The first Greek site in football training

Sport Scientist, Soccer Fitness Coach

Work experience

  • September 2017 - today

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C OMONOIA ( Cyprus League )

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan )

Owner, Leader of web site www.s11.gr

  • September 2017 - December 2018

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C ASTERAS TRIPOLIS ( Super League - Achievement in Participation at Europe League 2013-14 )

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan )

  • July2014 - August 2017

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C PLATANIAS (Super League - 7th in ranking league, the best position for the history of the club)

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan, Fitness tests, Nutrition )

  • June 2013 – January 2014

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C TAVRIA ( Ukrainian Premier League)

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan, Fitness tests, Nutrition )

  • July 2012 – May 2013

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C PAS GIANNINA (Super League - 5th privileged position for participation in Europa League of next season)

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan)

  • July 2010 – May 2012

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C PANETOLIKOS (Super League/ Football League - Champions in Football League 2010/11)

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan, Head of Academy Sport Science)

  • July 2008 – May 2010

Soccer Fitness Coach F.C PLATANIAS (D' National Division / C' National Division - Champions in D' National Division 2008/09)

(Design / Monitoring / Implementation of annual training plan, Fitness tests, Nutrition)

  • September 1999 – January 2004

Owner and manager of gym ΑLFΑ GYM Ο.Ε.

Personal training of athletes and champions at various sports (soccer, basketball, cycling, taekwondo, athletics, bodybuilding etch.)

Education

  • (2015-2017) H.F.F - U.E.F.A - D.U.of Thrace

Certification of fitness coach diploma U.E.F.A Football Fitness Specialict

  • (2012-2014) D.U.of Thrace

M.Sc. Diploma in "Maximizing athletic performance"

(Thesis in " the effect of variable and random practice on learning basic skills at soccer in children 10-12 years old")

  • (2012-2013) H.F.F - U.E.F.A

Certification of coach diploma U.E.F.A A'

  • (1992-1996) University of Αthens

B.Sc. in Physical education and Sports

Skills

  • Mother tongue(s)

Greek

  • Other language(s)

English, Proficient user

First certificate in English University of Cambridge C1

Spanish, Basic user

level Α2

Additional information's

  • (2015) England

F.C. Leicester

Monitor training and operation of the club

  • (2011) France

F.C Sochaux - F.C. Dijon

Monitor training and operation of the clubs

  • (2011) France

Invited in Training/Research center C.E.P (centre d expertise de la performance Gilles Commeti) University of sports Dijon France

Monitor training philosophy and operation of the center

Presentations

  • Webinar Presentation of "Use & Managements of Training Loads in soccer "
  • Webinar Presentation of " Monitoring and Analyzing performance in modern soccer "
  • Seminar Presentation of " Performance and soccer "
  • Webinar Presentation of " Injury prevention in soccer "
  • Webinar Presentation of " In Season Periodization in modern soccer "
  • Seminar Presentation of " Preparation period and amateur soccer "
  • Seminar Presentation of " Training specific endurance in modern soccer - an innovative approach"
  • Seminar Presentation of " Balance and structural stabilization exercises - conversion of strength to specific soccer power"
  • Seminar Presentation of " Strength and power in modern soccer "

Publications

  • Leonidas Papadakis, Charis Tymvios, Konstantinos Patras (2020).The relationship between training load and fitness indices over a pre-season in professional soccer players.The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness 60(3):329-37
  • Leonidas Papadakis, Charis Tymvios, Konstantinos Patras (2019).Association of internal training load with changes in aerobic endurance and strength/power variables in profesional soccer players during the pre season. Biology of exercise. Volume 15.1,2019.
  • "Periodization Model for Maximizing Performance in Soccer", Book from Sportbook Publications, 2018.
  • Papadakis L, Mitrotasios M, Patras K.(2017). Influence of aerobic endurance, sport speed and strength to repeated sprint performancein profesional soccer players.Biology of Exercise, Volume 13.1, 2017.
  • Papadakis L, Patras K, Georgoulis A.D(2015).Block periodization is associated with in-season physical fitness improvements in both starters and non starters profesional soccer players:a case study. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, Volume 23, Issue 5, 2015.
  • Zetou E, Papadakis L, Vernadakis N, Bebetsos E, Derri V,Fillipou F.(2014) The effect of variable and stable practice on performance and learning of header skill of young athletes in soccer. Procedia, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 152, 2014, Elsevier.
Leonidas Papadakis

Trainings - Leonidas Papadakis

Endurance

If you want to improve your players endurance capacity, follow the training below.

SSG with 2 goalposts back to back at 2 x 40 x 30 m of figure 1.

We split the team into 4 equal groups (4v4 up to 6v6).

In every side of the pitch plays for example 5 (defence) v 5 (attack) with 1 goalkeeper and at the neutral zone remains 2 more goalkeepers (or players) as suporters for the teams in possesion. If the attackers make a goal they continue possesion. If the defenders or the goalkeeper gain the ball then with the help of the supporters they transfer the ball at the other side of the pitch where their teamates attack.

In every set change roles.

The teams and the suporters play with 2 touches or free.

Intensity: 75%-90% MHR.

Duration: 2-4 sets X 6-10'.

Stop: 2' between the sets.

  • Training effect on the maintenance of actions for a long time.
  • Training effect on technical tactical and mental aspects.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Speed

The ability of a football player to cover short distances as soon as possible is perhaps one of the most important in modern football. Include the following exercise in your weekly microcycle and see immediate results.

Leonidas Papadakis

Create 4 exercices like in image 1.

Split the team into 4 groups. Execute the exercices with the 10m sprint in circuit from the 1st to 2nd then to 3rd and finish with 4th. Execute 2 laps (8 repetitions).

Intensity: maximal effort

Duration:1-2 sets X 8 reps

Stop: 30'' in every sprint - 2' in every set.

  • Training effect in explosive start.
  • Training effect in covering fast short distances.
  • Training effect in agility and coordination.
Leonidas Papadakis
Constant Form

Practicing technical skills with execution and with rhythmic exercises increase the level of difficulty of execution while increasing the soccer coordinative skills of the player.
Divide the players in pairs.

For each pair use a mannequin, a cone and a ball.

Place the cone 5 meters away from the mannequin.

Leonidas Papadakis

Player A performs the exercise for 30 seconds moving around the dummy, while player B feedback by tossing the ball with his hands constantly.

1) Side skipping and pass the ball in the air with his lasses.

2) Side Steps and volley pass with the inside of the foot.

3) Side Steps, control with the chest and volley pass with the inside of the foot.

4) Side skipping, control the ball with the thigh and pass back with the lasses of the other foot.

5) Side steps and jump for header.

Change roles every 30 seconds.


Exercise intensity: 50-60% M.H.R.

Exercise duration: 5'.

Quantity of the exercise: 1-2 sets.

Stop:1'-2' per set

  • Using this kind of training is for learning a new motor skill at beginner level.
  • In advanced levels may be used as ''reminder'' of the athlete of motor skills or simply as a warm up with the ball before the main part of the session but without the ability of helping the athlete to improve his technique any further.
Leonidas Papadakis
Strength

Strength endurance is defined as the ability to maintain the decrease in dynamic momentum at as low level as possible during a specified number of force activation repetitions within a specified time.

The prolonged efforts of footballplayers during a match make muscle strength as a major skill in improving performance. Follow the program below to train this field of strength.

Execute the triads of the following exercises for 20 repetitions per exercise.

Leonidas Papadakis

Start with the first three exercises. Go from Exercise 1 to Exercise 2 and then Exercise 3 with a 30'' break per exercise (lunges/back row-abs with fitball).

At the end of the Trinity 1' rest and then go to the second Trinity following the same procedure (stiff leg deadlifts-chest press-rusian twists).

1-3 cycles in total of the 2 triple exercises.

  • Effect of training on the ability of muscle strength endurance.
  • Effect of training on injury prevention and performance improvement.
  • Effect of training on anatomic muscle adaptations.
Leonidas Papadakis
Variable Form

Passing drills are mostly used in modern soccer during team microcycles. One of them, using the main motor skills of the sport, is listed below.
Create with cones and dummies the schedule of figure 1 with the distance between the cones 10-12 meters.

