Position-Specific Endurance Training – Part 3: Outside Backs & Wingers

After looking at three central positions in the last weeks, it is now time to shift our focus to the outsides. Modern soccer has become increasingly demanding in all positions. No longer are defenders completely isolated from attacking. As a matter of fact, many professional outside backs were wingers in their youth. So, this week, let´s look at attributes necessary in training to become a strong outside back and winger. In part 3 of the position-specific endurance training.

 

Outside Backs Endurance Training

 

Different to center backs, outside backs are more involved in the attack, and need to cover a lot more distance, as they run up and down the field. They need to be very dynamic, as they are frequently involved in 1v1´s in the defense, as well as the offense. These positions tend to be involved in the most linear sprints, so they need to practice sprints over more than 5-10 yards regularly.

 

With soccer becoming more fast-paced on all levels of play, players are increasingly challenged to adapt to new situations. Transition is the key word here. Players need to be able to cover long distances (15-40 yards) fast and often. So, sprints in these distances have to be part of training. Because the weak side of the play (the side where the ball is NOT) needs to jog across the field to be an option to switch the play, a basic endurance is also essential.

 

Wingers Endurance Training

 

Dynamic and speed are the key attributes for this position. Think Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar: Fast, explosive, high involvements in 1v1 dribblings. Acceleration should be the focus to have the advantage over defenders when dribbling with pace. Also for passes in the pockets to create space and options. But this is not American Football, where the players only accelerate for a few yards and then get a break. Wingers need to have a solid basic endurance, too. On one hand, they need to be able to advance to the end-line to play the ball into the box, but they also need to recover the ball and assist the outsides back defending.

 

 

You see, the two positions are very similar, both need to train the following to succeed on the field:

  • Strong basic endurance, through continuous jogs
  • Sprints for 15-40 yards
  • Fast acceleration

 

 

In the last part of the series, we will dissect the center midfielders, how they can improve their position specific endurance, as well as some practical tips for endurance training for a specific position!

 

Leave us a comment and tell us what´s your favorite drill for outside backs and wingers!

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