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Kunle's Soccer

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

It's part three of Fitness Coach Kunle Odetoyinbo's 'Soccer and Science' series and this time he looks at the importance of monitoring heart rates.


Full-backs: 12,700
Centre-backs: 10,550
Midfielders: 13,200
Forwards: 10,600

Of course these figures will vary with tactics, formations (e.g. 4-4-2, 3-5-2, etc.) and individual circumstances, which arise on match day.

The use of heart rate monitoring during matches and training also reveals further the physiological strain imposed on players. During matches average values of approximately 180 to 187 beats per minute are regularly recorded.

As a consequence training can be geared toward target heart rates so as to mimic or stimulate our bodies to cope with match-day requirements.

This allows the intensity of training and match play to be ascertained such that an individuals' profile can be recorded objectively given a set task. Training status and physiological responses can then be used to estimate what is going on in the body of each individual.

The heart rate monitor itself is lightweight instrument, which causes little discomfort to the individual.

We sometimes assume maximum heart rate of any individual to be around 220 - age (yrs) beats per minute. This is not entirely accurate but gives us an upper guideline against which training heart rate levels can be obtained.

There are variety of uses for a heart rate monitor in soccer, some of which extend to the general population in their quest for good health. Do you know your resting heart rate? Try measuring it upon waking up in the morning? In most cases the lower your heart rate the healthier you are.

Hopefully this begins to give you an indication of the necessities, aside from the skills and decision-making demands required by our players. What about training?

Kunle Odetoyinbo
Fitness Coach and Exercise Physiologist