Use groups of 6-8 players.

Leonidas Papadakis

The player in position B starts behind the mannequin and comes forward at the right time to give a back pass. Upon receiving the ball from the player of the position D starts the next ball from position A. The change of players after the ball is in a circle from position A to B, the C and the D again driving the ball in the beginning.
The execution of the exercise be performed with the most precision and concentration. Change the direction of the exercise after the desired time.
Exercise intensity: 60-80% M.H.R.
Exercise duration: 5'-10 '.
Quantity of the exercise: 1-2 sets.

Stop: 1'-2 '.

  • Using this kind of training is to perfect a motor skill (low short pass, receiving, dribbling the ball) in beginner and advanced level.

  • At a high level this exercise can be used as a perfection or ''reminder'' for the motor skill or as an aerobic workout with the ball.

Leonidas Papadakis
Random Form

An exercise that improves your players' basic technical skills by using "randomness" is listed below. This exercise also works as a perfect form of specific warm-up, especially for high level players.
Create a box 10 x 10 meters with 4 cones.

Perform the exercise with groups of 7-10 players.

Leonidas Papadakis

Play inside the square with one contact. Two players are defenders and try to cut the ball, the others function as attackers by changing passes inside the square. The attackers are placed on the sides of the square with a player always in the center to support the sides. Any player who make mistake becomes defender and the last defender who came in change him.

Defensive players hold a colored blip on their hands.

Exercise intensity: 60-75% M.H.R.

Exercise Duration: 10'.

Exercise quantity: 1-2 sets.

Stop: 1'-2'.

  • Using this exercise helps for transferring the skill of first contact and short pass in real game conditions.
  • This exercise can be used as the specific part of a warm-up.
Leonidas Papadakis
Cool down & Recovery

Gather players in a group and run around the pitch with a leisurely run for approximately 2'-3'.

Let players lie down in front of the bench.Give each one from a bottle of recovery supplement and let them freely perform static stretching to body parts that feel they need it most, while gradually consume their fluids for about 4'-5'.

Tell the players to follow your instructions for static stretching to the main muscle groups of the legs, hips and trunk, staying at each stretch for about 20''-30''.

  • The usenes of such recovery may be done on a daily basis.
  • Avoid this kind of recovery 24 to 48 hours prior to a match.
  • Avoid this kind of recovery after workout with heavy eccentric loads to the muscles.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Warm-up

Proper warm-up progression by gradually increasing body temperature, joint mobility, sport-coordinative abilities and activating aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms is key to its success.Begin players with light jogging around the pitch for two laps in about 3'.

Place them on the sideline and perform functional mobility exercises for muscles and joints (15 m) with light jogging back for 3'. (A)

Let the players to perform their routine for 2'.

Perform intense dynamic stretching exercises up to the cones with light jogging back for 3'.

Leonidas Papadakis

Split players into two subgroups and execute dribbling the ball, pass the ball and recieving with intensity for 3'. (B)

Perform two repetitions with low hurdle jumps and sprints for 5m. (C)

Intensity: 50% -75% M.H.R.

Duration: 15 '

  • Using this sequence of exercises above helps players prepare physically and mentally, as well as 'activate' sport-specific skills for the main part of training.

Leonidas Papadakis
Training session

Designing a training session is directly dependent on the match / training status of the players, the period running and the goals we want to achieve.
A typical training session has the following sequence

• warm-up

• exercises which require high neuromuscular synergy

• exercises that activate the metabolic process

• recovery



Clearly the tactical routine must precede the training of fitness if the goal is twofold. The brain assimilates the regular guidelines when not in a fatigue state and the players can perform more precisely the instructions of the coach. Accordingly if we aim at training, fitness and specific tactics together at the same session (tactics closely linked to the upcoming match on short time), we want the maximum memorization and execution of the new elements we want to give to the team.


But what if we diagnose problems in concentration and following of the coach's instruction at the last minutes of a match?


Try designing training session drills where the emphasis is more on the physical state at the beginning of training followed by specific tactics at the end, letting the player execute tactical instructions under fatigue state. In this way there is a simulation in situations of a match where you diagnose the problem. The player will gradually adapt.


Besides the best training is the is one that meets the needs of a match...

Leonidas Papadakis
Microcycle

In a classic seven days microcycle the first two days are devoted to rehabilitation due to the recovery proccess the players need to return in a prior match state. The next two days in the acquisition of performance elements / increase training load and the last two in tapering proccess.

One of the existent plannings presented from s11 team is in figure 1.

The training of the first 2 days can be reversed (1st or 2nd day after a match is day off) without losing the sense of their goal althought the training contents can vary.

Leonidas Papadakis

The weekly training proccess follows the principles of energy systems that are required to use the players, overloading and giving them the possibility of partial or total recovery until the next training session.

  • ATP-CP system = ATP-phosphocreatine

The energy of this system is small but has great power and prevail in maximum efforts up to 7''

  • La system = carbohydrates

The energy and the power of this system is moderate and prevail in maximum effort from 7'' to 1'

  • O2 system = carbs, fats, protein

The energy of this system is great, but has little power effect and prevail in efforts greater than 1' regardless of intensity

Leonidas Papadakis

But what happens when from match to match intervenes different number of days?

What happens if the team has the match on Saturday and the next is Sunday or Monday?

The placement of training units within a microcycle based on energy systems and which are used more (It is impossible to exclude all of the energy systems during training) , is designed to increase or maintain performance, perhaps giving us a chance to find the right answer to this question (Figure 3) .

Leonidas Papadakis

Create training contents depending the day you are in, with an impact on the appropriate energy substrates and prepare your players to achieve the desired athletic performance wich will enhance overall football performance.

Leonidas Papadakis
Fitness & Conditioning

Use the training of image 1 to improve your starting speed. If you combine it with other training forms always execute it at the beginning of your program when you are fresh.

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Mental

There are times when your team has to play with a player less due to a red card or injury and use all of your subs.

The feeling of being outnumbered can work as an obstacle to their spiritual balance and finally to the achievement of your goals.

Try in training at a game 11v11 of your team in the last minutes to remove a player and to give specific instructions to your players. (eg keep score or try taking risk and put goals).

This will prepare your players and in exceptional cases to cope with the needs of the match...

Leonidas Papadakis
Mental

It is difficult training your mind on your own?

You can start from the next high-level match that you will watch on TV and concentrate to the player of a team that plays in your position.

See how he reacts to various stimuli and how he copes to the needs of the game. Simultaneously retract your own moves and decisions in similar cases in the past.

When you finish the game you have to feel tired mentally from the identification with the player watching.

Besides you train your mind in this way ...

Leonidas Papadakis
Technique

For the training you need 4 cones, 4 manequins and a small post.


One of the most hazardous actions for the right or left back or winger are the crosses at the back of the defensive line from mid distances.


Execute with speed and accurately the exercise in Figure 1. Do 1-2 sets of 8 reps with full recovery over 30 seconds.

  • You can execute the exercises from both sides
Leonidas Papadakis

If you can drive the ball to the line outs cut the ball in the penalty area. The defense can not react.


Execute with speed and accurately the exercise in Figure 2. Do 1-2 sets of 8 reps with full recovery over 30 seconds.

  • You can execute the exercises from both sides
Leonidas Papadakis

Your last choice is the strongest low pass on the first post and the high pass in the second. Both of these options create dangerous situations for opponents to hinder.

Perform the exercise on the image 3 quickly and accurately. Make 1-2 sets of 8 reps with your break longer than 30 ''.

  • You can perform the exercises on both sides.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Mesocycle

If you want to design mesocycles of five weeks with developmental nature try the following order:

MESOCYCLE

week 1 STRENGTH

week 2 ENDURANCE

week 3 SPEED

week 4 RETAIN

week 5 UNLOAD

In each microcycle is emphasized more one physical ability with the fourth microcycle be the maintenance and fifth micro the recovery.

