#Team Behind the Team

The role of the fitness coach

FIFA, 08 Nov 2021


The fitness coach is the person responsible for the physical performance of all the playing personnel at a club. This role is not only about ensuring that each individual player is performing to their full physical capacity, but also about developing a physical performance plan that is fully aligned with the coaching philosophy of the head coach.

Their plan must be geared for the whole football season and not simply the next match, and it needs to take into account the different physical capacities of both the players as individuals and the team as a unit.

There are many variables which affect the day-to-day duties of the fitness coach, and their programme can be hugely impacted by injuries to players, the fixture schedule and any last-minute decisions by the head coach. As a result, two key assets for any fitness coach are flexibility and the ability to be innovative within the remit of the coaching philosophy. These attributes, combined with an acute attention to detail, exceptional organisational skills, dedication to the job and strong communication skills, are pivotal for every successful fitness coach.

With technology and performance analysis now becoming ever more influential within the game, fitness coaches must also have a good understanding of the data available so that they can provide sessions which will help individuals and the team reach their peak for matchdays and avoid unnecessary injuries.

Experts Tony Colbert and Tobias Powalla joined FIFA Training Centre to break down and analyse the role of the fitness coach.

Part 1 - What is the role of the fitness coach?
Part 2 - What kind of relationship does the fitness coach have with the head coach?
Part 3 - How do you prepare the team for matches?
Part 4 - How to be part of the FIFA Fit campaign
Part 5 - The Arsène Wenger fitness revolution at Arsenal
Part 6 - How to prepare a pre-season fitness training plan

We looked to do everything that was related to football, so all of our physical work had to be related to football… and when I say related, I mean meticulously related, so it had to have technique involved in it. Nothing was done that didn’t have an impact on the football game

Tony Colbert on working as Arsène Wenger's fitness coach

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