Soccer also necessitates agility, fitness, and endurance. As a result, whether you are a veteran or a rookie in soccer, fatigue may occur on the field of play. If not managed or prevented properly, performance quality in the field will suffer.
It is therefore recommended that soccer players concentrate on tactics, moves, and recommendations that will allow them to fulfill their obligations on the field of play accurately. This article discusses the various moves and aspects of the soccer game that tires the body. Techniques and actions that encourage a player not to tire during a soccer game are also extensively discussed.
Why do I get tired easily when playing soccer?
One of the major reasons for this is due to oxygen deficiency. When the body is put through intense activity strain, and breathing does not commensurate with the level of stress being taken, the body gets tired.
Throughout the length of a soccer game, players can be seen performing low-intensity activities such as walking, jogging, and standing.
Aside from these, high-intensity actions such as tackles, short and long sprints, sprints with sharp turns, and jumps are used to maintain possession and secure victory. For this reason, players quickly tire out.
To better understand why soccer players get tired during a game, scientists divide fatigue into two categories: temporary and general fatigue.
During instances of intense physical work on the pitch, players are much easily susceptible to fatigue. In a soccer game, for example, during a sprint that may last a few meters, the player begins to decelerate in the final few seconds of the run due to fatigue.
To overcome this fatigue, the player observes a relatively quiet period, after which the work resumes.
However, it is generally accepted that the cause of temporary fatigue, which occurs during short, intense periods of the game, is due to the accumulation of by-products from anaerobic energy production.
General fatigue is usually noticeable near the end of a soccer game when players are struggling to recover. The cause of this type of fatigue is thought to be a lack of glycogen as the game progresses. However, even when players become tired, there is still enough glycogen in their muscles.
Scientists went on to discover that it is not equal between different muscle fibers. Some were found to be full of glycogen, while others were found to be deficient or completely devoid of it.
To support the theory that glycogen deficiency is the cause of general fatigue in soccer players, and by extension all active athletes, it was discovered that players with glycogen deficiency before the game were significantly more vulnerable to fatigue in the second half than players whose muscles were fully loaded.
Although the causes of both types of fatigue differ, there are many similarities between them. While temporary fatigue is influenced by the previous workload and depends on initial conditions such as work done at the start, general fatigue is influenced by the intensity of workload throughout a game as well as the number of temporary fatigues within the game.
Another reason often overlooked is mental strength. Sometimes the body may not be physically tired but the mind is exhausted. A good example of this is when physically fit players struggle to participate in the game. With the mind and body connection, if players are not mentally sharp for a game, it can manifest itself as general tiredness.
How to not get tired during a soccer game?
You don’t want to be on the losing team, barely making it through the game due to exhaustion. You despise those disgraceful touches that could have prevented the opposition’s late-game goal. Certainly, you want to be proud of your performance as a player on the field of play.
However, with fatigue, this cannot be the case, and thus the need for it to be eliminated. The following are some suggestions and methods for avoiding fatigue during soccer games.
Hydration before and during the game is one of the best ways to avoid becoming tired while playing soccer. The ability to focus on a task while out in the field is directly related to hydration. Injuries to muscles are also greatly reduced when adequate fluid is channeled into the body at appropriate times of need.
Fluid replacement for soccer players on the field should be commensurate to exercise intensity, heat, and individual physiological and positional demands. This is because when the body’s parts are vigorously exerted, electrolytes are lost, and there is a risk of dehydration.
For example, it has been demonstrated that even a 2% loss in body weight in the form of fluids reduces exercise performance, and a 5% loss can reduce one’s work capacity on the pitch by 30%.
Furthermore, as physical exertion increases, the internal temperature rises, and the body loses heat as water via evaporation at the skin’s surface. One advantage of this process is that it allows body temperatures to be maintained.
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It is recommended that soccer players drink beverages at the end of play at halftime. Nonetheless, this should be consumed throughout the game because, according to research, the body loses about 1.5 liters to 3.5 liters of fluid through sweat during a soccer game. Furthermore, because many soccer players train twice a day, these high sweat losses must be replaced on a routine basis.
It has been discovered that by adding carbohydrates to beverages and drinking them before heading to the field, players feel less fatigued even after high-intensity work.
Too much hydration could cause discomfort during gameplay. Players may need to visit the restroom or try to hold it in. This not only poses health risks, the discomfort will also affect player performance.
A good example was in a La Liga game in 2018 between Eibar and Real Madrid. Sergio Ramos would, in the 73rd minute, plead with referee Jose Luis Munuera Montero to allow for a quick dash into the dressing room for an emergency toilet break. When nature calls, we as its humble children just have to submit.
While there are benefits to drinking fluids before a game, it also causes issues for the players. Salts required to prevent cramps are depleted in the body system when too much water is consumed. Besides, during soccer matches, important elements such as salts are lost along with water.
A typical day’s sweat loss is 10 to 15 grams of salt, though some players lose very little even at high sweat rates. Having carbohydrates in the fluids can prevent what it was meant to fix, which was to prevent dehydration.
Soccer players are advised to regulate the number of carbohydrates included in such fluids to maintain a balance of carbohydrates intake and, as a result, adequately prevent dehydration and improve performance.
