The Youth Team have had a different kind of visit to Blackpool.
Today the Youth Team are visiting Blackpool, but this isn’t a trip to buy candy floss and visit the amusements on the pier.
We caught up with Jamie Hesketh, Sports Scientist for the Youth Team to find out what they’re getting up too.
1. Jamie, what are your plans for today with the boys?
Tuesday is normally a high intensity day of training, so to get the boys off the pitch and somewhere different, we’re taking them to Blackpool. Getting them on the beach, gives them a different running surface, which should be harder to train on.
We’ll start the day by doing a big warm-up, with the weather being so cold going into the winter season, it’s vital that the boys are warm enough to exercise and avoid injury. The warm-up will include a light jog, stretching and some agility work.
After the warm-up, the staff will lay out the cones in running circuits. The boys will have to work hard to complete each circuit in a good time. All of this work will be tracked on the GPS PlayerTec pods that the boys will have on in the training session. It helps me record each individual players’ physical stats, when they reach new levels of performance, and measure everything from speed to power.
After the circuit training, we’ll finish off with small sided games for a bit of fun. These are always good because it gets competition going between the boys.
Finally, after the session, we’ll all go and get some food. The players will be allowed white carbs after this session, as it helps them recover and increases their energy levels.
2. What are the benefits of days like this?
This week is a free week, as we don’t have a fixture this weekend. It’s not very often that this happens, so it gives us the opportunity to work with the boys on their fitness.
It gets the lads off the training ground, which after a few weeks of solid work can become rather tedious. Some of the lads are in digs, so it’s nice for them to get out as a team. After all, the day’s they aren’t training, they’re in college, so it takes them away from that for a while too. It’s great for team cohesion; it gives them a different environment to bond and work together.
Also, like I said, the small sided games give them a bit of fun and the staff get involved too!
It can be classed as a bit of ‘tough loving’ from the coaching staff, even though it will be freezing and windy, the boys really benefit from these types of sessions.
3. Days out like this must have benefits to the staff as well as the boys?
Yes of course they do. It gives us a chance to bond with the lads whilst in a different working environment.
The circuits are intense, so it’s good to see which lads are left standing after they have been pushed to their limit. Both fit and injured lads have come today. It gets the injured lads out of the medical room and doing their personalised rehabilitation programme out of the gym and on the beach – freezing or not.
They also bring the staff closer, we work well as a team, but it’s always nice to have a day out of the office!
This is something we do every year, normally in pre-season, but this year we were too busy. However, I think this has come at a good time, a few months into the season; it gives the lads a different working day.
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