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Field hockey fitness training

The fitness demands of field hockey are considerable. Comparable to soccer in terms of field size and style of play, field hockey requires that players must perform continuously for 70 minutes, with just one short (5-10 minute) interval.

During this time they will have to perform numerous sprints, while jogging almost constantly in between these sudden bursts of activity. Players can cover as much as 10 kilometres in a game.

This means that a field hockey training program must incorporate a number of different elements in order to properly prepare players for the game.

The first demand is that you develop good cardiovascular endurance. This means regular sessions of running, biking, swimming, or on the cardio machines in the gym. Given the nature of the game, running is the best option.

In addition, you'll need to develop anaerobic power and anaerobic endurance. This means regular sessions of sprints to build up speed and tolerance to lactic acid. To duplicate the demands of the game, some of these should be from a standing start, some from a running start, and recovery periods should be active - that is, jogging slowly.

Strength is also important - this will aid in rapid acceleration, increased speed, and the ability to make quick changes in direction. Improving upper body strength will allow players to shoot more powerfully and pass more accurately over distance.

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