The whole concept of fitness and training has changed in the world of football in last 20 years. More of athletics is being very widely implemented. More time in training is being dedicated towards players all round health and fitness than just try to learn the tactics. New fitness regimes are being developed every day. Softwares have been developed to assist managers and players in studying their body physique and ways to develop it.
Credit goes of changing the scenario goes to “le Professeur” Arsene Wenger. When he joined Arsenal, he introduced to the footballing world the concept of diet control. Many top managers dismissed this concept of dieting as absurd. Wenger started serving more veggies and juices in the team dinner room, removing the oily fatty foods like fried chicken. He put a ban on smoking and drinking alcohol. It caused a few grumpy faces but the result was spectacular, you got a bunch a lean and fit, both physically and mentally, players ready to take on the world.
The game has changed so much that all the players expected to be agile and quick. Sprinting drills have become absolute necessity before the matches. Earlier you had big burly strikers, like Batistuta and Shearar, whose job was to finish someway somehow. But now a crop of agile and super-fit strikers are dominating the world, like Sergio Aguero, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Even the goalkeeper have changed from giant, monstrous Oliver Kahn and Peter Schmeichel, who could bring the fear of god in you, to the agile and more reactive keepers like Lloris and De Gea. Some players like Antonio Valencia are in the just to run with the ball or track down players, using their speed to maximum extent. Minimum fat policy is being implemented by all the clubs, where in every player is expected to have the minimum amount of body fat.
A new position in the club’s backroom staff has been developed, the fitness coach. His work is to mainly to study the players movements and fitness. The whole concept is borrowed from the American Football, where in all players are expected to be at their peak at all the times. It is work of the fitness coach to develop new exercises, control the diet and help players regain their fitness after injury. The new energy drinks you see in the markets are all the developments of these coaches. The biggest proof of the effectiveness of these coaches is the downfall of Borussia Dortmund. Ever since they lost their fitness coach to Bayer Leverkusen, things have been on a downwards path.
So if you think you are large and big, and you are going to dominate the football field, think once more. There is a new crop of thin, agile and nimble players who can beat your butt down to the ground