Dennerby warns against focus on fitness training

National team coach Thomas Dennerby warns against drawing the wrong conslusions from the fitness debate that has been in Sweden the last week. Together with his assistant coach Lilie Persson and the U-21 coach Marika Domanski Lyfors he writes a long article at Svensk Fotboll's website, warning against an excessive focus on fitness training.

Our game is football, he writes. The national team's growing success in the 2000's is the result of doubling the number of weekly training sessions since the mid 1990's. Almost all of this has been concentrated on football exercises - ball control, passing, finishing, heading etc. This has been the key to the success for the national team and the national league.

You also need to be in good shape. But fitness training should mostly be carried out in football exercises. He warns those coaching in smaller clubs and youth programmes from being too influenced by the debate on physical fitness: "If you only have 3-4 training sessions a week, you should spend all that time on the football field, not on the running tracks."

The article also warns against superficial comparisions of test results. More players and younger players were tested 2005 than 2003. The Swedish national team doesn't do the same tests as e.g. the US national team, so it's hard to make accurate comparisions.

Svensk Fotboll:
SOK jämför äpplen med päron
Dagens Nyheter: Dennerby slår tillbaka mot SOK-kritik

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