Strength and conditioning provision and practices in elite male football

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Mike Beere with Ian Jeffreys & Nicki Lewis

There is limited published research on strength and conditioning (S&C) practices in elite football. Information regarding programme design and factors that impact programming would provide valuable information to applied practitioners and researchers investigating the influence of performance interventions strategies. The aim of this study was to detail the current practices of S&C coaches working in senior male football. A questionnaire was developed comprising three main sections: personnel details and staff structure; strength and power development; and current issues and barriers to practice. A total of 51 (51 men; age 32.45 ± 7.27 years) out of 74 (68.9%) coaches responded to the questionnaire, all of whom had been working in senior male football for 9.61 ± 5.65 years. All respondents believed that strength training benefits football performance and reported that their athletes regularly performed strength training. The trap bar deadlift was rated the most frequently prescribed exercise. One hundred percent of respondents reported prescribing plyometric training, and 43 (84%) indicated that periodisation strategies were used. Time availability was considered the biggest factor impacting programme delivery. Building trust, relationships and communication were seen as the biggest determinants of successful S&C practice. This survey represents new data regarding S&C practices in elite male football and serves as a review of applied information.

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