FM23: What makes a good Fitness Coach?

On Football Manager we’re lucky to have an abundance of coaches available. Football Manager not only has coaches but more specific coaches including Fitness Coaches and Goalkeeping Coaches. In this article, we’ll look at what makes a good fitness coach in Football Manager.

There are many variables that affect the day-to-day duties of the fitness coach, and their programme can be hugely impacted by injuries to players, the fixture schedule and any last-minute decisions by the head coach. As a result, two key assets for any fitness coach are flexibility and the ability to be innovative within the remit of the coaching philosophy. These attributes, combined with acute attention to detail, exceptional organisational skills, dedication to the job and strong communication skills, are pivotal for every successful fitness coach.

In some real-life clubs, the job title of a Fitness Coach is usually titled Strength & Conditioning Coach. The role of this type of coach is somewhat blurred. There tends to be a notion that Fitness Coaches are all about working with players in the gym. However, in modern football, the role is so much more. The role has diversified over the years to include warm-ups, mobility, speed sessions, aerobic sessions, anaerobic sessions, conditioning games, cognitive skill development, hypertrophy sessions, strength sessions, velocity-based sessions, agility, boxing fitness, hydration monitoring, recovery sessions and post-game training. The list can be bigger or smaller depending on the club that the coach works for.

The fitness coach is the person responsible for the physical performance of all the playing personnel at a club. This role is not only about ensuring that each individual player is performing to their full physical capacity, but also about developing a physical performance plan that is fully aligned with the coaching philosophy of the head coach.

In a nutshell, a fitness coach combines a systematic coaching process and personal training to empower players to develop a fit lifestyle as well as the ability and self-confidence to maintain a fit lifestyle.

On Football Manager, unfortunately, we do not get to see the actual work of Fitness Coaches due to the lack of visual training sessions. Instead, we have to rely on fitness data in the form of match fitness and match sharpness. Previously both of these data facets would be grouped as one percentage.

Understanding what affects both match fitness and match sharpness help to support team selection. Things to consider include:

  • Distance covered
  • Speed of movement
  • Change of direction
  • Players conditions
  • Weather
  • Staminia

The higher the number of intensive bursts, the quicker you players will tire during a game.

Recruiting fitness coaches that are able to maintain the required match fitness and match sharpness is essential. Looking ahead, you could start combining the working relationship between fitness coaches and physios.

The most important reason why your club has to invest valuable resources into your fitness coaches is simple – without them, your team will not be fit enough to last the season. While most people will look at the Fitness attribute alone, there’s far more to a fitness coach than simply being a good Fitness stat holder.

  • Determination – This is very much a refelective attribute. If coaches can be determined then that behaviour should be reciprocated.
  • Level of discipline – Some players can have some challenging behaviours to manage. Being able to manage these types of players with effective discipline should garner positive results
  • Motivation – Fitness coaches naturally need to be able to motivate players
  • Fitness – This is obvious, surely.
  • Working with Youngsters – More for the fitness coaches working with your club’s youth teams will also be helpful for all fitness coaches.
  • Adaptability – More for fitness coaches coming from a different country or coaches coming from a different club. Being able to adapt quickly will ensure that fitness coaches can carry out their role effectively.

See the table below showing the best fitness coaches available on Football Manager. Staff in the table below are at least rated 15 in some of the attributes listed above.

Name Nationality Age Current Club Determination Discipline Motivation Fitness
Darlan Schneider BRA 58   18 18 15 18
Mário Monteiro POR 58   17 18 16 20
Anthony Colbert ENG 59   15 18 18 19
Edu Pons ESP 51 Barcelona 17 19 16 18
Markus Zetlmeisl GER 55 Schalke 04 II 16 15 16 16
Fábio Mahseredjian BRA 55   18 15 18 18
Élio Carravetta BRA 68   17 17 15 18
Grégory Dupont FRA 49 Strasbourg 16 15 15 18
Jaume Bartrès ESP 51 Chivas 15 16 16 18
Pedro Gómez ESP 38 PSG 15 16 15 20
Alberto Andorlini ITA 60   16 17 15 16
Roberto De Bellis ITA 52   18 17 15 15
Paolo Rongoni ITA 50 Al-Nassr (KSA) 15 19 15 18
Ismael Fernández ESP 45   15 20 15 15
Antonio Gómez ESP 45   15 20 16 16
Matt Allen ENG 35 Tottenham 15 15 15 15
José Alfonso Morcillo ESP 51   15 16 15 15
Alejandro Martínez URU 53   16 16 15 15

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Written by TheFMTeacher

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