Thoughts on Charlie Francis and soccer

I’d like to make a few points.
Soccer is in general years behind other sports, but there are some good S&C coaches and medical systems (I’d like to stress the medical doctor of Bayern Munich).
Speed is what differentiates lower and higher level soccer players, from an athletic point of view. There is research there.
Skill is multidimensional, also speed is a skill, don’t think only of ball skills. Even at the highest level there are players with mediocre ball skills.
In certain roles, attitutide is not everything, but it is a big component. While attititude won’t bring you sub 10 in the 100 m, in soccer it goes a long way.
When you think that S&C has a big role in injuries, first think about where players spend the nights or if they actuall train.
Inter, who recently won the Champions’ League and not a regional competition, has a S&C system that many here would consider, just say, inappropriate. And what about Milan, who some years ago, with their (apparent) lack of S&C crashed, literally crashed Manchester United and then won the Champions’ League? It looks to me that they were not in bad condition.
A recent research (Gabbett et al., Applied Physiology of Rugby League, Sports Medicine) of strength and conditioning of rugby league players in Australia (amateur and professional) pointed out that strength of players, measured with bench press and squat, is not of the highest level (for professionals, mean 1RM squat 160 kg, bench press 130 kg, vertical jump 52 to 56 cm).
Running form in soccer is, in general, from bad to awful, and here there is great potential. There are some great athletes, though.

Like I said, why bother contributing?
You obviously know better than someone who’s coached in the Premiership.

You have no idea who I’ve worked with, the level of team I’ve trained and worked for, currently work for, which players I’ve trained one-on-one, who I’ve consulted for and which teams I’ve intimate knowledge of.

But I assure you of one thing … I don’t speculate and I know what I’m talking about, because I’ve been there.

You on the other hand I’m afraid clearly don’t.

I agree with most of that and you’re very correct about Inter. You should hear about Liverpool this year also!

I’d just point out that while ‘The Good Doctor’ is himself excellent, I’d be slow to conclude that complete medical programs are also in soccer clubs as many treat the injury not the prevention - look at Milan AC for the opposite approach. (Though there are others here who can go into that approach in much better and more detail from personal experience.)

Yes and the higher the level the smaller the % that matters

This is especially important for teams who want to win on a continuous basis, not just a once off

Granted, but there is no magic bullet.

Being highly complex with physical preparation could actually turn into a negative for some players, increasing risk of injury (Plyo’s/lifting), CNS stress etc resulting in poor performances, technically/tactically.

They have just won the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.

Oh my… :confused:

This is arguably the top club team on the planet. And there doing it wrong???.. Inappropriately???.. You guys are funny to me.

Guys, your only qualified to say the such when your at the clubs achieving success via your methods & ideas.

I am not expert on soccer but physical preparation is essential. If you cannot perform at the highest level all the time then the skill will break down.

I have always said, most important part of performance is SKILL, which is mostly predisposed. Goal of of training is to help the athlete achieve and excute skills to the highest level and w/o fatigie most frequently by increasing our biological power.

Physical preparation is essential. Don’t get me wrong.

But one of the things I find funny about S&C coaches in soccer is, In training, most of them are not performing there own workouts they put players through with there methods & ideas they learn’t from someone else & the stress potential. They just stand there overlooking things. Over doing it physically I have found puts a burden on first touch, passing ability, control, concentration etc. Can any of these guys on here tell me the benefits of an optimal plyo routine, 5x3 heavy squat routine on a soggy wet pitch?. I don’t think they could.

I can see them coming a mile off anyway. I’m always very skeptical, as my knowledge I feel is pretty good.

From the training routines we do at our club, we are still yet to see anything in “preparation” that rivals minutes of game time, making runs, shutting players down, for match fitness. A lot of the complex stuff I have read on here is rendered useless for a professional. Great for the 100m sprinter peaking for a meet, but its apples & oranges, too many differentials.

I posted two valuable training resources in this thread in 2008:

Post from 2008

I received this data three years ago from an associate who retrieved it from Milan Lab:

-The longest sprint football players run in a game is 20-30m (22- 33yd) and the total volume per match is about 160m (175yd) at speeds of >25.3Km/h, (15.7mph)

  • high speed runs the total is 680m (744yd) 19.9-25.2km/h, (12.4-15.7mph)

  • jogging is 4.97km (3.1 miles) speed=7.3-14.4km/h (4.5-8.9 mph)

  • walking of 3.67km (2.3 miles) speed=.02-7.2km/h. (very slow- 4.4mph)

  • The total time of each match is 90 minutes actual playing time is 54-65 minutes

  • heart rates are between 160-175 on avg. over the course of this time

As a physical preparation coach, rest assured that this type of material, in addition to biodynamic considerations of the game by position and the tactical and philosophical specifics of the team, are my starting points for constructing the physical preparation program.

