The Physical Demands Of Soccer

Soccer is a complicated sport when it comes to physical demands. As anyone who has played the game knows, you run a ton. However, do you really know the breakdown of an average soccer player's movements during a game?

Here is a breakdown of an average game for an elite player

  • Players cover 7 miles per game, on average. This can differ by about a mile depending on position, with midfielders running the most, and strikers and defenders running less.
  • Take into consideration that 7 miles is not that great of a distance overall. 7 miles in 90 minutes comes out to about 13 minute miles
  • Soccer players spend about 2/3 of the game at low intensities of walking and jogging.
  • However, soccer players sprint about 1400 yards a game in bursts of 10-40 yards, change direction every 5-6 seconds and have an average heart rate of 150-170 beats per minute

The part that stands out about this is the average heart rate. That is really high for 90 minutes. And what these statistics don't show is the physical fighting that goes along with soccer, the intensity of having the ball at your feet and the intensity of defending someone 1v1. Soccer is extremely demanding on the body, especially when you add up all the practices along with the lifting and conditioning sessions. You need to be giving your body the nutrients that it needs. So lets take a look at what a soccer player's diet should look like.