Importance of Physical Fitness in Football

By Faisal Amir Khan, AFC C Licence Coach, MSc. Sports Sciences

Physical fitness is the ability of the human body  to cope with the environment over a longer period of time under sustained pressure. In simple terms we can say that a person has to be physically fit to participate in any sport.

In this ever changing world the competitions are becoming more stiff and demanding therefore we have to prepare the sportsmen of tomorrow from today keeping the required physical standards in mind. Now we must remember that all parts of the human body have to be given equal importance as they are all very useful  for the human body to remain fit. e.g if there is pain in the ear the whole human body aches and it effects the performance etc.

Importance of Physical Fitness in Football

Some experts say Football is all about fitness. The potential duration of a game is 45+45 +15+15=120 minutes. We can easily see that football players are in action for nearly two hours and a little more if they have to take penalty kicks which is the most difficult part for all players when they are extremely tired, maybe injured and under lot of pressure.

Now can running only be defined as physical fitness? The answer is No!  Diet, Swimming, Weight Training, Rest, Endurance, Health and Climate and physical structure of player is also important in physical fitness.

What is good for physical fitness?

Swimming is good for shielding as the upper body develops better, it is also good for cool down and relaxation. It is also good for breathing coordination.

Weight training is good for sprints and shooting power, tackling, jumping etc.

At this time lets take a look at what Cardio-Respiratory Endurance means.

What is Cardio Respiratory Endurance?

The peak performance of the Heart and the Lungs over certain period of time is known as cardio respiratory Endurance. It has great affect on physical performance. It is seen that the lungs and hearts of athletes increase in size and capacity with time, a process part of the physiological hypertrophy of athletes.

Is being able to run complete physical fitness in football?

The players have to run stop, jog, sprint, jump, tackle, shot, head, and dodge etc in all these conditions and only if they are physically fit then they can do it perfectly and repeatedly throughout the match. So running is not the only thing.

Some styles of play demand more running from the teams than the other. Some-times the European teams play fast one touch football, fast counter attacking football, other times two touch or three touches are used. They even slow the tempo of the game. So games have different demands, not only of running.

Scientific evaluation

All messages are transmitted through brain.  It has been proved scientifically that players tend to commit more mistakes when they are tired. Players miss open goal scoring chances or in one on one situations if their fitness levels are not high.  Players shoot accurately if Physically fit, so the importance of physical fitness.

Alex Ferguson Example

The most successful coach of recent ages, Sir Alex takes a Fitness test on the morning of the match.  He gets the results scientifically in five minutes and decides who to change after the half time.

Now fitness thus has both physiological and psychological effects. Heart is a mans best friend, train it to pump more.  Eat less to live long, rather eat healthy and as per requirements. Sweat daily to keep the medicines away, a practice session a day keeps the doctor away.

Players high fitness level gives excellent performance.

Will be followed by a Part 2 coming next week…