A Difficult Period For Player Conditioning Ahead

We have now completed season 2011/12 after losing to Wellington in the elimination semi-final last Friday evening. It was an unfortunate loss after an amazing comeback by our team to get to 2-2, but that’s football.

We have now completed season 2011/12 after losing to Wellington in the elimination semi-final last Friday evening. It was an unfortunate loss after an amazing comeback by our team to get to 2-2, but that-s football.

It is now time for reviewing all aspects of the season to ensure we improve our performance in the 2012/13 season.

It is also time to say goodbye to our coach - “Vitja”. We-ve had the pleasure to work with Vitja for the three years that he was at Sydney FC and I-ve learnt so much from him. Vitja is a man of great character and we will miss him and we all wish him well in his future.

Although the season is completed we will continue to train for the next 4 weeks. This may seem strange but in Australia there is a very long off-season with the next season not starting until early October, which is 6 months away. Hence, we must effectively manage the players during this period to make sure they are ready to perform in October and carry that through the entire season.

Players require time off for physiological and psychological recovery but the longer the time off the steeper the road to full fitness. Furthermore, if the pre season phase is too long, players will experience physiological and psychological burnout by the latter stages of the season.

In an ideal World players would have 4 weeks off and a 6-8 week preseason but as you can see we still would have a spare 12 weeks. It is a puzzle but its always enjoyable navigating through these issues and without going into too much detail I am sure we will be ready to perform come Round 1 of the competition and still be performing come finals time.

The majority of junior and senior competitions have now commenced. It is so important when training time is limited that the majority of conditioning work is completed with the ball in game related play. However, it is also important that you encourage the players to work hard during these games. Too often in small sided games they are not played with enough intensity to have a positive effect on conditioning. This can be easily rectified by adjusting the field size, rules of the game and by coaching.

As always please contact me if you need and advice with any aspect of human performance.

Dr Craig Duncan (twitter) @drcraigduncan (email) craigd@sydneyfc.com (web) www.drcraigduncan.com