Strengthening and conditioning is all very well, but sometimes football players just want to be let loose on the football pitch – and so the players enjoyed their first 11 v 11 match on the morning of day three. There was nobody pulling punches even at this stage of pre-season and the aggression (controlled I might add!) on display was scary.
Modern sports science techniques have underpinned everything being done in this week-long training camp. First-team coach David Jupp and physios Jamie Crosswell and Lewis Hards have been joined on this trip by Stuart Bauld and Kelly Cooper – on loan to us from the University of Greenwich!
I caught up with them today and Jamie explained, “Every morning we collect data on how the players slept and how sore or tired they feel. This allows us to adapt the intensity of training and prevent injuries. Every player has undergone muscle function testing and this has shown up imbalances in some cases in the strength and flexibility of their key muscle groups using state-of-the-art technology. We can then ‘individualise’ each player’s programme.
“We have introduced a tailored gym programme and the players do an hour each day to improve power, strength and fitness. We are using ice baths and the pool each day to aid recovery times and every player has specially prepared drinks twice a day to further aid recovery.”
Stuart Lewis is pictured above undergoing a TMG (tensionmyography) test, which measures the muscle-fibre properties, alongside Kelly Cooper, a senior sports science technician from the University of Greenwich.
Below, the squad enjoyed some downtime in the pool prior to watching the Wales v Portugal game in the evening.