The benefits of position specific training

Position specific individual training is key to challenge, support and develop players. As we learn from all sports, marginal gains are key at the elite level and giving our players the best chance to be successful by preparing them for the game is vital.

by Treiner

Posted 3 years ago

The benefits of position specific training

Players are always looking for ways to increase their output on gameday, as the game of football continuously evolves and improves. Whilst many individuals focus on their abilities with the ball, it’s what players do without the ball that can elicit some of the most striking performances. Focusing on position-specific training is known as one of the most beneficial ways to improve an individual’s capabilities within a specific role, as the ability to challenge, develop and support players is vital in preparing them for matchday.

Allowing players to focus on their specific position played on the pitch is incredibly important for a coach to identify their strengths and weaknesses, in order for sessions to be adjusted and tailored towards players needs so that developments are seen.

Professional clubs and national teams are now beginning to lean on the assistance of specialist coaches to help improve several aspects of their players games. One of the pillars of Liverpool’s 2019/20 EPL title was Thomas Grønnemark, a throw-in coach who had been identified by Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp to assist in their throw-in skills. This was due to their poor taking of throw-ins from the previous season, as an inability to keep possession from this was seen. Grønnemark managed to improve Liverpool’s success rate from 45.4% to 68.4%, highlighting his effectiveness in teaching the proper techniques required for precise throw-ins. His assistance has been demonstrated as significant in Liverpool achieving Champions League and Premier League glory (Steenbach 2020).

The England National Team even hired a specialist attacking coach, which was designed to increase the knowledge and understanding of strikers and attacking players with regards to awareness, movement and timing of runs. This encapsulates the theory around position specific training as players need to develop a well rounded game, with every aspect of an individual’s abilities influencing their performance (Fifield 2018).

One of the main benefits of position specific training is teaching players where to position themselves when on the counter and when having to help out defensively. This includes being with or without possession of the ball, as it’s crucial that players are in the best position they can be when attacking or defending. Player’s roles can also be expanded to greater outputs, such as attacking higher like a centre-attacking midfielder or defending deeper like a centre-defensive midfielder. This is designed to assist players in becoming better players overall, developing various skills that will improve their performances and be noticed on the pitch.

Although impossible to predict what occurs on gameday, coaches are beginning to analyse patterns of players movements in order to implement drills which replicate similar situations. This can involve 1 on 1 scenarios where a coach will train elements and movements relating to gameday situations, whilst gradually building up pressure aspects. This is designed for players to adopt these approaches to team training and on matchday, so they can put into practice what they have learned.


Some coaches may not believe these elements can be transferred. However, they are able to as professional players exercise these areas in order for ball control to be an instinctive component of their game, which allows their head to stay upright and their focus on the opposition ahead.

Coaches are now also beginning to train players across different team roles such as attackers and defenders as recent studies have advocated for this. Laakso et al. (2019) suggests that the manipulation of different team positions on the pitch should be practiced in training, as defenders have the capabilities to attack and dribble past the opposition. However, currently defenders are more prone to passing the ball to a second attacker as they don’t trust their own abilities with the ball. This is why it is incredibly important that coaches focus on training every aspect of a players game, so they are able to play different positions on gameday, rather than being confined to one specific role.

Treiner’s position-specific training can be tailored to an individual’s needs, with coaches very flexible about the training conducted. Make sure you provide your coach with constant feedback, so they can tweak your session towards a cognitively engaging experience. This is essential, as players maintaining their attention and motivation is crucial for improvements to ensue.

Coaches on the platform specialise in various training types and positions, so even if you are a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or attacker, we have the coach for you!

To learn how Treiner compares with respect to other booking softwares for football programs, please visit our blog- A comparison of booking software for Football Camps and Programs

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Laakso, T, Davids, K, Liukkonen, J & Travasso B 2019, ‘Interpersonal dynamics in 2-vs-1 contexts of football: the effects of field location and player roles’, Movement Science and Sport Psychology, 10, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01407

Steenbach, K 2020, ‘I work on the long, fast and clever: meet Liverpool’s throw-in coach’, The Guardian, 23 September, p.127

Fifield, D 2018, ‘Strikers’ coach Allan Russell takes the long route to Russia with England’, The Guardian, 14 June, p.11