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"Success on the Pitch" Part 2

As we learned in: Success on the Pitch Part 1 one of the areas we need to target in soccer is general conditioning. The approaches of general conditioning in sport are lagging far behind skill development and often, even at very high ranking clubs, general conditioning is remarkably poor.

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Why? There is multitude of reasons why but typically the issues is centered with the lack of direct playing knowledge and/or ability on the pitch by ‘conditioning coaches’. This is a result of limited educational services and of course commercialism. 

Whether it you refer to it as Soccer, Football, Futebol, Fútbol, Fußball, Voetbal, Calcio or in any other language, you can be sure of one thing “The Renegade Training” protocols, as developed by John Davies are a cornerstone in training circles internationally when it comes to the Beautiful Game.

His work is seen from junior development programs to the highest levels in Europe and South America. He builds champions, and more importantly demands honor and principles from all his athletes and coaches. For this reason, and others of course, is why I chose to mentor under Coach Davies and why many of his ‘principles’ are published in my articles. Let’s get to Soccer Training… 

"From beginning to end, training for the pitch is an exhausting measure and not like any other major team sport. All team members require exceptional skill and physical demands. The intricacies of the sport skill beyond extraordinary. It is near impossible to explain and appreciate unless you are dedicated to the sport as player, fan and of-course coach."– John Davies, Author of The Beautiful Game, founder Renegade Training International 

The failure of the ‘strength and conditioning’ industry in regards to soccer is a robotic, almost algebraic solution, in attempting to prepare an athlete for the pitch through summation of improved physical traits. Testing day accomplishments, will NOT result in a better player and in FACT interfere with the technical, tactical and artistry of the game.

“Football is unique sport where its artistry is timeless and the ‘language’ of the beautiful game is without borders. Whether you are reminiscing of luminaries, Pelé, Eusébio, Diego Maradona or Roberto Baggio or the present day enganche mastermind Juan Román Riquelme, their abilities will resonate in every era but equally come from a developmental system that understood how preparation must directly target production on the pitch. This is important to understand given the amount of time that is often wasted within areas of little consequence and merely satisfies ‘exercise tests’. However along with the building of tactical genius and sporting skills, there equally must be sufficient time focused upon building explosive power, extraordinary fitness levels, pace and the ability to resist injury through exhausting season. Each of these ideas must be married at all times but once again, within the framework of knowing the finite subtle skills of sport.

This duality of coaching goals is unique as no other team sport needs to intricate weave technical, tactical and performance conditioning work as tightly as football.”

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The cornerstone of John Davies theories on sport conditioning are governed by seven concepts, hereby referred to as the ‘Renegade Concepts of Training™’:

Movements trained, not musculature

Efficiencies of movement reinforced

Motor patterning and grafting of movement

Postural alignment is emphasised and perfected

Stabilisation in the most destabilized training environments

Adopt chaotic, rapidly changing conditions within daily training environments.

Force developed such that it can be projected, accepted and redirected at maximal levels


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These ‘concepts’ work in conjunction with our ‘Wheel of Conditioning™’ from which your trainingprogram will be divide each spoke into blocks: 

Sport Skill

Range of Motion, Static

Range of Motion, Dynamic


Linear Speed


Work Threshold

Note at the hub of this ‘Wheel’ is Drive, Determination and Dedication. In other words if you don’t possess a love for the game, stop reading and move along.

Each spoke upon the “Wheel of Conditioning™” must be tempered with coaching leadership that possesses an extreme knowledge of each area of concern including sport specific skill. This includes tactical development and ensuring it is implemented within the training regime.

It is vital that a player learns that soccer is not a juggling contest or an endless series of set-pieces and crossovers no matter how many videos or blogs promote such. 

Of tactical knowledge development, this is tremendously important to understand as work off the pitch, well outside of the gymnasium, will stress development of problem solving skills that require mathematical functioning and creativity.

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Within much of the soccer ranks, looking from the higher levels of professional sport down to the academy programs, the greatest direct physical problems are within the following areas:

Range of motion development

The lack of training that emphasises the ability to maintain proper postural alignment under duress

Recovery from exhausting training and playing schedule.

These four major concerns, while are detailed in much greater length in other Right Coast Pro articles, are greatly limited with the correct daily use of RED2, DMC™, Hurdle mobility drills, STS™ and tumbling.

‘GENERAL’ Training Sample Routine
Please note: ensure you make use of a weight you can ‘manage’ and not one that ‘manages you’. Be patient and learn how to execute the movements correctly first. This is merely an introductory routine of GENERAL training but crucial for each user to be PATIENT and perform correctly.


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Hurdle mobility drills, #4 & #5

Tumbling (somersaults, tripod to stand, spider lunge x 10 each)

Four sets of thirty-seconds each of the following movements, continuous motion, for eight minutes total duration
• Jumping jacks
• Shuffle splits
• Vertical hopping
• Slalom (side to side) jumping

Renegade Sprint Sequence A (Please note the following sprint section would be normally found in 'recovery training' day but given this is many readers first experience with my volume of work it is likely best to start with something more manageable.

o 100. x 3, (*)
o 100., 100 x 2, 100, (*)
o 100. x 2, 100, 100 x 2, (*)
o 100., 100 x 2, 100 (*)
o 100. x 3 (*)

* accelerate to 75%, walk 20 between intervals - 90 sec rest between repeat

Bounding 20 yards / metres, jog back to start and repeat 5 times each

Flutter kicks

Forward bound

Backward Bound

Medicine Ball Routine A and B (medium weight): 10 throws each

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Resistance training is broken into three basic complexes (1, 2 and 3), performed for sixty total seconds. Perform the first part of the complex for thirty seconds before moving to the second to complete the set. Once completed ‘complex one’, rest sixty seconds and move to ‘complex two’ and then ‘complex three’. Repeat six total circuits.

1a) Dumbbell Split Snatch
1b) Medicine Ball Wood Chopper with Jump

2a) Squat (medium stance, heels elevated)
2b) Russian Split

3a) Dumbbell Deadlift (heels elevated)
3b) Medicine Ball Scoop Throw Forward (height and distance)

Pull-Ups 3 x 12



Static Range of Motion – ‘Pink’

For a more definitive look into soccer and player development it is recommended that you purchase the ‘Beautiful Game I, II & III series of books written by John Davies ”

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Want more? Visit "The John Davies Collection" home page for a comprehensive list of articles and blogs.

Also be sure to say "Hello" on Twitter @renegadestyle and @rightcoastprojj

This Article has been re-published by Right Coast Pro with full permission, because that is how business should be done.

The Usual Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RightCoastPro, or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. RightCoastPro is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article.

The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. The information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.

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