Run harder, react quicker

Build lasting stamina with a ball at your feet with this drill from the Nike Academy's performance director, Jon Goodman

Pre-season training usually means one thing - running and lots of it. Cue a wave of moans, groans and little white lies from the players.

It's amazing how many are suddenly struck down with a debilitating injury as they're told to run laps of the pitch.

More after the break

But as soon as a ball is introduced they miraculously recover from their career threatening aliments and start chasing the beloved sphere like an over excited puppy. Funny that, hey?

Related article: Improve your speed, stamina and strength

But it doesn't have to be like this. With the help of the Nike Academy's performance director, Jon Goodman, FFT has a set of drills for the off-season designed to boost endurance, quicken reaction speed and improve technique.
"Introducing a ball to a drill is more stimulating for the players and maybe perceptually they don't think they're running any more than usual. Just because a ball is introduced it doesn't mean this drill isn't working their fitness levels," Goodman told FFT.

Related article: Energise your endurance

"When it's just purely me shouting a number the players can have a negative reaction, but as soon as the ball is introduced they will chase it all day long. They're still running, we still want the physical intensity out of it and we still want the physical outcomes from it."

So stop moaning and getting running, this is going to be fun - we promise.

You can find out more about how you can get involved with the Nike Academy, and watch the players’ progress this season, by visiting facebook and

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