When the exercise intensity is fairly low but a fluid loss is higher during the hot season, the amount of carbohydrate should be reduced, whereas a greater ratio is more suitable during the cold season.
Practice breathing exercises
Controlling fatigue on the field of play necessitates endurance training. Consider breathing during a game as one way to practice this.
By practicing strategic breathing during games, the body can take in enough oxygen as needed. The body requires this oxygen to be converted into energy, allowing it to do work and avoid fatigue.
One fact that players should be aware of is that when play activity is higher than the rate of breathing, the more their bodies become deficient in oxygen; resulting in tiredness.
To address this, you will need to engage in some cardiovascular endurance training to increase your body’s breathing capacity.
Maintain a regular breathing pattern and stick to this technique. Typically, there is an intake of air into the lungs, followed by a holding of the breath for about eight seconds before slowly releasing it. Repeating the process four times in a row ensures that your breathing capacity gradually increases.
Aside from practicing the breathing technique, it is recommended to engage in other exercises that improve endurance, such as cardio exercises, regularly. This is because cardio workouts increase your body’s oxygen intake.
Soccer players are advised to regularly breathe with the mouth rather than the nose while running. This is done so that more oxygen enters the body because the mouth is broader than the nose and draws in more air.
With proper breathing exercises, soccer players can improve blood circulation and maintain a healthy heartbeat rate as they move around the pitch. It also serves to relax the body from impending fatigue. Learning proper breathing exercises becomes useful on the pitch to calm the nerves, reduce stress and muscle tension, and invariably increase focus and concentration.
Although practicing breathing exercises is a great way to relieve fatigue, it is not without its drawbacks. Implementing breathing techniques while directly involved in the game will undoubtedly take your focus away from the game.
Aside from that, consistent endurance training may result in injury. Muscle mass loss can also occur if there aren’t enough calories to prevent energy from being drawn from muscle tissue.
Consume the appropriate diet as and when required
Everyone on the planet, including soccer players, requires proper nutrition. It is claimed that the food consumed by a player influences fatigue. Aside from watching what one eats, it is advised to take walks after meals, preferably twenty-five minutes after the meal.
Meals should also be consumed two to three times before going to bed at night. These should be consumed with hot water to improve digestion and metabolism, both of which contribute to increased stamina on the field.
Foods consumed can have an impact on fatigue. As a result, to stay active throughout the game, the player must avoid certain foods.
He or she is also expected to eat fat-rich foods such as dark chocolate and flax seeds regularly. This should be taken in small doses, possibly as part of a 5-meal routine, to aid in metabolism.
As stated earlier in the article, soccer players lose a significant amount of salts such as sodium in sweat as a result of the high-intensity performance they exert on the field.
Since it is a common fact that sodium deficiency causes dizziness and lightheadedness, meals must include it in adequate amounts. While it is best to avoid energy drinks because they contain sugar, eating foods with a low carbohydrate content is also recommended.
While proper nutrition is beneficial in combating fatigue, it does have some drawbacks. Players who follow a strict diet would almost certainly be unable to eat whatever they wanted.
Warm-up and practice psychological endurance regularly
Warming up before any match, combined with psychological endurance, is another method used by soccer players to eliminate tiredness. Such endurance does not imply physical strength, but rather accessing your mental capability. It has to do with focusing on the game and growing into it in the best way possible.
Fatigue would be greatly reduced if your mind was focused on the game. It teaches players how to tune out noise and chants from opposition fans and supporters.
Also, by having a few minutes of warm-up before matches, your mind will be focused on the game from the start. Furthermore, with such a warm-up, your body will be adequately prepared for the game, increasing productivity.
Psychological endurance is effective against fatigue to a certain extent, but it does not eliminate it. It is also ineffective during high-intensity encounters because the muscle’s effectiveness will eventually wear out.
Similarly, warm-ups are ineffective because they only aid in getting the muscles to build-up to the game rather than sustaining it to a high degree.
Also regarded as endurance exercises, cardio exercises are any type of activity that uses aerobic metabolism. This is using oxygen to produce energy. For any exercise to be considered as cardio, it must raise the heart rate of the individual.
During the game of soccer, players run around the pitch covering distances. As they run, the heart beats faster and they begin to breathe deeply and rapidly. It is important to get enough oxygen in the body to produce energy or the body can shut down.
There have been cases in soccer when players collapsed on the pitch; sometimes resulting in death. A notable example was the collapse of Denmark’s midfielder Christian Eriksen towards the end of the first half in the Euro 2020 Group stage match against Finland.
There are many benefits of engaging in proper cardio exercises. It improves the overall health of the player. These include mental heart, heart health, sleep, body metabolism, mood, and weight.
While the benefits of cardio exercises may outweigh their disadvantages, it’s important to note that unsupervised training could lead to both mental and physical exhaustion.
It can also lead to muscle mass loss if not balanced with a good diet. Players are prone to injuries from overtraining.
Every soccer player wishes to improve their game skills and effectiveness to gain recognition and influence. While this is excellent for their career, the only way they will be able to achieve them is by properly understanding their body and working to have it in the right condition in preparation for when it is required.
During soccer games, particularly high-intensity ones, players must remain responsive and efficient throughout the game without tiring. To be able to achieve this, the article highlighted some efficient ways to keep the mind and body always on alert during gameplay.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!