The placement of microcycles in this order gives the opportunity not only to players of the starting eleven but and substitutes to improve their physical atributes.
Details on the design and the potential improvements can be found in the following research that i designed and executed with my colleagues:

Original Scientific Research Study
IN-SEASON CONCURRENT AEROBIC ENDURANCE AND CMJ IMPROVEMENTS ARE FEASIBLE FOR BOTH
STARTERS AND NON-STARTERS IN PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS: A CASE STUDY
Leonidas Papadakis, Kostas Patras, Anastasios D. Georgoulis

Leonidas Papadakis
Preparation

If your players come from a transition phase of 6-8 weeks or more, it is advisable to follow 8 weeks preparation period. This of course if the requirements of your team permits it. This ensures the gradual adjustment of your players in trainining process and increase satisfactorily their physical, technical and tactical characteristics.

Leonidas Papadakis

You can follow the plan of Figure 1 making any necessary changes in the days of friendly matches and giving day off (if desired) on the last day of the week. Just keep the general principles of the plan by putting the strength / endurance / speed training units in the form of classical periodisation as the weeks pass and giving the necessary recovery time between them. The plan only lists the fitness workouts. To this you can add freely trainings on the ''empty'' days or on the same days, in order to improve technical and tactical your players in the form of team or subteam.

Leonidas Papadakis
Fitness & Conditioning

During the transition phase it would be advisable to limit the losses in your physical condition, creating the basis on which the preparation phase will be build and repair vulnerabilities of past injuries that might exist.

The endurance program is indicative as to the running tempos where it would be good to see the results of your fitness tests. In program endurance1 you can choose training below the anaerobic threshold or to be sure below 85% M.H.R , while in program endurance2 you can work on your maximum aerobic speed.

In the strength training program you put as much kilos as you need to be within the range of repetitions i write with a focus on proper technical execution.

Do not forget the core training due to its cohesiveness in the training process (see the maximising sports performance section of the site).

Leonidas Papadakis

The program is designed for a 6-week break with the first two operating as a discharge period, and gradually the next 4 to place strength and endurance training units to reduce losses and creation of a good training enviroment (click on the photos to watch the schedule).

... maybe the worst thing you can do is to let yourself for six weeks starting again from zero point ...

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Endurance

This type of training causes a great deal of eccentric loads on football players by activating the anaerobic mechanism to the maximum. Elements that make it quite difficult and painful to execute.

SSG in 20x20m with 4 small posts

The teams play (free touch) in the predetermined area. The aim of the teams is to achieve a goal in one of the two small posts of the side with a shot through the mid line. If the ball come out with a teams fault the coach gives a new ball to the opposing team and the game start from their defence.

Intensity: maximum effort

Rep Duration : 1'-3'

Exercise Duration: 1-4 sets of 4-8 reps

Stop: 1:1 to 1:3 per rep and 3'-5' per set

  • Training effect on faster repetition rate of explosive actions
  • Training effect on power endurance
  • Training effect on technical tactical and mental elements
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Monitoring

In modern soccer the improvement or maintenance of the spesific endurance capacity of football players is achieved mainly by small sided games of various correlations, dimensions and constraints.

During games with 7v7, 6v6, 5v5 and 4v4 number correlations, players need to spend enough time to get into the 90-95% of M.H.R zone.

This zone exceeds the intensity of the match and as a result the player cannot withstand a long time in the production of output.

However, in this area and with the correct breaks, even greater endurance adjustments are achieved, with the components of VO2max, anaerobic threshold and running economy significantly improved.

Leonidas Papadakis

In the following example you can see a football player participating in mid-range correlation small sided games where the yellow band represents the 90-95% of M.H.R and the red line the player's heart rate.

Leonidas Papadakis
Endurance

If you want your players to "stay" in the match, follow the training below.

Ball possession game in space 40 x 40m up to 50 x 50m.

Divide the team into 2 equal groups (8v8 to 11v11).

At each corner of the area we create a small square 5x5m as in Figure 1.

On 2 corners diagonally we place 2 players of the same team. The objective of the teams is to carry the ball from one corner to the other where it counts as a goal.After the pass into the small square the player that made the pass change position to that which was already inside.

Players in area play with no touch restrictions.

Exercise intensity: 75% -90% M.H.R.

Exercise Duration: 1-2 sets X 6'-10'.

Stop: 1' between the sets.

  • Training effect on the maintainance of actions for a long time.
  • Training effect on technical, tactical and mental aspects.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Strength

The rationale for strength training in football is not to maximize this skill but to create an environment where the overall performance of the player will be improved.

Activation by engagement of specific muscle groups with either concentric-eccentric or isometric contractions helps to "isolated'' improvements.

In order to transfer the benefits of training to real-world conditions, we must force the muscles to work by helping motor sports skills to be executed where these muscles are required to produce power.

This will maximize muscle output during the time the player will actually need it.

Leonidas Papadakis

An example of power transfer in specific conditions follows:

Execute 6-8 pushups on the bosuball (hands) & fitball abs (legs) and immediately enter the 5x5m space and try to protect the ball (shield the ball) with your body from the opponent for 10 ''.

3 x 6-8 reps strength exercise + 10'' execute similar features spesific motor skill with 1' stop between sets.

  • Training effect on improving muscular strength.
  • Training effect on muscular adaptations power production to specific kinetic skills.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Warm-up

A good and quick way to prepare your players for the main part of training is to follow the exercise of image 1.

Divide the team into small groups of players by having them perform an agility ladder exercise where you can periodically change the kinetic pattern. Then perform skipping over low obstacles and dribbling a manequin. The return is made by performing dynamic stretches, which we again change with our precepts from time to time.

Leonidas Papadakis

This way you quickly prepare the musculoskeletal and cardio-respiratory system of the players while at the same time activating the nervous system, while also bringing the players in contact with the ball.

Exercise intensity: 50-75% M.H.R.

Exercise Duration: 10'

Leonidas Papadakis
Speed

You do not only show the ability of speed in its circular form (same repetitive motor skill pattern) but also in performing specific skills in the sport of football.

A simple and quick way for your players to perform explosive short sprints with the ball (particularly important football motor skill) but and without the ball, you see in the exercise below.

Leonidas Papadakis

Create a square 15x15m.
Divide players into two equal groups and put them in the two corners. In one corner the players have balls while on the other not.The left player gives the ball to the right and sprints diagonally. The right (ball receiver) performs sprint driving the ball in the other corner of the square.
Return in a slow pace where players in the next sprint will change roles.


Exercise intensity: maximum effort

Exercise Duration: 1-2 sets x 6-8 repetitions

Stop: 30'' - 1' per rep - 3' per set

  • Training effect on the explosive start with and without ball.
  • Training effect on quick covering of short distances with and without ball.
  • Training effect on the first contact, the control of the ball with speed and explosive activity after a pass.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
In season

During the season it is difficult to keep a team at high performance levels for a long time. The accumulated fatigue from the games, the constant travels, the training and psychological pressure from achieving specific team objectives have an impact on their course. By continuously monitoring the overall performance of the players (fitness / technique / tactics / psychological parameters) can be diagnosed decline elements. At this point it would be wise to discharge the players helping them to "rest / refresh" and continue their upward performance trend over time.
Zoom out and see the overall picture of the season and not just the upcoming match to select the training contents of your micro cycle.

Leonidas Papadakis

Choose carefully when ... and design restoration microcycles with short and not so intensive workouts using pleasant drills and without the use of psychological pressure during workouts.

In Figure 1 an example of a design where the 5th and the 10th week i created restoration microcycles in a first National Division team where eventually surpassed expectations and won a ticket in the Europa League.

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Field evaluation

The high capacity of the skill of acceleration/speed is considered as an integral part of the modern soccer player. Over 80% of the sprints in a game are until 10 meters. For the most reliable speed measurement method use photocells.

Do not miss to execute the speedtest of 30 meters with another gate at 10 meters (many place them and at 5 meters) as well, with a lot sport scientists consider as more important the good times at these meters.

