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.