Aaron Ramsey: Overrun the opposition

With a strong body and steely mind, you can take control of the midfield battleground, says Arsenal’s all-action Welshman

Improve staying power

“As a midfielder you need to be able to break up play, win the ball back and start attacks, and to do this you need to be very fit. Build the foundations of your fitness before the season starts. I do a mixture of interval training and long-distance runs. This gives me a benchmark before I return for pre-season training. I keep on top of that throughout the campaign. If we don’t have a midweek match I try to get in an extra session to blow away the cobwebs."

Do the hard work in pre-season

Hone your top half

“If you are physically powerful, you’re harder to knock off the ball. I like to do an upper body gym session once a week. I do pull-ups and bicep curls as part of my workout, and I usually aim for three sets of 10 or three sets of eight. Not many players do more than that because of the number of games we play throughout the season. With midweek matches there isn’t enough time to recover, so you have to be streetwise with the amount of extras you do.”

More after the break

Build a body for battle

Play to the final whistle

“Carry on going until the last minute of the game thinking you can get a goal. Once you sense it, push on and go for it. Teams start to suffer in the last 10-15 minutes of matches and that is when we take full advantage, which is evident in the number of late goals we score. We have the majority of possession during most games and that tires out the opposition. We are a fit team and we have players who can get up and down the pitch even if it’s late in the game.”

Find another gear in the closing stages

Fight fatigue
“Feeling tired is something we all go through on the pitch. It’s mentally tough, rather than physically. Getting up and down is something you have to do as a midfielder, and I try my hardest to get back as much as I do getting forward. If I need a little hand I will communicate with my team-mates and they’ll fill in for me. Talking to each other effectively makes life easier. If you pass on the right information you can maintain your shape and organisation.”

Call on your teammates for help

Find your flow

“I’m old-fashioned – I haven’t got any pre-match rituals. I have a chat on the team bus on the way to the game and focus on the job ahead. I like to stay calm and relaxed. Testing myself against the best players in the world is a huge motivation in itself; when we come up against the best teams with the top players, I want to prove myself against them. Every game is difficult, though, and I’m fired up for whichever team we are playing.”

Get in a match-winning mindset

Build momentum

“Momentum is very important. It’s something that is hard to stop once a team has it. When you are on an unbeaten run, you go into every game believing you’re going to win it. When you prepare properly and give everything you’ve got, you feel strong going into any match. If every player feels like that then the team will have a collective strength and determination. This breeds confidence and that inevitably leads to positive results.”

Go into every game feeling unstoppable


Aaron Ramsey was speaking at the global launch event of New Balance Football. To find out more about New Balance Football go to newbalance.com/football or follow @NBFootball on Twitter and Instagram

For more football tips see:
Xavi: Master the pass
Eden Hazard: Rise to the top
Raheem Sterling: Run your marker ragged
Mario Gotze: Be a creative spark
Andres Iniesta: How to boss the midfield

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