If you refer to the literature you will find many variations as to what time is considered ''good'' (the diversity of findings obviously ought to differences in the level of the athletes and the execution of sprint surface or the distance of the foot from the starting gate).

I would recommend you to create your own norms in your team by placing 10% of the best times in "good" performance. If again definitely you want a comparison, consider the times less than 1,71 sec at 10 meters on the grass surface, as a "good" time.

Leonidas Papadakis
Endurance

SSG training with one goalpost. Especially effective if you do not have all the pitch, if you have a small number of players (the day after a game) or only one goalkeeper available at your disposal.

We create 2 equal groups 5v5 (4v4 up to 6v6).

In an area 40 x 30 meters both teams trying to maintain possession of the ball for 6 consecutive passes. They can then develop attack at the post with their opponents and the goalkeeper trying to stop them. After the final attempt the players of the two teams sprint to the possesion area where the coach gives a new ball to the defending team to continue the exercise.

The game can be played without restrictions of contacts or with 2-3 contacts.

Exercise intensity: 85%-95% M.H.R.

Exercise duration: 2-4 set X 3'-6'.

Stop: 2' between sets.

  • Training effect on the maintenance of actions for a long time.
  • Training effect on the ability of faster repetition of explosive action.
  • Training effect on technical tactical and mental elements.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Injury prevention/rehabilitation

The most appropriate way to monitor the reintegration of a player in a team training process is the sequential execution of ultrasound and MRI as in Figure 1. In this way the medical staff and the fitness coach of the team work methodically and with safety protection with regard to athlete's rehabilitation program in a healthy condition and in full readiness.

Leonidas Papadakis
Fitness & Conditioning

A good and simple way to improve your endurance capacity is to follow the training of figure 1.

Start with a strong run until the end of the penalty box (40m) and back (40m) in 15 seconds with 15 seconds passive break.

Perform 12 reps with a total time of 6'.

You can execute 1-2 sets with an interval of 4'.

Your heart rate will rise above 90% of M.H.R. and the results of these trainings will be visible in the improvement of all of the endurance components (vV02max, VO2max, La Thr, Re) .

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Preparation

What happens when, for various reasons you do your planning during the preparation to prepare players for the upcoming season and you suddenly extend?


The team has gone through all the training stages to prepare for the first match of the season by following the classical periodisation model. With enough training volume in the early stages of preparation and gradual reduction while increasing intensity.


The extension of tapering by performing in season microcycles and making friendly games acts as a double-edged knife and a maximum performance longer than 5-8 weeks is difficult to be observed. So you risk losing the benefits of good condition from the first matches.


Keep your workouts in everyday tensions 4-8mmol lactic acid with small sided games more aspiring adjustments via quick recovery from training unit to training unit. Place strength workouts with nonlinear periodisation form within microcycles looking forward to filling gaps and reduce the training volume with mainly single workouts during the week.


Unfortunately the programming that you had to be subjected needs a strong shock to begin to pay ...


Always have in your mind that the in season period holds about 8-9 months and you will need to have the best possible condition your team as long as possible ....

Leonidas Papadakis
Field evaluation

The YoYo Test is one of the most popular fitness tests used worldwide from the lowest to the highest level teams to evaluate and monitor the aerobic capacity of the players.

The Yo-Yo test (Endurance (En 1 and 2) and Intermittent Recovery (IR 1 and 2) are used primarily with the En test showing very high correlation with the test of VO2max and the IR pertains both aerobic capacity as and specific endurance needed (correlation 0.77) in football.

There are many things you can do to improve your score. Here are ten tips that you can apply to give yourself a little extra next time you do the test.

Leonidas Papadakis
  1. BE PREPARED: Make sure you body is in the best condition for a maximal exercise test. Rest the day before and get a good night's sleep, and eat a light meal about 1-2 hours before the test and make sure you are well hydrated.
  2. WARMUP: without a warm-up well you probably will not perform at your best also you could risk injury which could set back your fitness.
  3. PRACTICE: It's a good idea to practice the YoYo Test 1 or 2 times before the administration of the test. The athletes will be more relaxed and accustomed to pushing their limits, and with groups there will be less confusion on test day.
  4. BE POSITIVE: A more positive state of mind can help you push through the pain barrier and reach a higher level.
  5. BE EFFICIENT: Using efficient running and turning techniques can conserve energy for the final stages of the test. Set your own consistent pace and ignore the runners around you. Run with your shoulders relaxed and breath deeply and smoothly.
  6. MINIMIZE DISTANCE COVERED: Don't run further than you need to; as you come in to the turn, time it so that only one foot just touches the line (you don't have to go over the line), and turn sharply and not following a wide arc.
  7. FOCUS: Focus on something else, such as your breathing, instead of the pain.
  8. SET GOALS: Set achievable goals along the way. Achieving even an easy goal instigates a positive state of mind that will in turn encourage you to keep going.
  9. IMAGINE SUCCESS: At every turn imagine yourself getting to the next line before the sound of the beep. This mental imagery technique enhances confidence and determination.
  10. GET FITTER: Finally, there is no avoiding this 'tip', the only sure way to make significant improvements in the beep test is to train well to improve you aerobic fitness.

thanks to www.topendsports.com

Leonidas Papadakis
Recovery

If your team provides your with a pool at the training center, you can perform recovery training in a swimming pool on the next day of a match (friendly or official) or an intense training unit.

The purpose of this form of rehabilitation is to restore the homeostasis of the body, the gradual restoration of the range of motion of the joints and the total discharge from the tension, especially of the lower limbs of the footballers. Immersion in water through hydrostatic pressure (pressure exerted on the body by water) helps to "cleanse" toxic substances that have accumulated in the body after intense exercise. The human body responds to water immersion with changes in the heart, peripheral resistance and blood flow, as well as differentiation of skin, core and muscle temperatures. Changes in blood flow and temperature can affect inflammation, immune function and the perception of fatigue.

A program of about 20'-30 'is ideal for enhancing the players' recovery process by combining swimming, playing and stretching exercises in the water.

The following program is indicative of a high level team recovery training unit in a swimming pool.

Leonidas Papadakis
  • Perform mobility exercises out of the water 5 '
  • Swim in your own individual style the length of the pool 4 times.
  • Perform static stretching for quadriceps and hamstrings 2x30''.
  • Swim in your own individual style the length of the pool 4 times.
  • Perform static stretches for hips and gastrocnemius 2x30''.
  • Walk 4 times the width of the pool in its shallow part (2 front and 2 back walk).
  • Choose a water game (eg head volleyball) 10'.
  • Perform stretches for the whole body 5 '.
Leonidas Papadakis
Fitness & Conditioning
  • Warm up

5' jogging + 5' mobility and stretching

  • Main programme Medium / High intensity

set 1= 3 laps of the schedule with alternate runs (start from the top left corner , red line strong run / yellow jogging / blue walking)

  • Duration

2-3 sets with a 2' stop between sets

  • Recovery

5' light jogging and stretching

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Monitoring

Teams with GPS and Heart Rate Telemetry monitoring systems have the ability to analyze enough data at the end of training. A careful reading can be beneficial in improving the performance of football players or early diagnosis of problems.

It would be wise not to stay only in determining the intensity of the training based on heartbeats or only the running speed. If the same player for example not "caught" the standards that you set for this training unit as for heart rate, analyze and running intensity, as the deceleration-acceleration-change of direction that are performed during the training or the opposite.

A precise approach to training includes internal and external loads making good sports scientists at monitoring and analysis of training loads imperative nowadays ... Many modern top-level coaches follow the advice of sport scientists by giving them solutions and helping them to improve their team ...

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Training session

If you decide to give more than two days off to your team then the gradual reintegration will definitely need to concerne you. Most players will change their life style these days and detraining effects will make visible the signs of the natural functioning of the body. As their coaches you should protect the players by putting them gradually in a prior state of training with the greatest possible safety, accelerating their reintegration rate. One of the ways is described below.

Leonidas Papadakis

Start with 10 minutes running at low intensity around the pitch with a gradually adaptation of the cardiovascular system while at the same time increases the body temperature. Continue with 5 'joint mobility exercises while preparing the musculare-tendon tissue.

