Young Terriers will keep fit ready for return to training ground
- Senior Physical Performance Coach Callum Adams discusses benefit of break
- Callum speaks about how Young Terriers have settled in
- Youngsters will follow programme over break
When it comes to Christmas, the majority of us like to use it as an opportunity to relax after a busy year. However, when it comes to being a professional athlete, it’s not quite so straightforward.
For Town’s latest cohort of Under-17s, this will be their first Christmas break ‘Huddersfield Town style’. Callum Adams, one of Huddersfield Town’s Senior Physical Performance Coaches, spoke about how he thinks the youngsters have settled in since arriving ahead of the 2020/21 season.
“From the offset you get a group of players that are very different, from very different backgrounds. Some come from academies, some from non-academies, some players haven’t played in a system before or for a Club, and that means that you get very different levels of fitness, strengths, movement patterns etc.
“They gelled very quickly in terms of camaraderie and personalities etc., which I think has helped them to players have settle in well.
“Work wise, they’ve bought into the strength continuum early, they’ve bought into the strength work early on and that has been rewarded with lots of improvements from all of them, all relative to where they’re at.
“Some are stronger than others, some are better at moving than others, but they’ve all made improvements towards their targets and now they’re in a position to progress after Christmas and really push on with their athletic development.”
The Under-17s’ schedule finished earlier than their other Academy teammates, and Callum explained why a longer break is more beneficial for their age group than back-to-back games.
“It’s all about their development. That’s development technically, tactically and physically.
“What they do in arriving, in pre-season, through to now is a lot of hard work. The programme is relentless, there’s a lot of work, a lot of gym sessions, a lot of grass sessions.
“There’s a lot put on them mentally and the benefit of a Christmas break is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a break from their daily schedule, it’s a break from double grass sessions every day and the strength sessions within that and it’s giving the body a real respite to recover and adapt to everything that they’ve done.
“Over the two-week period they will get some down time. The first week will be light activity, such as walking and biking.
“Really low intensity, but it enables them to keep moving and keeps those joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles activated so they don’t become stiff over the period of rest.
“Then they’ll have a week of general maintenance, which is basically exposing them to some aerobic work, some anaerobic work, some strength work and some core work.
“It’s all about being able to maintain so that when they do come back, they’re almost at the base line of where they left.
“The break gives them a real chance to reflect mentally as well. It lets them see where they have to improve and what they’re excelling at.”
Callum went on to discuss exactly why the break will benefit the youngsters when they return to the training ground in January.
“They’ll be able to really hit the ground running, both mentally and physically.
“Obviously that’ll then benefit them when they’re on the grass with the coaches, and tactically it should help them to be able to concentrate more.
“The rest builds their hunger to go again. A lot of them will be chomping at the bit to train hard, to impress, to get strong, to get fit, to get faster.
“When you’re fatigued it’s difficult to be explosive, so some of them might come back and feel really good and be really explosive in sessions and really give some intensity to what they do. It gives that little bit of a hunger back for some of them.
“It’ll really benefit their long-term development. It’s a short-term gain for a long-term benefit.”
Callum was also quick to comment on what his department’s aims are for the youngsters first season with the Club.
“They all have individual aims. That’s season wise, career wise, and obviously physically, tactically and lifestyle.
“They got coached a lot about their lifestyle, so their nutrition, sleep, general habits, their day to day activities etc.
“The long-term aim for the season as a Strength and Conditioning coach is to make sure that they all have a strong strength foundation.
“They’ve already got a lot of the basic stuff down well, but the ultimate aim is to get them all to the point where they’ve got a really strong strength base and are ready to progress into the next strength programme next year, which will be more attribute based in terms of power, speed, jump abilities etc.
“There’s no point in being able to produce force or produce any sort of power if you can’t do it efficiently and so it’s key that we help them get that really strong base ready for improvement.”