A soccer player does a lot of running in every game. If you think that soccer only involves kicking a soccer ball into the goal and that’s it, then think again. Soccer requires that a player must have total fitness to be able to play a full 90 minute game, where players run without the ball almost the entire span of that time.
So what is the average distance a soccer player runs per game? The average distance is 10 kilometers. With just 4 full games of soccer, an average soccer player would have completed the whole distance of a marathon. If you want a mental image of that distance, that’s like running across a basketball court 350 times in just 90 minutes. And with that 10 kilometers, about one half of a mile is done through sprints, and the other times through jogging, moderate running, and sometimes walking. And about only 2% of that distance covered involves carrying the ball.
Right wingers have been found to run the most distance and with the most high intensity runs among all the positions. This means right midfielders do the most sprint speed runs in the entire game. Aside from the keeper, center backs have been found to run the least, but still with an average of 6 km per game, which is still quite impressive.
The pace of the players’ runs are not the same in all the 90 minutes of the game. The jogs in between the runs and sprints give the players the much needed recovery time so they can perform again. The past few years have seen the average distance increase among distance covered by soccer players, which shows that the bar for physical condition standards have been increased in recent years.
This information and knowledge is invaluable for managers and coaches. New technology using different camera angles have been used to record the distance covered by average soccer players in a full 11 aside game and this has resulted to statistics that have been used as basis for many decisions in the game.
These information could be used to enable coaches which of their players will perform better on the right wing, and which of them should be placed in the center back position. If they have a right winger who doesn’t really have the right endurance, then coaches can place him in another position where he won’t be doing the most runs. These information could also be used in substitution situations and other important decisions regarding positions and endurance training.