Divide the group into 4 groups and successively perform the four exercises in Figure 1.

The first part of each exercise includes

a) hip flexibility (presented tightness after many days off)

b) followed by jogging at a low pace (aerobic mechanism activation)

c) then a coordination and agility exercise (neuromuscular activation needed after days of inactivity) and

d) acceleration to return to the start (controlled aerobic-anaerobic mechanism activation).

Execute 1 - 4 sets of 2 laps ( 4 exercises = 1 lap) with 1'-2' stop between them.

Leonidas Papadakis

Continue with 1-2 sets of foottennis bringing players into contact with the ball (imperative necessity after several days of inactivity) training their technique in a safe and enjoying form.

At the end use static stretching for about 10 ' bringing muscle flexibility at earlier levels.

Leonidas Papadakis
Endurance

The workout below ensures that all your players will work at high intensity by improving their endurance capacity. You can use a similar workout at your loading phase (mid week) in weekly microcycle or at preparation phase.

Divide the team into 4 equal groups (4v4 up to 6v6). If you have an odd number of players put one play as a floater with both teams.

In an area 40m length - 30m width both teams play without limit contacts 5v5 with 2 gk. in a formation that you will choose.

Next to them, players of other two groups run a distance of 80 meters (40 + 40) in 15'' with 15'' passive break.

After each set change group roles.

Exercise intensity: 85%-95% M.H.R.

Exercise duration: 2-4 set X 4'-6'.

Stop: 2' between sets.

  • Training effect on the maintenance of actions for a long time.
  • Training effect on the ability of faster repetition of explosive action.
  • Training effect on technical tactical and mental elements.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Off season

If you have suffered an injury in the hamstring area during the season passed, the transitional period is a good opportunity to work on your injury to decrease the likelihood of a recurrence of the same phenomenon.

The muscles that make up the hamstrings are the biceps femoris (long and short head), the semitendinosus and the semimembranosus. These muscles are mainly activated by knee flexion and hip extension.

Also, you should not overlook the fact that a lot of injuries in these places are due to the inadequacy of the glutes to support the intense actions of the footballers.

The buttock consists of three muscles: the maximus, the medius and the minor. The maximus is the largest in size, so the shape of the buttocks is mainly due to it. Its basic function is to extend. The medius and the minor are both outward and oblique. Their basic function is to bring the thigh out and oblique-abduction.

Leonidas Papadakis

Design a στρενγτηενινγprogram that encompasses the kinetic standards we described without neglecting the specialized needs of the sport.

The following program can be followed 2-3 times a week with 48 hours between workouts:

A) side steps with elastic ring

B) kick backs with elastic band

C) hamstring curls with fitball (with one or two legs)

D) stiff leg deadlifts one leg on bosu

E) lunges with twist

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
In season

One of the main responsibilities of the coaching staff during the season is the compilation of training by setting the volume and intensity of each training session. These two elements play a dominant role in the performance sector and the goal will be not only the forthcoming match but also the calculation of the impact that will have the specific placement during the season.

The main concern of the teams is to contain high levels of players' performance over as long periods. Some times selections are made of high-performance periods depending on the needs of each team (European group stages, knockout matches, playoff etc.).

Leonidas Papadakis

The training volume is directly related to the training time (in minutes) or in football, in particular the total meters covered in a training session.

With a simple minutes recording per training session or data collected through GPS systems, we can easily monitor the variance of the training volume at the intervals we have selected (microcycles - mesocycles - macrocycles).

To monitor the intensity of training, several sport scientists differ in terms of integer numbers and tracking variables.

The majority of bibliographic references, however, publish Heart rate data over 85% of M.H.R. and running speeds above 14km / h.

Leonidas Papadakis

In the figure below you see the periodization I created and executed at a team in superleague Greece, which conquered the privileged 5th place and the participation to the Europa League of next year.The team began preparation period at the end of June and finished the season obligations in late May.

With the red color you see the training volume and with the blue the intensity.

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Microcycle

The construction of a weekly microcycle for the starting eleven players differs according to the coaching philosophy and level of the players of a team. We should not overlook the fact that performance depends on the gold four-fold:

  • Tactical Skills
  • Physical Attributes
  • Technical Ability
  • Mental / Psychological Attributes
Leonidas Papadakis

One of the suggestions you can use in your team is the following training sequence, appropriately putting the contents of all four aspects of performance into the week.

Do not forget that when designing in addition to training loads (Tactics, Technique, Mental, Physical) you should take into account the level of preparedness of the players (where you should be at the highest possible level on the day of the match) and the fatigue state (where it should be close to zero).

Leonidas Papadakis

Devote the first two days to recover your players from the loads of the match with or without using a ball. Depending on the operation of your team you can reverse the days (with the next day "off" or not) without losing the goal of the training.

In the next two days acquiring skills by increasing the load by placing training contents to improve the gold quadruple of performance.

Over the last two days, focus on tapering strategies. With training contents where the training elements are held on the basis of the goals of the week, while maintaining the inensity but reducing the duration and increasing the breaks, try to achieve a high level of performance on the match day.

Besides, when players arrive to the match they should feel trained good (prepared for the game's needs) and fresh ...

Leonidas Papadakis
Injury prevention/rehabilitation

Meniscal injury ruptures are frequent injuries in the football field. The heavy loads and the direct percussions the knee receives during training and matches increase the chances of this particular injury occurring. The following program is indicative and refers to the final stage of rehabilitation after arthroscopic surgery and if the athlete has undergone the required stages of treatment and strengthening.

Leonidas Papadakis

-Start your athlete with a warm up on a static bike combination with static / dynamic stretches to increase knee joint mobility and muscle elasticity.

-Continue with preactivation exercises to prepare the muscles.

-Perform propioception exercises to activate the C.N.S and the propioceptors.

- Allow the player to perform the first stage of warm-up (low-intensity) with the team (for psychological reasons too).

- Improve the player's endurance capacity with interval training on his maximum aerobic speed

2 x 6' with 2' stop (10 '' strong run -20'' drive the ball-10'' strong run-20 '' static juggle with a ball)

Leonidas Papadakis

-At the end of the endurance program or at another time of the day (preferable) follow a strength training program with the 5 exercises of the picture

  • Squats x 6 +Jump for header x 4 (superset)
  • Stiff leg deadlifts 1 leg x 6 + pass with balance on 1 leg x 6 (superset)
  • Wall chair statically x 10 '' + pass with side steps R-L x 2 (superset)
  • Lunges on bosu R-L χ 6 + Skip & pass R-L χ 6 (superset)
  • Skiping on trampoline balance on 1 leg and header x 6


- Finish the program with static stretching and Foam Roler .

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Cool down & Recovery

When your workout contains intensive reactive strength methods at the main part (muscle performance that results in a great push within the enlargement-shortening cycle) or small side games with small arithmetic correlations 3v3 2v2 1v1 (increased and violent eccentric muscle contractions), then you create a muscular injury from training process (muscle fiber breakdown).

The forces being developed are massive (they can reach up to 5 times the athlete's body weight) where muscles, tendons set and joints are called to cope. If at the end of the training you use static stretches in the recovery proccess for your players, there is a risk of increased phenomenon and swelling of the injured tissue.

Leonidas Papadakis

Follow the following demo program after the training to speed up your players' recovery:

  • Slow tempo jog across the pitch x 4 repetitions
  • Gentle hip-knee mobility exercises across the pitch x 4 repetitions
  • Discharge low back-torso with fitball help
  • Consumption of a 2: 1 or 3: 1 carbohydrate-protein restorative beverage
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Warm-up

The official match is the day of the exam for all team members. Preparing all of the previous time finds her image in the mirror of the official game.

An official match warmup should be characterized by simplicity, substance and brief activity where you will ensure the players' safe preparation both physically and mentally. From their performance depends the course of a team where even the smallest detail counts..

