Behind all great soccer players is the basic requirement of fitness and conditioning. Take away the ability for a player to complete for the full duration of the game due to fitness problems and you will have a weaker team and decrease your chances of winning. This may seem pretty obvious, but unless you start with a solid base for fitness all of the other technique and skills cannot be put fully into play during the match.

There are 3 key areas to any training and fitness program.  These steps are for basic fitness training and apply to many different sports that are cardio based. Check

The Warm up.
Make sure you start every training session with a good solid warm-up.  Start off slow by walking and then light jogging.  You are starting to get your muscle warmed up and blood pumping.  Jog for at least 5 minutes before moving on to some gentle stretches.  Stretch all major areas for 5 to 10 minutes or until you feel loose and relaxed.

The core training and fitness conditioning happens while running.  Depending on your current fitness level will dictate how much and types of running you perform.  You should be expecting to run at least 30 minutes per training session.

The type of running is also very important. Start off with the standard jog at a cruise type pace. Once you feel fully warmed up then start to vary the pace of your running.  You may have heard of Fartlek training or speed training, each provides different levels of intensity but the approach is very similar. You mix up your running by different speeds, so for example you sprint hard for 20 seconds, then jog for 1 minute, then sprint again, run at 75% speed and then walk before repeating the cycle.

As you get in better condition you can let your body dictate the duration and type of running. You are in essence replicating the type of running you will do on the soccer pitch. The game involves lots of sprinting, running and some walking.

The Warm down and stretches
After you have completed your main running and training you can start to warm down by doing a slow jog and then into a walk. You goal is to gradually reduce your heart rate down.  You should plan to warm down for at least 5 minutes before moving into 10 minutes of stretching.