Thoughts on Charlie Francis and soccer

Charlie, being faster means being a better player. And I think this is the most important thing. Being faster means being able to cover a larger part of the field, get first on the ball etc. I implemented your ideas in my off-season training, well, like day and night. The only thing is that I’d put a little more emphasis on distances up to 60 meters, I find them useful a lot. I agree, speed potential without the ball! Then, you use that speed potential in the field with the ball (sometimes).

P.S. a lot, again, a lot of top level soccer player are low level athletes.
Next time you are in Florence you have to organize a seminar, Charlie!

There was no time for a seminar there but I would love to come back as Ange, James, and I had a fantastic time.
As for the 60s, I wonder if replacing them with flying 20s (30m smooth build up) when combined with the accels would cover all requirements without such an increased demand overall. If you have any ideas for a seminar, contact

One of those players mentioned was rehabbing in colorado at famous clinic this winter.

This winter I used a 5 week progression and took 5 girls ages 16-18 from 2000m x 2 session/wk up to 4000m 2 sessions/wk. It can be done.

This year I have planned a progresion for the fitter players. First progression was mainly 100s and 200s, next porgression more 200s and 300s. Will report back in august.

Also I’m playing with a fairly new recovery method and also indirect aerobic fitness improvements using low level laser therapy.

ESTI, You ever considered getting your players to ride road bikes for aerobic fitness improvements?..

If not, any particular reason/s???..

I think it could have some benefits. 2 issues I have are no one has that type of bike and second, with the girls I have, they are overly quad dominant and prefer to keep them off the bike.

We have used alternatives for tempo that included various med ball circuits. This is usually the case if player is injured. I had girl with dislocated knee cap do these types of circuits for 8 weeks and was able to maintain most of her fitness during that time when she couldn’t run or bike.

was the progression in the off-season? 8 km a week of tempo seems like a lot of running for such young girls. Charlie proposed 12 km of tempo a week during the offseason, then less tempo during the season to make room for other work (And because a lot of tactical work is basically tempo work). I was wondering lately if 12 km a week are too many. Charlie probably proposed that considering the (maximum) distance travelled by players at low speed during a match.
What is the rationale behind moving from 100s to 200s and 300s? I ran a lot of 300s during my career, albeit at more than 75% of best time over the distance, but I never found them particularly useful.
As for speed work, still having 2x week, mixing resisted and unresisted over 30 m?

I recently read a paper in which it was shown that low laser therapy reduces recovery time after resistance training, but nothing about gains in aerobic fitness. I’m also curious about the fairly new recovery method.

This was an “off-season” of sorts. Typically 1 practice session a week, with maybe one game a week, but for most girls, maybe 2 games a month during the winter.

In summer, my girls work up to 12K/wk in 3 sessions (4K/session). I have found they are extremely fit, speed has increased, along with vertical, and all strength lifts. Considering in the fall they often play several hundred minutes of play in a 3 day stretch, most of their teammates are tired, yet these girls can play the entire weekend.

I made changes into 1s and 2’s to avoid boredom. Working into 300s at tempo speed is extremely difficult for most of my athletes. Also, for the athletes who have to do 2 mile/12 mile fitness testing, I think the longer tempo will help aid in this. Shorter tempo in years past has not improved that type of test, but has proven to be great for recovery type tests (beep, danish etc)

Still planning 2x wk of HI sessions, lots of sled and med ball work early on, reactive jumps early on, heavy dose of strength work and then will pull back as speed work gets faster. There are other issues I have to work with such as jump landing mechanics/technique, improving hamstring strength (relative to quad strength) etc.

Back in 2005 I started research on LLLT and performance (compared to injury and wound healing), which at the time would have been one of the first performance based studies. I have since used it with success for recovery and performance, as well as injury healing. The laser for aerobic fitness will come to the public in the coming years. I have protocols developed in Russia that are fairly rare and hard to find. The technology I use is Russian.

this is great information, thanks for it.
Do you work heavily on running mechanics (skips, cures during running etc.)? Most girls due to gender issues (biomechanics issues) in my experience may have greater problems with running mechanics than males.
As for the periodization of sprint training, or in general of HI activities, do you try to reach a peak (or a plateau) at the end of the preparatory period? Or you aim to a smooth transition between preparatory and competition period (keeping in mind that the competition period could be 4 months-1 month stop-4 months)?

Very interesting the use of LLLT, a 2009 paper found a significant increase in repetitions to exhaustion in bicep curl after LLLT. Speaking of technology, I wonder if the rapid thermal exchange cooling device developed at Stanford has been used in competitive settings.

Also microcurrent would be worth investigating for performance. I own an Alpha-Stim and it is time to run a serious test.

knows his business. We both train in the same area, so it was a real pleasure developing a friendship. I have learned much from our interaction. The laser is phenomenal. I tore my soleus and he did some tissue therapy and laser. It was literally 30% better the next day. I have a unit as well and did an ESTI experiment with some of my football players. We tire flipped, prowlered and truck pushed on Saturday. Seeing as the kids forearms work with tire flips and they end up sore the next day through the flexors, I decided to run the light on just one forearm of each of them. Lo and behold, one forearm was suffering from DOMS, the other wasn’t sore at all.

Tire flipping, prowlered and truck pushed… For soccer???..

I also train a few football players

Was the laser applied before or after the tire flipping?

I believe it was a day after the workout, most of the tightness and soreness in the treated arm diminished from a 5 minute treatment.

Which laser? What protocols?

I use the TQ solo

I have a generic version of it also. What Russian protocols can you do from 3 settings?

The specifics (found in another website) seem good.