How To Improve Your Stamina For Soccer [5 Simple Ways].

Soccer can be a gruelling game. It takes skills, it takes heart and it takes passion to play at your best. And it takes stamina too.

The ability to run and keep up with the game, especially during tough matches, requires a lot of endurance.

Luckily, there are a few simple ways in which you can improve your stamina as a soccer player for the long-term.

In this post, we’ve listed down some of our best useful tips and tricks to help you achieve better stamina for soccer.

What is stamina?

Stamina is what keeps us going, even when the going gets tough.

It’s the ability to power through workouts, hold your focus during a work presentation, or stay up late to meet a deadline.

Stamina is your body’s capacity to withstand stress and strain.

It’s often confused with strength. But while strength is about lifting heavy weights or pushing against resistance, stamina is about endurance and effort, and can be as much a mental skill too.

With a little determination and effort, anyone can develop their stamina and take on life’s challenges with confidence and resilience.

Why is stamina important in soccer?

Stamina is an essential component of any soccer player’s game.

It’s not just about scoring a goal, but also about lasting the entire game without getting tired.

Stamina allows players to run faster, last longer, and keep their focus on the game.

Without it, you risk losing the momentum or even worse, getting injured.

Being able to run continuously for 90 minutes and still have energy left in the tank is a tremendous advantage.

Along with the right soccer skills and strategy, stamina can elevate your game to the next level and help you push through to that major win.

As they say, “train hard, play easy”, and that’s exactly what a player with great stamina can do.

How To Improve Your Stamina For Soccer

Building stamina for soccer is no easy feat. It takes time, effort, and persistence to elevate your game and overcome the challenges that come with it. 

Here are five ways we keep ourselves feeling sharp for the long haul.

#1. Cardio Workouts

How to improve your stamina for soccer woman running

The first and most obvious way to improve your stamina is by doing cardio workouts.

Running, jogging, cycling, swimming, and other cardiovascular exercises can help to condition the heart and lungs, which in turn can improve your endurance.

Aim to do 30-60 minutes of cardio every day or every other day, and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts over time.

You can also switch up your cardio routine by doing interval training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to boost your stamina quickly.

#2. Strength Training

how to increase your stamina strength training gym weights

Strength training can also be beneficial in building up your endurance for soccer, by increasing muscle strength and reducing fatigue.

Focus on exercises that target the legs, core, and upper body, such as squats, lunges, and push-ups.

You can do strength training exercises with weights or just your body weight.

Start small and gradually increase your weights over time to improve your strength slowly.

#3. Proper Nutrition

how to improve soccer stamina eat healthily

Good nutrition – and eating properly before and after a game – is another essential element in maintaining good stamina for soccer.

You should aim to fuel your body with a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, and avoid junk food and too much caffeine.

Eating a healthy diet can give your body the energy it needs to function at its best during training and games.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water before, during, and after games to keep your body energized and prevent dehydration too.

#4. Mental Preparation

get more stamina through mental resilience and strength

Your mental stamina is just as important as the physical. Feeling confident and prepared can help you stay focused during a game.

You can work on building a tough mentality by setting goals for yourself and staying focused on your progress.

Visualize yourself playing your best game and feeling unstoppable while moving around the field.

We know Wayne Rooney used to visualize himself scoring goals the night before a match – if it worked for him and it can for you too!

Avoid negative thoughts and focus on the positives of each game and what you have learned along the way.

Relaxing your mind is just as important too. Mindfulness and wellbeing apps with meditation exercises are great and we’re fans of yoga for helping us chill out and feel more zen.

Listening to music and relaxing podcasts are also a great way to zone out and give your mind a rest so you feel relaxed and ready to focus on your game.

#5. Rest and Recovery

how to increase stamina with rest and recovery

Underpinning it all, rest and recovery are crucial for building up your stamina for soccer.

If you don’t allow your body to rest properly, you may find yourself getting burned out or prone to injury.

Make sure you are properly rehydrated after a match. Use techniques like stretching, foam rolling, or taking ice baths to promote faster recovery and reduce muscle soreness.

We love a long soak in the tub after practice to rest our muscles, gather our thoughts and reflect.

