In football, many coaches call themselves football conditioning coaches but on the pitch they are conditioning everything except football. So, their job title does not correspond with their actual role on the pitch. How is this possible? It is a typical symptom of a world without clear references and definitions. Everybody can do and say whatever he wants as there are no references to control actions and to put things in perspective. When players are running around the pitch, they are not conditioning football. They are conditioning running around the pitch. They learn to run more laps and/or quicker laps.
How did fitness get isolated from football?
Football fitness means fitness in the context of football. Consequently, football fitness is trained in football training. In non-football training players will develop non-football fitness. One cannot put it in more simple words than this. This is as clear as one can define things. However, there are still coaches in the football world who suggest that football fitness can be developed in non-football training. This thinking mistake is yet another symptom of a world without clear references and definitions. What is the origin of this problem? How did fitness get isolated from football? Where did it all go wrong?
Football Associations educate coaches in non-football language
Football Associations are responsible for coach education. They offer coaching courses to the coaches in their respective countries. Most of this coach education is taking place in football language. Coaches are educated about tactics by football instructors in football language. They are educated about technique by football experts in football language. But when they are educated about football fitness it becomes a totally different story. Most FA’s hire a non-football fitness coach from outside football to educate the football coaches. As a result, the coaches are educated about fitness in non-football language. The consequence of educating football coaches about fitness in non-football language is that these coaches (unconsciously) develop the perception that fitness is non-football. In other words, fitness is something else than football. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Because if fitness had been an integral part of football, the coaches would have been educated about fitness in football language, right?
Non-football training results in non-football fitness
So, Football Association is primarily responsible for isolating fitness from football. FA’s educate football coaches about fitness in non-football language. As a result, many football coaches develop the fitness of their players in non-football training. Even worse, they hire a non-football coach to deliver this isolated non-football training to develop the fitness of players. But what is really developed in those non-football training sessions? Correct, non-football fitness.
Football fitness in football language
The solution is simple. Football fitness should be defined in football language. Just like all other components of football. As a result, football coaches will be educated about fitness in football language. They will develop the unconscious perception that fitness is an integral part of football. Fitness will be developed in football training. And these football fitness sessions will be delivered by football coaches. Players will develop FOOTBALL fitness instead of non-football fitness.
So, after first addressing this fundamental problem in the football world, the next step is to define football fitness in football language.