Whether or not this is actually the approach taken by the various teams I do not know.

I think a S&C coach can only say he has the optimal program, when he too carries out his own methods & practices himself throughout an entire season, along with all the players & the impact it generates on his technical/tactical performance & his body (physically), putting himself in the shoes of the player for the entire season & how his methods & ideas relate on the football field. Then HE KNOWS in his head & (via success of his methods & ideas), hes got the optimal going on. Because he knows firsthand.

But until then… Its grain of salt time.

Are you suggesting the strength coach actually go through his own training progarm and play an entire season? who is HE that you reference?

Data was published by Proietti, who work(ed?) as a scientific advisor for Bayern Munich. As I said before, there are good S&C coaches (% I don’t know).
Another point. In the last 15 years, the word “turn-over” was like bible in soccer, due to big rosters and possible multiple games during the week (international and national competitions). This year, Inter made almost no turn-over, basically, apart for 2 or 3 people conistently rotating, playing players were always the same (and they are not young, too). Now, Milan Lab, by using Neural Networks (it’s a machine learning technique) stops players (in general) when they are (according to the NN) in a critical state (higher risk of injury). Despite that, Milan had a greater injury rate than Inter, far greater (it’s like prevention programma supported by cutting edge techology against “I don’t care”).

Is the technology wrong, it’s a wrong use of the technology, or you prove what you think? You is general, of course.

James, what are the philosophical specifics of the team?

There are some imprecisions. Bruno Demichelis is a psychologist and it’s with Ancelotti at Chelsea in that role, so Milan Lab is not being exported. De Michelis built the Mind Room. They told me that Milanello is like Disneyland, in fact no player wanting to go away. Lots of fun going on. But, it seems that players don’t want Messermann to touch them, also because he sorta likes to pull teeth off. You know, when you have an hammer, you see nails everywhere, and when you have a clamp…As far as I understand from the limited information presented in the article, 70% of discrimination (false positives and negative, but I don’t want to start a statistics discussion) is almost useless. And what dose “injury rates” predicted? Predict injury is what it’s important, not injury rates. Keep in mind that they have to play.

The article ends with: Another is that Jean-Pierre Meersseman, medical guru, smokes.

Is there a more stupid way to end an article? In addition, Messermann is not a medical doctor. And is not at Milan anymore. “Doctors” have been fired a couple weeks ago.

EXACTLY. Then he knows how his program relates too overall performance. A S&C coach will certainly get more brownie points doing the workouts himself personally.

Then & only then will he realize he has the optimal program?, probably not, relating to physical preparation, the performance it has on the field & success the program has at the top level. Then he can brag.

My reference goes to all the S&C coaches believing they have the “optimal” program.

If for example, he replaces squats with weighted hip thrusts, he needs to be there at the forefront of proceedings. Results on his CNS, performance…

I always throw caution to the wind when a bookworm joins the clan.

Philosophical specifics are the most emphasized realization of a teams tactics.

I do not have as much of an intimate understanding of the tactical schemes and sport vernacular associated with European football so I can’t provide an expert example in this regard.

Generally, however, my point is that the tactics refer to the positional maneuvers, placement/alignment, and countermeasures that are trained in order to maximize offensive and defensive strength against the varied tactical approaches of the opponent.

Philosophy comes into play when we discuss what is most heavily emphasized, what is the coaching staff and team most passionately committed to, within a team’s offensive and defensive tactical approach.

I would categorize tactical measures as being calculated and inorganic (more mathematical) while philosophical measures are calculated and organic (rooted in passion/belief/commitment)

Thus, the philosophical specifics of a team’s tactical approach must be addressed in the physical preparation.

Proietti’s data and results were based on football in the Middle East, not European football.
How long he actually worked for BM, I’m not quite sure.

I’m curious as to which teams-either professional or national-advocate true speed training-under alactic conditions?

I guess it’s more difficult for national teams to have their athletes under a specific program very long since their players spend so much time in their careers with their professional clubs.

Is this a more recent trend of players/coaches using true speed training/development in the training of the players or has it always been present, if even in smaller numbers?

I can’t speak for every team/club, but what seems to be popular in training is more like low intensity obstacle courses and lots of change of direction drills.

Yes - very common type of training where I’m from. Reminds me of those dog obstacle courses where they run around the poles, over hurdles and up-and-down ramps. Except with the soccer players, they don’t have an overweight female owner shadowing them through the course throwing them doggie treats.

I remember one day seeing a U18 girls team do “SAQ” session. It consisted of a 200+meter long obstacle course interspersed with hurdles, cone, flags, colorful rings, and took a whopping 55 seconds to complete, as I did time it out of curiosity.