An example of warm-up before an official match is shown in Figures which includes the following exercises:

  • activation of the aerobic mechanism and preparation of muscles and joints with dynamic stretches, mobility exercises for 10-15m with to 2 lines of players.
  • gradual increase in exercise intensity.
  • total duration 8'.
Leonidas Papadakis
  • movement in the area with passes in pairs (choose players that will cooporate more in the game).
  • a feeling of free preparation for players with sport-specific motor skills.
  • total duration 3'.
Leonidas Papadakis
  • small sided possession game of 4v4 + 2 with 2 contacts in a space of 20 x 30m (choose teams in zones or sides that will play).
  • exercise duration 2 x 2 'with 1' break.
Leonidas Papadakis
  • exercise with build up and shoot or header at the end of the phase (choose simple attacking phases).
  • the central midfielders after 2-3 passes make a long diagonal ball in the fullbacks or wingers of the side and they in turn after a wall pass make a cross in the pair of the attackers or the central defenders who after an x move get into the box for finishing .
  • selecting players for the matching positions of the drill.
  • total exercise duration 4 '
Leonidas Papadakis
  • peaking with activation of C.N.S with the execution of 2 speed drills with coordination for 5m in 2 lines of players.
  • 4 reps (2 per exercise).
  • total duration 2'.
Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Random Form

If you find that your team is making a lot of mistakes on short distance ground passess try to improve your players with a small sided game where they focus on this skill.

Insist on the following exercise for quite some time even as an extension of warm-up. Capturing the wrong kinetic patterns of executing this particular skill from the brain at an early age can even be an insurmountable obstacle to correction.

If your players are adults and have already learned to perform this skill, then performing it under the pressure of space and time by randomly displaying the speed and direction variables of the ball, different body postures, etc. can improve them.

Leonidas Papadakis

Divide your team into 2 groups of 8v8 up to 10v10 in a small space of 30x30m up to 40x40m and create gates with small cones.

Give the limitation of playing the game with ground passes only and of achieving a goal by passing the ball from through a gate to a teammate.

Exercise intensity: 70-85% M.H.R.

Exercise Duration: 4'-6 '

Exercise Quantity: 1-2 sets

Exercise break: 1'-2 '

  • Using this exercise to transfer the skill of first contact and short pass to real play conditions.
  • This exercise can be used as a training to improve tactical features also.
Leonidas Papadakis
Technique
Leonidas Papadakis

For your workout you need 2 small posts and 2 dummies.

The most frequent movement of the central midfielder during the attacking development of a team is the removal and reception of the ball by the central defenders. Continuity with a precise short or long pass, changing the game on the opponent's side can create the conditions for a good attacking action by your team.

The ability of the central midfielder to use both legs in performing skills increases the speed of the attack and makes it more difficult for opponents to stop you. So perform the exercise on both sides (trying to use both feet) by first starting with the finish on the small posts (with short passes) and then finding the target of the dummy (with long passes).

Leonidas Papadakis

Execute the drill of the images accurately and with speed.

Make 1 set clockwise with short pass for 8 repetitions with 30 '' break and 1 set x 8 reps anticlockwise.

Then, execute 1 set with long pass for 8 repetitions with 30'' break and1 set x 8 reps anticlockwise.

Finish with 1 set of 8 reps (4 right+4 left) with short or long passes, reacting to what your assistant will shout.

The maximum concentration the speed and the precision of the execution plays a vital role at moving these skills in your game.

Leonidas Papadakis
Mental

During a match the requirements and needs make the sport profile of soccer as quite demanding. Fatigue has an increasing trend over time and its effects are becoming visible in the performance of football players.

The player is not only required to work with his or her body in dealing with the different situations of the match but also to continuously analyze data (team formation, team and opponent moves, playing time etc.) by choosing the best possible answer to achieve the goals of.

Leonidas Papadakis

We have all experienced times when we are tired physically and at the same time we feel our minds "stopping". Physical fatigue has a major impact on brain function, making it difficult to make quick decisions.

If we want to train our footballers to cope with such situations, we must put them in such conditions.

On the days you want to base your training units on specific endurance, use the small side games method.

If, for example, we have games with numerical proportions of 5+2 v 5+2 at 4 x 4 ' with 2' stop at 40x40m, the intensity of the exercise varies from 85-95% of M.H.R.

This implies fatigue and creating the environment that we want to train our players.

During the 2-minute break, you and your colleagues quickly approach some of the contestants and ask questions where they need to answer with clarity and speed. Here are some examples:

  1. What is the weak side of our opponents on Sunday? (or another question from the team's specific tactics for the upcoming match)
  2. How much does 7 x 9 =? (or some other mathematical equation)
  3. With which formation the group of opponents plays in the small side game ? (or some other question about the small side game or the current training session)
Leonidas Papadakis

Train your body while at the same time train your brain, not only by finding solutions for the game situations, but by overloading stress factors. Simulate the match conditions through your coaching contents and further improve your players performance.

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Mesocycle
Leonidas Papadakis

The unexpected interruption of official match commitments may be crucial to further evolving and defining the goals of your team.

Planning of your micro-cycles changes completely their targeting and your priority is to maintain your players' status in all four aspects of performance

  • Tactical abilities
  • Technical skills
  • Mental / Psychological skills
  • Fitness capacity

Regarding physical characteristics, we should be aware that the negative effects of de - training (not sufficient training stimulus to maintain or improve performance) start from the very first few days.

Aerobic capacity is affected by the first 10 days when VO2max (the body’s ability to taken in and utilize oxygen) is significantly reduced with the reduction rate reaching about 4 -10% in the fourth week! From a cardiorespiratory point of view, within 4-8 weeks of de - training, blood volume and pulse volume is reduced.

Muscle glycogen levels also drop, leaving less in the tank to draw from. Fat metabolism also decreases, resulting in increased fat storage.

When capillary density and oxidative enzyme activity decrease, oxygen delivery to working muscles is impaired. As well, muscle mass, EMG activity (nerve innervation of muscle fibers) and the number of fast twitch muscle fibers decrease. There is a marked reduction of mitochondrial ATP production.With all of the above declines in cardiorespiratory, metabolism and muscle function, endurance performance declines.

The results of the strength training are minimal to very limited in the first 2 weeks. The effect of de - training is mainly on the loss of muscular endurance. The body's ability to apply a force repeatedly for several minutes or hours of continuous movement.

Leonidas Papadakis

And when you start training with the team what?

Keep in mind that the match or matches that your players will not play will reduce the volume and intensity of training they would receive during the in season micro-cycle and will increase if the interruption of match cancelation is extended.

So, increase during the microcycles, the total duration of small side games within the training units, in which the players work all four aspects of performance at the same time, aiming to cover the "lost ground" of the official matches.

Also increase the training days with small side games at 3-4 per week and frequently switch (day by day) the arithmetic correlations from 1v1 to 3v3, 4v4 to 7v7 & 8v8 to 11v11 covering the whole range of training stimuli depending on your coaching sequence.

In the field of strength training, place at weekly schedule the team of muscular endurance (circuit strength endurance programmes) stimuli at least for 2 times a week.

Try to keep football players on match form mainly through training. Friendly games usually work as a chore for key players and you will need to find more functional alternatives. Time to participate in friendly games will be difficult to allocate for everyone and the four-legged performance will be underperforming with visible signs in the immediate future.

Try to keep the players in the form of competition mainly through training. Speed ​​up your team through day-to-day life. Friendly games usually work as a chore for key players, re-entry time is too short and you should find more viable alternatives. Friendly games time will hardly be sufficiently distributed for everyone, the program will be hard pressed to close such games with unprepared players, and the quadruple performance will be visibly underfunded shortly afterwards.

