Sunday, February 17, 2008

Acceleration/deceleration Threshold

It is possible that the number of accelerations and decelerations a player performs in a multi sprint sport (soccer/netball/basketball/hockey etc) is the most potent predictor of athletic performance. There is a need to research this further and with GPS equipment it is possible. I advocate that an acceleration/deceleration threshold and training to increase this threshold maybe a very important advancement in training for team sports. It all makes sense to as straight line running in training involves only small if any acceleration/deceleration and this is why a player wont be fit or match fit as they maybe aerobically fit and their anaerobic threshold may improve but there is no training or the acceleration/deceleration threshold. I am interested in your views on this topic

Monday, February 11, 2008


How often do you read research and think "so what" or better stated when did you last see some really strong applied research? Too often the researcher (and I have been guilty of this) goes ahead a researchers what they want to know about rather than something that is worthwhile. I was speaking to an interntional soccer coach the other day and I asked what would you like to know from research. Sounds simple but it was interesting because I know someone is doing performance analysis with his team with GPS but he said much of the information is not relevant to him. So it struck me that if the research must be applied, we must speak to the people at the coal face and we must produce research that will make a difference.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Movement and Football

The first stage of training is to look at the movement patterns of the sport. There is much reearch on football and the movement involved but it is often good o video your own players as often you may not like what you see. In this video I have attempted to follow one player in most part to help him and identify areas for improvement. This player is a great athlete over 15 in the beep test and under 3s for 20m but sometimes this is not reflected on the field. In this video there is a failure t recover well from intense efforts and running style needs further work but at least the player can see what Im talking about and hopefully we can improve

Periodisation and football

At the club I am presently working at I am often asked when do we start to TAPER for the competition. It is an interesting question and demonstrates the misunderstanding of planning - for instance how do you taper for a competition that goes for 25 weeks - the answer is you cant. Sure we can taper for round one but where does that leave us for the following rounds and it is a gross misunderstanding that the work of the athletic development coach is finished by round 1. To me this is where the fun really starts as you bring players to a level and than you monitor and adjust to remain at and even improve this level throughout the season. The team I work with now is far fitter than any oher team at this point (pre eason comp) and I know some supporters think we may have peaked too soon but there is no Peak. The taper may be a week to week proposition and the concern is more psychological than physiological but I do believe many teams actualy decline in ftness from start of season to end and this is because the game is considered the fitness work and the emphasis shifts to tactics and technique. My argument is there is room for all but keep it high intensity remember the 36 hour rule and keep it interesting and players will even improve their conditioning throughout the year