products. The quicker this is achieved, the sooner a player can repeat the high-intensity sprints, and thus cover more distance and be able to attempt more sprints. So the aerobic system is crucial for fuelling the low to moderate activities during the game, and as a means of recovery between high-intensity bursts. The best sport in the world for developing an athlete's aerobic system is Track and Field. Coach Gordon has coached many athletes that competed in Soccer in the Fall and Track in the Spring. EVERY athlete had more endurance and strength, after Track season, and became a much better soccer player than their teammates because they ran Track in the spring. Several of the athletes also went on to compete in both Soccer and Track at the collegiate level.


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