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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 05:44 GMT 06:44 UK
Planning your pre-season
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A good pre-season is a must for all professional players in the Premier League and Football League - but is also hugely valuable for all amateur and junior players.

Here Reading FC Academy manager Eamonn Dolan continues a five-session guide of how he would prepare a team for the new season.

This week Dolan explains how to hone fitness skills for the new season.

Eamonn Dolan
Eamonn Dolan
Reading FC Academy manager

WEEK FOUR - STEPPING IT UP

By now the aerobic base should be building so I'd think about introducing a few more explosive elements.

During the warm-up I'd include a few more exercises that include jumping and bounding.

Dribbling drill

After some passing and moving drills think about a few exercises that involve running with the ball - a very important skill that lends itself to more explosive movement.

A good drill for this would be to have three players, two stood 20 metres from the other.

One of the two players runs 20 metres with the ball to the other. The third players then takes over, running 20 metres and so on until you have a relay going.

You can shorten or increase the length between the players to decrease or increase the intensity of the drill or have more people on each station to give the players a longer rest between running with the ball.

GUIDE TO HEADING DRILLS

Before having a game I'd be tempted to go through some shape work.

A coach has an idea of how he wants his team to play when the season starts and I think now is a good time to talk to his players about how he wants them to line up.

I would go through some unopposed shape work - this involves setting out your team on a pitch in the formation you want to play but without any opposition players to complicate the procedure.

Some coaches, for example, like to then walk through a pattern of play starting with the goalkeeper throwing the ball out to a full-back, others like it thrown into the mixer.

Whichever your personal preference, week four is a great time to start to look at this. Afterwards, finish with a game then a warm down.

  • Eamonn Dolan was talking to Paul Fletcher.


  • SEE ALSO
    Football drills: Control
    02 Jun 06 |  Sport Academy
    Football drills: Turning
    05 Jun 06 |  Sport Academy
    Football drills: Goalkeeping
    20 Jun 06 |  Sport Academy


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