Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Listening to players

I think it is very important in Athletic Development that we listen and reflect on our sesions, our week and our monthly programs. I am very set in my ideas and most of the time through testing I know that my program is working but I think it is imperative that we dont become a Dictator and forget that we are dealing with humans and not robots. I have reguler chts with our teams leadership group to ensure the work I am doing is understood and effective. Recently I had programed a very difficult 3 week block and as you can imagine by the 3rd week my popularity had decreased - I knew this would happen and was not going to deviae from the bigger picture but still I listened and gave further explanation to where we were going with this. Respecting players is one of the most important aspects of athletic development and knowing when to be hard and when to lighten up is a skill that you will always get better at. Another great way to listen to players is through a weekly player monitoring survey just to ascertain the physiological and pychological state of your players.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Team Sports and the 20metre rule

I believe that the maximum distance a multi sprint sport athlete needs to run in one direction during conditioning training should be limited to 20metres. Think about it for a while and try it as I have tried to follow my 20metre rule for the majority of the training year. In the analysis of soccer we can see that it is rare a player runs more than 20etres in one direction so I ask why should we do anything differently in training. we want to move away from players cruising during the game and move towards attacking the space at pace. Interested in your thoughts

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Season so Far

Sorry for the 2 months off writing but I have been busy. Our team Sydney Olympic FC is now in the 7th round of the regula season and after winning the pre season cup we have had 3 wins, a draw and a first round loss and our round 6 game was postponed due to racial tension between our club which has a large Greek supporter base and another club which has a Macedonian supporter base (politics and sport - what can I say). We are going ok and our conditioning program has produced good results with the last testing results showing an averge beep test score of over 14.3 (predicted Vo2 > 60ml/kg/min) and signivficant reductions in body fat and also 20 metre sprint times. The players have all self reported never feeling as well conditioned and injuries have been low with little incidence of soft tissue injury. I am still predicting improvements as I am not acceptinng that the season has to be maitainance (I think this is a mistake) and I work on blocks of 4 weeks cycling 3 weeks of increasing intensity with a drop off week at week 4. My biggest concern with the players is that they do not play at their tempo but rather they do what they have to do. We are just finishing week 3 of a block of 4 and the players have complained about the intensity as they have been use to having the hard work completed by the season starting. However I am monitoring recovery etc and all looks well but I cant deny the physcological impact my program has and to be honest I have to be aware of the human side as the scientist in me just expects robotic behaviour which of cause is ridiculous. I would love for some of you to try my DS protocol which I believe is outstanding at increasing performance in multi sprint sport athletes.