Leonidas Papadakis
  1. Neufer, PD. The effect of detraining and reduced training on the physiological adaptations to aerobic exercise training. Sports Med. 1989 Nov; 9(5): 302-­-320.
  2. Coyle, E.F., Hemmert, M.K., and Coggan, A.R. Effects of detraining on cardiovascular responses to exercise: role of blood volume. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1986, January; 60(1): 95-­-99.
  3. Ready, A.E., Quinney, H.A. Alterations in anaerobic threshold as the result of endurance training and detraining. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1982, 14(4).
  4. Mujika, I., Pacilla, S. Detraining: loss of training-­-induced physiological and performance adaptations. Part II: Long term insufficient training stimulus. Sports Med. 2000 Sep; 30(3): 145-­-54.
  5. Mujika, I., Padilla, S. Detraining: Loss of training-­-induced physiological and performance adaptations. Part 1: short term insufficient training stimulus. Sports Med. 2000 Aug; 30 (2): 79-­-87.
  6. Kakkinen, K., Komi, PV. Electromyographic changes during strength training and detraining. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 1983, 15(6): 455-­-460.
  7. Houston, M.E, et al. Muscle Performance, Morphology and Metabolic Capacity During Strength Training and Detraining. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 1983, 51: 25-­-35.
  8. Klausen, K, Anderson, L.B., Pelle, I. Adaptive changes in work capacity, skeletal muscle capillarization and enzyme levels during training and detraining. Acta Physiologica. 2008 Dec; 10.1111:1748-­-1716.
  9. Simoneau, J.A, et al. Effects of two high-­-intensity intermittent training programs interspaced by detraining on human skeletal muscle and performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 1987; 56:516-­-521.
  10. Schmidt, R.A. & Wrisbert, C.A. (2000) Motor learning and peformance: A problem-­-based learning approach (2nd ed.). Champaigh, IL: Human Kinetics.
  11. Godfrey, RJ, et al. The detraining and retraining of an elite rower: a case study. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 2005 Aug. 8(3): 314-­-320.
Leonidas Papadakis
Speed

Speed training is an integral part of a team's weekly microcycle.

The player during the game is required to change directions in the field, accelerate or deccelerate and use the body and its limps at such a speed and in such a way, having the proper balance and accuracy of the movements, to meet the needs of each phase.

Depending on the stimulus that you give to your players, inside the week, you can also adapt the following training section to their needs in order to improve their speed, agility and coordination skills.

Leonidas Papadakis

EXERCISE 1

The player execute a back pass and begins slalom movement, skipping over low obstacles, playing a wall pass and ending to the small post.

The return is at a slow pace where the players in the next sprint will change roles.

EXERCISE 2

The player comes in front of the manequin and execute a header back, he turns and begins a movement over rings and slalom between the cones.

The return is at a slow pace where the players in the next sprint will change roles.

Exercise intensity: maximum effort

Exercise Duration: 1-2 sets x 4-6 reps

Exercise break: 2' per rep - 4' per set

  • Effect of training on fast coverage of long range distances.
  • Effect of training on maintaining body balance and changing directions at full speed.
  • Effect of training on coordination - technical abilities.
Leonidas Papadakis
Off season

During the transition phase it would be advisable to limit the losses in your physical condition, creating the basis on which the preparation phase will be build and repair vulnerabilities of past injuries that might exist.

The endurance program is indicative as to the running tempos where it would be good to see the results of your fitness tests. In program endurance1 you can choose training below the anaerobic threshold or to be sure below 85% M.H.R , while in program endurance2 you can work on your maximum aerobic speed.

In the strength training program you put as much kilos as you need to be within the range of repetitions i write with a focus on proper technical execution.

Do not forget the core training due to its cohesiveness in the training process (see the maximising sports performance section of the site).

Leonidas Papadakis

The program is designed for a 6-week break with the first two operating as a discharge period, and gradually the next 4 to place strength and endurance training units to reduce losses and creation of a good training enviroment (click on the photos to watch the schedule).

... maybe the worst thing you can do is to let yourself for six weeks starting again from zero point ...

Leonidas Papadakis
Leonidas Papadakis
Strength

The ability of strength plays a dominant role in modern football. Segmenting needs into physical attributes per position makes the patterns more and less dominant.

The three main forms in strength training are:

  1. Maximum Strength
  2. Power
  3. Muscular Strength Endurance

The only form that if developed improves indirectly and the rest is the Maximum Strength Training.

Leonidas Papadakis

Below follows a training in the form of maximum strength tailored to the needs of football that your players can follow in the gym.

It is a prerequisite for players to be subjected to a maximum test (for the exercises you see percentage) and the correct technical execution of the exercises.

Leonidas Papadakis
  • Bench Press 3 sets of x 4-6 repetitions with 2'-3'stop (at 85% of a maximum repeat).
  • Squats 3 sets x 4-6 repetitions with 2'-3' stop (at 85% of one maximum repeat).
  • Pull Ups 3 sets x 6-8 reps with 2'-3' stop (with body weight or belt with pounds to execute only 6-8 reps).

During training can be added core exercises, proprioception exercises or assistive exercises with minimal or body weight external load if you feel it is necessary.

Choose carefully depending to the periodization model that your team follows, the time you will perform such training form, emphasizing to the correct execution technique.

Leonidas Papadakis
Constant Form

Distance coverage by driving the ball and controlling it is defined as one of the main skills in the field of football. Follow the exercise below to learn the skills of young players by giving them the right instructions or to perfect it.

We divide the group into 3 groups.

Each group performs exercise 1 with ball-driving and contact with the ball per stroke by controlling it fully and turning around a ring (clockwise with the inside and counter-clockwise with the outside of the foot alternately).

In exercise 2, the players handle the ball at an increased pace, and perform skew between the rods trying to fully control the ball while they are moving.

Exercise 3 is performed by using one or both legs during the drive between cones (place the cones at different distances as in the figure).

Leonidas Papadakis

Each group of players performs the 3 exercises x 2 times and then have a passive 1-2 minute break. Returning them to the next exercise is in a slow pace.

Exercise intensity: 50-60% M.H.R.

Exercise duration: 5'.

Quantity of the exercise: 1-4 sets.

Stop:1'-2' per set

  • Using this kind of training is for learning a new motor skill at beginner level.
  • In advanced levels may be used as ''reminder'' of the athlete of motor skills or simply as a warm up with the ball before the main part of the session but without the ability of helping the athlete to improve his technique any further.
Leonidas Papadakis
Endurance

The best workout is the one that resembles the needs of the game to the maximum extent.

Your team's side players are forced to drive the ball, to pass accurately, to run without the ball. Also, do not overlook the intervals that are forced to pressurize and in a fatigue state to end a phase. With the workout that we present you can work all the players that compete in these positions by dividing them right and left, and starting each pair at the same time.

Improve the specific endurance skills of your wingers and full backs by following the training below. This includes the variations in accelerations and decelerations necessary for the proper preparation of footballers, the corresponding intensity and time spent in high training zones (% H.R.) and the defined gap needed to improve the endurance aspects. The use of technical and tactical elements gives you the realism that is required for the ultimate training of your players.

Leonidas Papadakis

Players start from the side of the box and with intense rhythm they reach the center line driving the ball, where they are called to pass with precision into a small post. Then, at a constant pace of (40% M.S) jogging, parallel to the central line and then perform a vigorous movement (3/4pace 75% M.S.) to the manequin.

At the manequin area they perform explosive movements forward and backward, making an aggresive defense, at a distance of 5 meters x 3 times. With the end of the explosive moves, they receive a ball from the coach, drive the ball diagonally across the box and try to shoot at the corner of the big post.

Exercise intensity: 80%-95% M.H.R.

Rep Duration: 40 '' - 45 ''

Duration of exercise: 1-2 sets with 4-6 repetitions

Stop: 1: 1 to 1: 2 per repeat and 2' per set

  • Training effect on the maintenance of actions for a long time.
  • Training effect on the ability of faster repetition of explosive action.
  • Training effect on technical tactical and mental elements.
Leonidas Papadakis
Recovery

Although there is not a large number of scientific studies exploring recovery strategies for athletes, current data and unofficial data from athletes suggest that recovery of appropriate rehabilitation can help boost performance. Of course, we should keep in mind that several methods of rehabilitation can create an environment of euphoria for the players after their execution, which sometimes leads to wrong research findings.

