Sunday, June 29, 2008
What a difference a week makes and fortunately this week our performance improved and we got a much needed victory. we now have 4 games of the regular season left and we require 6 points to secure a finals birth but would be better if we got at least 9 points to secure a top 3 position. We can do it but it must be a game by game preperation. The year so far has been good and our team is in sound physiological condition and appear to be refreshed but it is at this time we really earn opur money. I am a big believer in having an overall plan that is flexible enough to be manipulated depending on circumstances. dont make the mistake of having a plan that is TOO tight and does not allow for change. Have a map but also have alternate routes.
Monday, June 23, 2008
I hate losing - I really do - it hurts me inside and often keeps me awake thinking about the game and thinking over training structure etc but at the end of the day our job is to get players to their peak physiologically and beyond that we have little control. Its ok to be hurt by a loss but dont think you can control the players performance as there are many other aspects that go into the puzzle. Im not saying to stop analysing but for those of you who take a loss as a personal insult to you athletic development program I think we need to take a closer look and if we have done our job be satisfied with that.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
There are numerous methods and gadgets that can add variety to your programs but knowing when and not to use variety is a skill. I constantly have to tell myself to mix it up and that I am not working with robots. This is my science and research background getting to me as I know what will work physiologically but I have to remember the psych and motivation component. I suppose working with athletes this is the biggest difference between reseach and applying it - WE are not working with a robot and that our players have numerous issues to work through. On the other hand we dont want to be mixing it up so much that we dont get our job done. For me at this stage 6 games from the end of the season I have to be very aware that the players have been with me for 7 months and it is time to mix it up. This can be done by using conditioning based games, keeping it short, creating competition etc and Ashley Jones from the crusaders (Super 14's Rugby Champions 2008) told me this is what he does. Keep the mood up, get the competition going and make it fun BUT still get your job done.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
We have just had a period of 5 games in 10 days and thus the management of recovery becomes an issue. However I wonder how much fatigue is mental and how much is physical. How tough is the modern day athlete. Too often I feel players think they are fatigued even when they are not - and thus we have that age old issue of the power of the mind. There is a substantial amount of literature on recovery, monitoring fatigue etc but sometimes I sit back and think maybe athletes just need to get over themselves and be a little tougher. I know this may sound unscientific but if a tour de France cyclist can perform day in day out for 20 days surely a soccer player can play 5 games in 10 days when you consider over 50% of that time is spent walking. These are just thoughts but way too often my scientific mind is challanged by the voice that says "soccer players are soft" and that is coming from me who was a player. Have we created a monster by pampering to our athletes? Also if you look at soccer on the world stage just how fit are they. It appears that they never really get to maximise their potential because there is llittle structured pre season and the athletic development is compromised by clubs wanting to make the $ by parading their team around the world during the pre season rather than spending a solid 4-6 weeks in preperation and continuing this development throughout the year.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Its vital that we let go of our ego and realise that alone we can only acomplish so much. There is so much great stuff happening in other sports that we need to take notice of and determine if it can best fit into our program. If you sport involves functional strength and power why not include the help of a gymnastics coach, if flexibility and relaxtion is reqired utilise yoga if agression is a problem bring in a wrestling coach to work with your players. There is no need for you to think you can do it all be open to others and the work of other people - if we keep doing what we have always done we will only get so far. On the otherside of this is to make sure you are just not going for the gimmick and get back to the first stage of planning which is the analysis of the sport. Look what your sport requires and tehn train for it.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
How great it is to be part of a team that works for the best of a club rather than try to bring eachother down. I am very fortunate to work with great people at Sydney Olympic FC and I think this team could manage any club in the world. From the president Jim, the Ceo Danny Silvestri, Technical Director Manny, Head Coach Milan, Physio's Kenny/Charlie/Steve, Manager Chris, Assistant Coach Pat, Youth director Max you just couldnt find a better bunch. In our work with preparing players you cant work at your best level if you do not have the support and for me even though I have offers to work with other clubs even at higher levels and with greater financila reward if they do not have a professional structure and people I do not want the stress. Interesting enough a coach recently made the statement how come these semi professional players are fitter than my professional players well Coach its easy, doing things properly with part time players will always be superior to you wasting the time of full time players. To give a further insight to our people the other night we were playing a cup game and in torrential rain I watched as the CEO was out getting the field ready for play. He could have easily been sitting up in the box smoking cigars but no and that is why I love working for this club.