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Academy Players > Starting Block

A base of stability, body alignment, co-ordination and balance are your first priorities. Before progressing to weight training, the starting block programme should focus upon exercises that develop joint stability, trunk stability, balance and posture, precursors for successful agility, co-ordination and speed strength - elements of fitness that enhance football performance.

Swiss ball drills for balance and core stability development are fun and challenging.
The Swiss Ball is an unrivalled tool for recruiting and developing your core muscles (also known as a Fit Ball, exercise or gym ball). The ball's round surface 'activates' the core stabilisers and helps you develop the strength and stability you need to play safe and dynamic football.

The Core Workout is your expert guide to Swiss ball training for core stability. Used by top players, Swiss ball training can enhance essential stability and control for football. The Core Workout features: more than 85 drills with clear progressions, over 200 illustrations, techniques to recruit your core muscles, common errors, partner and two ball drills, weight training and stretching on your ball, plus sample sport specific programmes.

As with any sports or exercise program, it's important that your child visits his or her doctor before beginning a strength-training regimen. Once your child's doctor lets you know it's OK to strength train, you'll need to make sure that your child will be properly supervised, using safe equipment, and following an age-appropriate routine.

Participating in a variety of sports will enhance football performance - don't exclude other sports even if football is the first choice
Balance and core stability provide the support network for successful co-ordination and foot speed - essentials for effective dribbling.
Visit the Football Fitfiles for 100s of Football Fitness drills
Balancing on a swiss ball is great for developing balance and illustrating the principles of core strength