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Issues in training the female player
  1. Donald T Kirkendall
  1. Correspondence to:
 Donald T Kirkendall
 Member of FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center, F_MARC; donald_kirkendall{at}


On the surface, the women’s game appears to be similar to the men’s game. On closer examination, there are subtle differences in the nature of how each gender plays the game, which are evident in the disparity between skills, tactics and fitness. The technical weaknesses of women include the first touch, dribbling, long passing and goal keeping. These skill limitations have dictated specific tactical approaches towards both attack and defence. Specific biological limitations inherent in the female player affect the pace and total work output in the women’s game. Although it is unrealistic to expect the women’s game to approach the work output of the men’s game, specific training of skills and fitness will influence the tactical approach to the game.

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  • Published Online First 15 May 2007

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Guest editors: Jiri Dvorak, Astrid Junge, Collin Fuller and Paul McCrory