Dominate the Pitch: Football Endurance Training Tips

Endurance training plays a vital role for professional football players, as developing endurance and improving the aerobic system allows players to use their bodies at maximum effort for extended periods. With football-specific endurance training, players can build stamina, avoid fatigue, increase focus and decrease the risk of injury, impacting their ability to dribble and sprint and contribute to their team's success on the pitch.

Football is a very physically and mentally demanding sport. As a footballer, the more endurance you have, the more you can push yourself to maintain high-performance levels throughout a match. This means you'll be able to keep up with the game's pace, execute precise movements, and make those crucial plays when it matters most, even during the final minutes of a football match. 

Increased endurance has many benefits because it enhances your physical capabilities and strengthens your mental resilience, allowing you to stay focused and sharp even under pressure and for 90 minutes of the game. In this post, we will go over some helpful tips to help you build stamina and become a better footballer. 


Which Football Position Requires the Most Stamina?

Although every position in football requires a huge amount of strength, speed, and stamina, especially at the highest levels, some positions require more endurance than others. For example, the full backs are some of the players that need the most stamina. 

As a full back, players constantly run up and down the length of the field to defend and attack, making this one of the positions that runs the most and needs the most stamina. Also, the central midfielders, who are in charge of connecting the defense and attack, are usually the players who will run the most during a single game since they have more freedom to roam around the field than other positions. 


Training Methods to Improve Stamina as a Footballer

High stamina and energy levels are important for any footballer looking to perform at their best on the field. To develop your stamina, it is very important to focus on improving your deceleration, acceleration, and change of direction, increasing your sprinting speed, and using light activity for recovery, as opposed to no activity. 

Here are some of the best endurance exercises, workouts, and drills to perform to improve your stamina on the football pitch. 


Play the Game 

The most obvious way for football players to build endurance is to play the game as much as possible. This ensures that you are developing football-specific stamina, which requires not only physical endurance but also mental endurance, as the game involves running around, making decisions, and using critical thinking skills. The absolute best way to improve your football-specific endurance is to use the game itself as training. 


Play Variations of the Game

Another great way to improve your football-specific endurance is to play other game variations as much as possible. For example, when you do not train with your team or get to play a full-sided game, it can be beneficial to play variations such as futsal, small-sided games, or beach soccer. This ensures that you will be getting the cardio needed for football, but it also puts you in game-like scenarios, which will help build your mental endurance. 


Cross Training

Cross-training, which refers to playing other sports, is another excellent way for footballers to improve their endurance. On days off, players can participate in different sports, such as basketball, tennis, boxing, or swimming, to enhance their cardiovascular endurance and familiarize themselves with other movements that don't typically happen in a football match. This can improve overall athleticism and indirectly improve football skills and endurance. 


High-intensity sprints 

High intensity sprints are a basic exercise that can be performed consistently to improve football-specific performance. Most players think that to improve soccer endurance you need to go on really long runs, but the game is played with a fast short burst of pace, which is why you have to train how you play the game to be best prepared for it. 

For example, after you are done with your training session, you can do a couple of high-intensity sprints to get even more fitness, or you can even have a day dedicated to high-intensity sprints. If you want to focus more on developing your sprint speed and run faster, as opposed to focusing on endurance, do your sprints before your training sessions so that you can go all out and your legs are not too tired from the on-the-ball work. 


Shuttle Runs 

The next exercise that you can do to improve your endurance, which is almost the same exercise as the last one, are shuttle runs, which can be considered a form of interval training. . Shuttle runs involve short intervals of a high intensity level sprint followed by longer intervals of a low intensity jog or walk. This is very similar to circuit training or Fartlek Training, which involves running at different speeds for a certain amount of time. 

Shuttle runs can be set up in different ways, and you can use two or more cones or no cones at all to set up this drill. The further the cones are apart, and the higher reps you go to, the more you will train your endurance. The closer the cones are apart, and the more you focus on quick changes of direction, you will be working more on your agility. 

For example, one way to perform a variation of a shuttle run is to jog the entire length of the sidelines and sprint the length of the goal line. Doing this counts as one rep and do that for as many reps as you can and try to do more the next time. You can also set cones about 20 yards apart and focus on how many times you can get from cone to cone in a certain amount of time. During a workout or endurance session it is very important to take enough rest and get your heart rate under control. 


Breath Work

Training your breath and learning to control your breathing patterns is also a great way to improve your stamina and aerobic capacity. Your body needs to receive as much oxygen as possible during intense exercise, and how you breathe plays a massive role in oxygen transmission. 

When you are exercising, you want to breathe in and out of your nose as much as possible. This is known as nasal breathing and has a much more powerful effect than mouth breathing. 

Proper breathing not only helps improve stamina, but it can also help you recover quicker from intense exercise. In addition, proper breathing can help you remain calm and tolerate stress better, which can assist you in playing with more confidence on the pitch. 


Other Important Factors that Affect Stamina

When it comes to endurance training, we already mentioned how important it is to train your physical endurance. However, it is also important to recognize that other aspects of your life affect stamina, and these also have to be taken into account. 



A strong mentality is crucial for sustaining performance levels on the field as it allows players to overcome challenges and maintain focus even under pressure. As a footballer, developing a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset is essential. Try out some mental training exercises such as positive self-talk and meditation to help you better handle stress. 



Proper sleep and rest are essential for optimal recovery and energy replenishment. It allows players to perform at their best during intense training sessions and matches. Footballers should get 7-8 hours of high-quality sleep to wake up energized and ready for the day. 


Proper Nutrition and Hydration 

Arguably just as important as sleep, is of course fueling the body with nutritious foods and staying hydrated which will provide players with the energy and hydration necessary for higher fitness levels and preventing fatigue. 


If you're looking for an advantage on match day, take a look at our match day bundles of football grip socks and sock tape below; to keep you going throughout the season!

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