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Thread: Thoughts on Charlie Francis and soccer

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Charlie Francis and soccer

    Recently Charlie francis said this:

    1: That there is NO Special Endurance in Soccer- just short bursts and plenty of aerobic fitness.
    2: Middle ground, non-specific work interferes with the ability to carry out high quality speed work and low speed aerobic work.
    3: Lactic capacity is obtained through the Special Endurance itself.

    I've seen the damage done by programs filled with intermediate non-specific lactate work. I've seen the proof, base on Omega wave research and, in Vancouver we were shown that the damage to long-term aerobic capacity is permanent.

    BY his above comments is he suggesting to only to Tempo work of say 75% max Speed. and then only speed work, with no work of say 20-25 seconds efforts over 150 yards.

    Just want to get everyones thoughts on what they think of his comments if you all would do middle ground work etc.

    "No special endurance" yet "Lactic capacity is obtained through the Special Endurance itself." Brilliance or contradiction? Let's see.......

    A couple of thoughts because I am trigger happy and I will return with a little intelligence:

    1) I would rather go to coaches who have a history of working with soccer teams for information on soccer conditioning.
    2) Since most coaches suggest special endurance for every sport (anyone heard of the word science) I say someone mentioning "no special endurance" is going for shock value; look-at-me type of value.
    3) I will not under any current circumstances cease running shuttles of 20 seconds or more. By the way, we do more than one drill.
    4) While lactate training is certainly an objective, running with 100% effort and 100% speed is about summoning effiort under fatigued conditions. This also lets the athlete know his limitations as in "I can pick it up NOW!"
    5) Speed work is different than effort work.
    6) No middle ground work in a match; no middle ground work in training.
    7) Keep working on the catch thing, Carl.
    Bob Alejo


    The conept of SE in soccer has been completely bastardised and abused to death, and I think the use of the CFTS template makes a little more sense than flogging guys to death with shuttles and endurnace 400's.

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    Charlie SE is used in Soccer by definition - so how is it catered for by your training?

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    Let's deal with Bob Alejo's comments one by one.
    1: He prefers to go with the status quo because anyone who points out a contradiction must be shouting "Look at me!"
    I am (as you might imagine!) at a disadvantage in discussing who I work with and in what sport. Alejo is free to take credit for Gail Devers (Bobby Kersee might want to have a word with him on that one) and Kevin Young (ditto for John Smith)
    2: He refers to "science" to explain why "everyone" uses Special Endurance whether the circumstances call for it or not. I made the obvious point (to most everyone else) that the soccer prep time is very short relative to the season and therefore must concentrate on speed and power, while maintaining aerobic condition. Any special endurance needs that ARE in the game will be well served by game play over the very long season and will not be lost in the short off-season.
    3: He will not under any circumstances cease to do 100% runs of 20sec or more despite what one can easily see by reviewing game tapes following individual players.
    I think it's pretty obvious that he has no intention of changing anything!
    5: Speed work is different from effort work. No shit! AND they are mutually exclusive. Now the question is: Why impair speed in the off-season?
    4:Which brings us back to Special endurance work during the only opportunity during the whole year to expand speed reserve. (No need to explain the value of speed reserve to this forum and no point trying to explain it to Alejo)
    6: His valid observation here contradicts all the rest of his rant.

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    The biggest problem I have seen with soccer players is that none of the ones I have worked with other than premiership level are very fit.

    I have a girl who plays soccer and she kills her opposition on the field. She lacks skill but can run up and down and up and down all game. She can only run 12.0, 24.8 and 55s but she is light years ahead of the other players on her team many of whome are on one of the best teams in europe. If they had her level of conditioning they would be significantly better. Problem is she has all year to do track and then plays soccer for fun on the university team, whereas they don't have the luxury and just play games for the three or whatever it is teams they play for on a regular basis.

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    I've seen the damage done by programs filled with intermediate non-specific lactate work. I've seen the proof, base on Omega wave research and, in Vancouver we were shown that the damage to long-term aerobic capacity is permanent.
    Can someone expand on what this research was?

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    Administrator Charlie Francis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopCat
    The biggest problem I have seen with soccer players is that none of the ones I have worked with other than premiership level are very fit.

    I have a girl who plays soccer and she kills her opposition on the field. She lacks skill but can run up and down and up and down all game. She can only run 12.0, 24.8 and 55s but she is light years ahead of the other players on her team many of whome are on one of the best teams in europe. If they had her level of conditioning they would be significantly better. Problem is she has all year to do track and then plays soccer for fun on the university team, whereas they don't have the luxury and just play games for the three or whatever it is teams they play for on a regular basis.
    I'm talking about professional teams with many games and long seasons.

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    Administrator Charlie Francis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopCat
    Can someone expand on what this research was?
    The heart wall thickens prematurely, limiting stroke vol for the future

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    While lactate training is certainly an objective, running with 100% effort and 100% speed is about summoning effiort under fatigued conditions. This also lets the athlete know his limitations as in "I can pick it up NOW!"
    This is a good point. The real "power" of lactic work is building mental toughness. 400m runners are some of the toughests pain merchants around.

    However, you can also build mental toughness other ways. Try 15min continuous abb circuits or 45min med ball work, none of which produce much lactic but all of which build "character". Furthermore, the confience of knowing you can outrun any player on the field if you really have to is a nice bonus that comes with being competant at sprinting.

    The entire point of high/low training. Nobody suggested it was easy work!
    The reverse is also true. Because of actual demands of soccer, the transfer to track is often successful. For example Pavoni finishing second in the 100m at the European champs the first year he left soccer as a junior. BUT he had a brutal time adjusting to the SE demands from his training with Mennea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Francis
    I'm talking about professional teams with many games and long seasons.
    Sorry my post is perhaps confusing. These girls play professionally (at least they did until the finances were pulled and now they are semi pro again). My girl plays on the same team as them at Uni for the championships but does track the rest of the year. Because she doesn't train her skills she has more time left to get conditioned and as a result can kick thier ass conditioning wise on the field. They use her as a rabbit to just run after the ball and pressurise people on the other team. 80% of the rest of the team play for 3 teams (international, national team, university/academy) and all have much lower conditioning but higher levels of skill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Francis
    The heart wall thickens prematurely, limiting stroke vol for the future
    What was the evidence? Xray or MRI or something? I thought it was something to do with omegawave?

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