BEYOND THE FIRST 11: KEEPING NON-STARTING PLAYERS FIT IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL
FEATURE / DR LIAM ANDERSON
For outfield players who play a full competitive match, this typically represents the most demanding day within the training week.1 Nowadays, the training in the lead in to match play is periodized so that the higher loads are in the middle of the week and are tapered into the match (although this is different for when matches are played with <72 hours recovery (see Figures 1a and b). Indeed, this strategy is used to maximise recovery from the preceding match, promote adaptations, promote recovery and readiness for the subsequent match.
Given that match play has a dominant role in the overall loading in the microcycle, it could be suggested that the participation in match play itself is the most appropriate stimulus for preparing players for the physical demands of match play.
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