Sweden has hosted a UEFA Fitness for Football seminar at the Bosön - Centre for Sports and Development near Stockholm, attended by coaches, coach educators, technical directors, fitness coaches and medical experts from seven European associations – Cyprus, France, Greece, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The agenda for the four-day seminar hosted by the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) – and held under the auspices of UEFA's Study Group Scheme (SGS) programme centering on pan-European technical exchanges – featured discussions, presentations, interactive forums and practical sessions related to the topic of football-specific fitness training to help footballers produce maximum performance and prevent injury.
Following feedback given by its member associations, UEFA has been staging a number of seminars across Europe under the "Fitness for Football" theme as part of a general drive to raise awareness and increase knowledge about fitness training specific to football. Invited associations exchange expertise and knowledge on the topic at each seminar.
UEFA's football-specific message within the Fitness for Football programme is that football training is not just limited to developing skills; players must also stay fit to be able to display these skills. Thus, football-specific fitness training must be an essential part of the players' training programme. Consequently, the relationship between the coaches, coach educators, fitness experts and medical staff is reinforced.
The agenda included, among other things, a detailed analysis of UEFA's Fitness for Football philosophy, such as how players can be kept fit for action, the demands of the top-level game, speed development, planning and preparation of training and the measuring of training load. In addition to a variety of guest speakers from UEFA and the host association, the visiting associations were also able to put across their points of view and explain their own activities in this specific area.
Positive views from the seminar:
"We have tried to put together a programme which reflects the modern approach to fitness in football today. The theme of fitness in football is of vital importance to develop players individually, as well as teams and coaches, to increase competitiveness for the future. It is learning for everybody and it also gave us an opportunity to show our European colleagues what we are doing in Sweden in this field."
Per Widén, technical director, and Urban Hammar, head of coach education, Swedish Football Association (SvFF)