Currently from s11, the following general recommendations can be made:

Leonidas Papadakis

TIME

Most important is the time that will take place until the next training (and its contents) or the match. Depending on the physical capabilities (mainly VO2max) and the appropriate preparation of the footballers through training, the body can accelerate its recovery rate, restoring it to the previous level.

HYDROTHERAPY

The human body responds to the immersion of water with changes in the heart, peripheral resistance and blood flow, as well as differentiation of the temperature of the skin, the core and the muscles. Changes in blood flow and temperature may have an effect on inflammation, immune function and fatigue.

Use appropriate temperatures and duration for immersion in water. The research data has given a positive effect on the immersion of water at temperatures of 10-15 ° C for cold water and 38-40 ° C for hot water.

The recovery strategy with cold water immersion or cold-heat contrast baths for 14-15 minutes has been shown to improve performance.

Studies that reported positive results in cold-hot variations used seven alternations of 1 minute hot and 1 minute cold.

COMPRESSION MACHINES

Compression machines and active rehabilitation may be beneficial for "restoring" players.

The external pressure created may reduce the intramuscular space available for swelling and promote stable alignment of muscle fibres, attenuating the inflammatory response and reducing muscle soreness.

While the positive data is currently poor, there is no evidence of harmful effects on their use and the informal evidence of their support is high. Further well-controlled research is required.

MASSAGE

Many reviews of massage results have come to the conclusion that while massage is beneficial for improving the psychological aspects of recovery, most data do not support massage as a way to improve recovery of functional performance. However, massage can have potential benefits to prevent and manage injuries.

ACTIVE RECOVERY

The role of active recovery sessions, with low intensity running or bike, helps reduce lactate concentrations after exercise and can be a major factor for footballers, although research in this field is incomplete.

STRETCHING

There are occasional mixed references (positive and negative) about the benefit of stretching as a recovery strategy. However, it is important to note that to date there have been no detrimental effects on the performance of footballers if they follow rehabilitation strategies related to post-exercise stretching.

Since rehabilitation research is a relatively new area for scientists, many of the current recommendations are only general guidelines. In addition to the above-mentioned strategies, there are several others not mentioned in this article (some with excessive expense).

It is important for soccer players to experiment with a variety of strategies and approaches to identify the recovery options that work best for each individual. However, it is well known that optimal rehabilitation from training and match can provide many benefits for athletes performance and achievement of team goals. The above rehabilitation strategies such as hydrotherapy, actice recovery, massage, compressive mashines, stretching or various combinations of these methods can be of value for the recovery process.

Consideration should also be given to better nutrition after exercise and adequate sleep to maximize the rate of rehabilitation of the body and reduce exercise fatigue.

Perhaps the best way to help your body come back is a well-trained athlete, a good night's sleep (hormone secretion that speeds up the body's recovery) and good hydration with regular, rich and healthy meals (glycogen stores replenishment and muscle tissue repair ).

Leonidas Papadakis
Speed

The main requirement as to the player's physical abilities is the speed in the battle for discrimination. According to Grosser (1994) and based on cognitive procedures in sport, velocity is the ability of maximal strength, will and functionality of the neuromuscular system to achieve the highest possible reaction and motion speeds under certain conditions. This gives rise to six (6) forms of physical velocity occurrence which are:

  • Reaction speed
  • Speed ​​of activity
  • Speed frequency
  • Power
  • Resistance to power
  • Maximum speed resistance
Leonidas Papadakis

In a football match, the stimuli that the athlete receives and are called to respond are visually (placement of other players, ball ...), acoustics (player voices, referee whistle, viewers ...), and kinesthetic (positioning of the player acting, ...).

High-level football players reduce response time by selecting the most important information each time, understanding the action of the other players and the route of the ball quickly. So the visuals are the stimuli they receive in most of them during a match.

Based on the above, the best way to improve is to overload this training stimulus with exercises I have created and performed in my teams.

Leonidas Papadakis

Follow the exercises below to help your players react quickly to the visual stimulus by maximizing their potential.

EXERCISE 1

Players are divided into couples where one gives the stimulus by tapping on points on the ground and the other follows.

Exercise duration: 4 reps x 5''

Stop: 30''

EXERCISE 2

The players are divided into rows and the coach gives the stimulus pointing to the players a color. They must move with sprint in this direction.

Exercise duration: 4 reps x 5 meters

Stop: 30''

Leonidas Papadakis

The research data of the reaction speed training and its training methods concern the Greek Super League U20, U17 and U15 team and will be published shortly by Mr. Papadakis and his colleagues.

Leonidas Papadakis
Strength

The main form of strength in soccer is called Muscle Power and you consider it the ability to move a load in the shortest possible time.

This ability to quickly develop strength can be trained in the field by engaging exercises that resemble the skills and needs of a match.

A training method is the plyometric where through muscle stretch / shortening cycle strength is generated in a short time and in which we can add specialized football skills.

(Several sport scientists consider the stretch / shortening cycle as a distinct appearance of strength form ...)

Leonidas Papadakis

Divide your team into 4 groups and perform the following exercises.

1) 4 jumps over obstacles 40 cm high - first touch dribble and play "1-2" - finish with a shoott at the post

2) 4 changes of directions on poles - skipping on a ladder - jump and header

3) lateral skipping in obstacles 10 cm right and left - receive and ball driving - drible a manequin and shoot in a small post

4) 4 single leg jumps in rings - receive and pass - slalom sprint and finish in a post

Leonidas Papadakis

Execute 2-3 sets per exercise with a 1' break between the exercises and 2'-3' between sets.

  • Effect of training on improving muscle performance in a short time.
  • Effect of training on the muscle adaptation of power generation to specialized motor skills.
Leonidas Papadakis
In season

The best training is the one that simulates the needs of the match.

The modern form of training now in football is that of Small-sided games. Players try to accomplish the objectives of each game, creating habits for the performance of football activities.

These habits are expected by team coaches to see from their players, during the official matches, hoping for a similar result.

Leonidas Papadakis

Small-sided games are designed to improve all four aspects of technical / tactical / mental and physical performance.
However, there are a number of factors that affect their effectiveness and usability and which coaches should take into consideration before applying them to the training process.

  • Player capabilities
  • Game implementation period
  • Number of players
  • Game space dimensions
  • Duration of play
  • Game break
  • Using a goalkeeper
  • Orientation of the game or not
  • Contacts with the ball

In the above table you see s11.gr's analysis of functionality and effect on a set of parameters of Small Sided Games.
Study the impact of the training stimulus you want to give to your players and select games with the corresponding content.

Leonidas Papadakis
Field evaluation

Monitoring the skills of our players at regular base can be a very useful strategy for a team. The data collected daily is aimed at improving the performance of football players by developing personalized as well as group training plans as well as preventing unwanted side effects. Exhaustion situations or injury prevention can be avoided with simple but targeted content from the teams' coaching staff.

Leonidas Papadakis

One way to monitor the linearity of aerobic performance on the field is to perform sub-maximal tests and regularly update them to compare the data collected.

Running a sub-maximal YoYo test protocol can give you the data you need without interfering with the training process and without overloading your players.

In the figure below you can see the performance line of heart rate in the individual stages of a field test that I modified, created and performed on my teams from time to time to monitor the progress of players but also phenomena that deviate from overall performance.

Leonidas Papadakis

Heart rate is one of the most easily monitored parameters of all football teams. It is one of the indicators that reflect the intensity of the exercise, documented in hundreds of scientific articles that emphasize the importance of monitoring it during the training process.In my last publicated research in soccer, with the s11 team, I analyze the importance of watching it in preparation.

  • Leonidas Papadakis, Charis Tymvios, Konstantinos Patras (2019).

Association of internal training load with changes in aerobic endurance and strength/power variables in profesional soccer players during the pre season. Biology of exercise. Volume 15.1,2019.

Personally, I analyze dozens of training intensity and volume parameters daily along with training data in pursuit of the legitimate result of individual and overall improvement. Heart rate always plays an important part in my day-to-day work with the monitoring team I work with, partly recording the internal workload of the workout (alongside with other data) and driving me to create an easy and fast way of tracking one of the most important parameters of training proccess.

Leonidas Papadakis