Soccer vs. Football

From looking on Xlr8’s training diary, I see that you don’t do much or anything technical training with ball?

If you are going to have success in the soccer game, you have to do extremely much technical work, be in contact with the ball and so on. Isn’t that the case in football?
If a soccerplayer did a training plan like Xlr8, he would never be a good soccer player.
Are there so big differences within the two sports? Don’t you need to control the ball during the games, and don’t the technical wonder-players get more success than just super-strong and fast players? Probably not ??
I know that football is more a contact game which requires more strength, and soccer more technical … which requires extremely much ball training.
Then you maybe understand how difficult it is to train for speed and strenght, when you at the same time have to make sure that you get enough ball work…

VG as you more or less answered yourself - YES there is a massive difference between the two sports.

To start with - comparing the two sport in one post will be impossible also!

‘Technical work’ in soccer is much more important than the equivalent in US Football.

I don’t intend to be demeaning - but - It is impossible to be a good soccer player without BALL skills - a lineman in US football need not be overly skilled in ball control to be relatively successful. (open to correction …)

As well as that the amount of bodily contact in soccer is minimal compared to Football.
Soccer is possibly 60 - 70% lower body focused US Football is probably 50-50 or 55-45.

For a start on some good research on soccer training VG look for works by Faccioni, Paul Balsom and particluarly the Juventus Assistant Coach - Jens Bangsbo.

I can’t reccomend (nor can the Juve guys) Bangsbo enough in the area of ‘science in soccer’.

Charlie - I know this is a very open ended and broad question -

But what are the basic differences between the CFTS for sprinters and that for a Hockey/Soccer/Football player?

And more importantly how are these incorporated into the Weekly Annual Training plan?


Handling the ball in football is largely a matter of tucking it under your arm and then running. On the other hand, the skill component of handling a ball in soccer is more equivalent to that of handling a basketball. I would consider those sports much more ‘skill’ based than football. Or perhaps a better way to say it is that they require much more work on the technical foundation to be successful. The skills you need to display in football are much more ‘natural’ to any athlete - run fast, push people around :slight_smile:

I used to do quite a bit of fencing and it is an interesting contrast because it is a highly technical sport and there are virtually no movements in it that could be considered natural (ie that you would do in everyday life.) The stance is strange, you move sideways and lunges are not a normal way to reach for something. So the training has a very large technical/skill component. However, even there, at the top levels, everyone has solid technical skills, so one way to distiguish yourself (at least how I did it) was to be a better, faster and stronger athlete and then build your game to take advantage of your physical superiority.

That is not to say that football doesn’t take skills, but different positions have dramatically different requirements. Running backs arguable require the most pure athleticsm and the least specific skill work. There is skill work required for catching the ball (which I am quite good at) and blocking (which I’m working on) but basically, it requires speed, power, elusiveness and good moves. This is all high CNS stuff and is part of the overall training.

I do spend time some time on my skill work, walking through plays and working with teammates. Also, since I am playing option-style quarterback, I have throwing and other ball handling (fakes, bootlegs, etc.) requirements but these training components have little CNS load or recovery properties and as such I don’t reflect them in my training journal.

dont get too caught up in technical work.
As you no doubt know soccer at the senior level is very much a question of endurance, and even more so in Norway than most other places.
The endurance must be there even if you are technically adept ,just to make sure that it is kept at a consistent level all through the game. This is where your speed-training comes in. With the added speed-reserve those short bursts of maybe fifteen to twenty meters will be run in a ,for you lower intensity than before ,meaning more energy for the next run.
Look at Eirik Bakke, when he was your age he was regarded as a technically very adept player ,but to survive at the top he had to turn into a workhorse.
As regards my own experience ,when i was your age i was the fastest and probably most technically adept player in our team ,but because of my approach to endurance-training i was “relegated” to play sweeper. (I still managed to dribble quite a bit)
To cut a long story short: Your speed-work will get you to the top even with a lesser degree of technical adeptness. And don’t forget the base endurance-training!

X - it’s interesting what you posted about fencing - I have had the similar scenario with badmington.

Also - I’m glad you said …
“Handling the ball in football is largely a matter of tucking it under your arm and then running.”
… coming from someone 3,000 miles away it wouldn’t sound so good!

Good Post
While I agree with what you posted ["…dont get too caught up in technical work …"], don’t neglect it either.

Skill doesn’t need or respond to long sessions - Small skill sessions frequently and consistently will develop skill best.