Head of Performance on the international break
The role of Town’s Head of Performance Darren Robinson and the rest of the conditioning staff at the Club came to the fore during the last three weeks.
Saturday’s game against Watford was the Club’s seventh in the space of 21 games and Robinson explained that the focus throughout the week at Canalside was adapted to suit that demanding physical challenge.
“During that period, we shifted from physically conditioning the players to monitoring them,” said Darren. “When the players came to Canalside we tested them on their hydration, body mass and something called a jump test, which measures neural fatigue.
“We’ve got key performance indicators for everything. We know what the players are doing in matches, thanks to Prozone, and in training thanks to the GPS monitors the players wear. That gives us an idea of the distance each player should be covering.
“That allows us to see if each player is over-reaching or under-applying themselves. With that information, the coaching staff sits down and makes an informed judgement on whether or not a player is physically ready to play.”
That tailored schedule worked hand in hand with the other improvements that have been made to Town’s training this season aided by, among other factors, the investment in the kitchen at Canalside.
“This season we have implemented a hydration strategy and worked hard with the kitchen staff at Canalside to get the players’ nutrition right, ensuring the players get the right carbohydrates and protein when they need it. It’s all about attention to detail in order to give us the best chance of success on the pitch.”
With no game this weekend due to the round of international fixtures, Darren explained that the break is being used to recharge the players mentally as well as physically:
“This week gives the players chance to recover emotionally. We ask them to psych themselves up and perform for every game, but now they will need refreshing.
“As such we’ll try and switch the training focus to things they will enjoy, so there will be a few more games. It’ll be a change from the recent cycle of ‘prepare, play, recover, day off’.”
This interview first appeared in Give Us An H, which you can now download online now for Apple and Android devices – click HERE for more info!