Pre-season training for football

Check out our diet advice, gym workouts, training drills and psychology tips designed to get you match fit ahead of the new season

Before you dust off your football boots and start training again, it’s good to begin by establishing your goals for pre-season. Perhaps you didn’t find the back of the net enough last season or you ran out of gas after 60 minutes? Maybe you want to improve your speed, power or mental strength? We’ve got advice from players and experts working at top clubs so you can map out your pre-season blueprint.
Staying fit on the beach
Jack Rodwell: Get back into top gear
Thiago Silva: Get up to speed for matchday
Prepare your body for pre-season
Beach fitness
Swimming pool workout


More after the break

It doesn’t matter how hard you train during pre-season, you can’t out-train a bad diet. We’ve spoken to a host of experts who have told us exactly what you need to eat to fuel yourself before and after training, lose body fat and gain muscle. All you need to do is click on the links below and find the nutrition tips that suit your goals.

How to change your diet for the off-season
Eat for the off-season
Pre-season: Eat like a pro
How to fuel your pre-season
Power your pre-season

Pre-season is hard work, which means you need to stay hydrated to train at your maximum. Even a one per cent reduction in hydration can affect your physical and technical performance (of course you knew that already), so take the time to have a read of our hydration articles to see how much you need to be drinking.

The do’s and don’ts of hydration
Hydration is key
Five ways to play flowing football
Sports drinks: The facts
Post-match recovery starts here

If you want to run further and faster next term, you need to put in the hard yards during pre-season. We’ve got short sharp sessions devised by Premier League and Football League players and sports scientists to improve your stamina and speed so you start next term fitter than you’ve ever been before.

Essential pre-season training
Pre-season training plan
Danny Welbeck: Regain sharpness during pre-season
Get ahead in pre-season
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: Maximise your pre-season training

Strength and conditioning

If you want to build muscle you need to hit the gym. But before you start lifting weights it’s important you know what you’re doing, so we’ve put together a series of workouts to suit every goal. If you want to improve strength, muscular endurance, power, core strength, flexibility or anything else, you’ll find some of our favourite content below.

The ultimate workout for football
Manchester United match fitness
Boost your shooting power
Leap like a salmon
Get your kettle on
Power up your pistons to roar past opponents

It’s all well and good getting fit and strong, but if you don’t touch a football during pre-season then you’ll have a touch like a trampoline by the time you play your first game. To make sure your first touch, passing, shooting and dribbling are on point, sift through our library of training drills designed to hone your skills and get you fit at the same time.

Master your control
How to improve shooting accuracy
How to hit pin-point passes 
Play like Spain: Master the 1v1
Play like Spain: Make the killer pass
Master technique: Speed with the ball

It’s important to use pre-season to refresh your mind and set new goals. We’ve spoken to a host of sports psychologists, coaches and current and former players to get advice on everything from building mental strength, keeping your emotions in check on the pitch and adapting to new personalities in the dressing room.
Get focused for pre-season
Pre-season: Mind over matter
Pre-season: essential objectives
The pre-season survival guide
Off-season mind gym

When the hard work is done, it’s important to rest and let your body repair itself ahead your next session. If you don’t, it’ll take you longer to recover and you’ll also increase your risk of picking up an injury. We’ve got tips on getting a good night’s sleep, nutrition, ice baths, stretching, low intensity exercise and much more.

Get a good night’s sleep
Fruit for recovery
How to avoid injury during pre-season
Adam Lallana: Rest recuperate and re-energise
Stay supple this summer

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