To boost endurance, get him to run for 400 metres at three-quarter pace, rest for a minute and go again. Repeat five times. To put this in perspective, one rep is about the same as running the length of three football pitches. He’d want to get his heart rate up to 170 beats per minute. This type of training will help him run (and fight) harder for longer.
Use this to help Mario develop explosive power in his legs. Get him to stand in front of a knee-high bench or box with his feet shoulder-width apart. Have him bend his knees, drive up through his body and up on top of the box. Then step back down, reset and go again. Do this five times.
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This is another great exercise for building leg strength and agility. Set up two sturdy boxes, around two yards apart. Get him to jump onto the first box, leap down to the ground, before springing straight onto the second. Dismount, rest for 20 seconds, walk round to the first box and repeat. Do this five times.
For Mario to shift his big frame with speed and strength, he needs to be nimble and powerful driving off one foot. Skipping can develop these areas and boost stamina. Get him to skip for 20 seconds, sprint for 10, skip for 20, sprint for 10 and so on. Ask him to do this for 10 minutes.
Set out a speed ladder and position Mario behind the ladder at the far end. Get him to step inside the first square with his right foot, then his left, before stepping back out and to the right, one foot after the other. Then move onto the next square, until he’s completed the ladder. Work for 20 seconds, rest for 20. Repeat eight times as fast as possible.
This is great for building acceleration and balance. Connect a resistance band to a piece of apparatus and tie the other end to his waist. Stand 12 yards away with a ball. Ask Mario to accelerate until the band is taut, and as he does this play a pass into his feet. He has to return the pass before going back to the start position. Do two sets of six reps.
You were a promising footballer. What happened?