And if we’re really lucky, a massage!

Make sure you get enough sleep and take breaks between practice or games. This will keep your body is in peak condition and ready to take on any challenge!

Watch and learn: How to improve your fitness and endurance.

Here’s a great video that teaches you how you can learn to improve your fitness level and your stamina if you feel you need more energy in a football match with 3 fun football fitness drills.

How can I increase my stamina for soccer without running?

Ok ok, we’re not all fans of running! And you might be thinking that running is your only option if you want to increase your stamina. But guess what? It’s not!

There are plenty of other ways to boost your endurance on the field.

One great option is weight-lifting, which can help build muscle and improve your overall physical fitness.

Swimming and cycling are also excellent cardio workouts that can help you build stamina without putting too much strain on your joints.

And don’t forget about the importance of a healthy diet – fuel your body with nutritious foods to ensure that you have enough energy to power through those 90-minute games.

So don’t be afraid to mix up your routine, and try out some new exercises that will help you become an endurance superstar without having to run for miles and miles.

How do you last 90 minutes in soccer?

Endurance is the backbone of success in soccer, and if you can’t keep up the pace, you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the bench.

So how do you make sure you have what it takes to last the full 90 minutes? Here are some tips and tricks to help you build up your stamina, so you can stay on the field and keep making a difference for your team.

#1. Train right

Regular training will not only improve your physical ability but also your mental toughness, which is crucial in soccer.

Make sure you have a tailored workout plan that works for your body type, age, and skill level.

Try to incorporate different kinds of training, such as HIIT, weightlifting, and skill drills. 

#2. Fuel up

What you eat before a game can make a huge difference in your performance.

Eating a balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will provide your body with the necessary fuel to power through the game.

Stay hydrated by drinking water and sports drinks before, during, and after the game.

Avoid sugary or fatty foods that can weigh you down and make you feel sluggish. 

#3. Stay focused

Before the game, take some time to visualize yourself crushing it on the field, staying alert, and focused.

Manage your nerves and stress by practicing breathing techniques or listening to music that pumps you up.

In the game, try to stay in the moment, be aware of your surroundings, and communicate with your teammates. 

#4. Pace yourself

Use the first few minutes to warm up and get into the groove, and then gradually increase your intensity.

Use breaks and halftime to rest and recover so that you can come back fresh and ready for the second half.

Remember that soccer is a team sport, so be supportive of your fellow players, and work together to maintain a consistent pace. 

#5. Take care of your body

After the game, make sure to cool down by stretching and foam rolling to prevent injuries and muscle soreness.

Take care of your body and get enough sleep to recover and recharge for the next game.

If you do experience any injuries or discomfort, seek medical attention right away and follow up with proper treatment. 

With a little patience and dedication, you’ll see improvements in your performance and stamina on the pitch.

The final score.

Improving your stamina for soccer takes time, effort, and dedication, but these tips and tricks can help you get there.

By incorporating cardio workouts, strength training, proper nutrition, rest and recovery and mental preparation in your routine, you can increase your endurance and crush it on the field.

Remember to set achievable goals for yourself and stay committed to the process to see a boost in your stamina and game performance.

So, what are you waiting for? Lace up your boots and get started today!

This article was written & reviewed by

  • Anna Adams, Creative Director & Content Lead

    Hi there! I'm Anna Adams, your go-to source for all things women's soccer. I've been crazy about soccer for over 20 years, ever since I was kicking a ball around with my brothers as a kid. I've turned my passion into a career where I get to share all the cool stuff about soccer with you. As a content lead, I've had the awesome opportunity to work with various sports brands and publications. Whether it's the latest gear, pro tips, or just some cool soccer trivia, I'm all about making soccer ac...

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    Hello! I'm Mia, a high school Physical Education teacher in Orlando, Florida by day and a soccer blog contributor by night. My journey with soccer began just like any other enthusiastic player - on a local field, chasing after a ball and dreaming big. Soccer became my way to teach, inspire, and connect with others. In addition to my role in education, I've taken my passion for soccer a step further by earning a coaching qualification. This badge not only represents my commitment to the sport...