Pitching In
Wednesday, May 18
London, UK


Preseason is over…..for now

By Scoty Taylor.

Hi hope you are all well and that you have had a nice summer so far. 

I have been asked by our manager to update you on how this year’s preseason has gone via this blog
Firstly I would like to welcome the new players to the squad as they have all settled in well – in my opinion (as the manager would say) I think we look stronger this year as a squad than we did last season but only time will tell….
– Coming off of the back of a successfully season (in my eyes), the players have returned to preseason in good spirits and in fair shape and there is a good atmosphere about the place.
Preseason for me started to take shape when we unfortunately missed out in the playoffs last season, a week or so later the manager and I had a long meeting regarding our next campaign and things we needed to work on to make us stronger as a group.
In fairness from my first training season here over two years ago to now the team and its professionalism has evolved massively. Previously I have only ever worked in full time football and tapering my training ethos was a challenge to begin with, as I had never worked with part time players before. But as the group has evolved so has their willingness to learn and take on new ideas.
It is important that the players keep a fair level of fitness over there time off in the summer as their body’s do need the rest from the demands of a season. With this in mind they all took away a 4 week off season training programme which was designed to help the player maintain his level of fitness, core strength and flexibility over this time.
On returning to full training it was important to have targets for each player in regards to their training overload, game time and load (fitness testing) and to make sure that the player peaks at the right time, as it’s also important to get the right game to training ratio within a preseason programme.
Recovery strategies and injury prevention are always big talking points within the management team as this is a massive part of how the player will perform recover and improve.
There are a lot of ideas and different ways some coaches determine how or what fitness in football is, as some approaches are still very “Old School” within the lower leagues and football league…. This is not their fault, but just a lack of knowledge, or they have seen someone else doing something and they might think this is the right thing to do.
Firstly in my opinion you have to know your players and know what their capabilities are, next you have to have the knowledge on how your manager wants to play – If the manager wants to play a high tempo game,  pressing hard and fast, then you can taper the programme around the team not the other way around.

As the title says, "Preseason is over, for now…" as we are only a part time club so it is impossible to sandwich weeks and weeks of hard work in to a 4-5 week period and still hit our targets, if we did Kim would be very very busy girl, as we would have lots of injury’s as the players would get fatigue which leads to injuries.
So yes preseason has been hard but controlled! As for me working on the players fitness levels will not stop in till the New Year, and then even more so our Recovery strategies comes in to play.
As a group I know a massive % of the players take part in a conditioning programmes at their local gyms and health clubs  as well as yoga and spinning classes and some take the opportunity of working with a sports nutritional company called www.player-pal.com that provide a brilliant service for them.
A lot of the work that I do comes from two high end coaches in my eyes – Raymond Verheijen who if you didn’t know is one of the best fitness coaches in the world who has worked with a lot of big clubs and countries – one of his believes is that football is not a endurance sport and that it is an sport made up of movements of speed, in a nut shell long running is good for overall fitness and fat burning but will make you slower in the end – but short sharp drills and high tempo passing drills will make you a better player.. a player should not work for move then 60 Sec is a drill or 4 mins with a ball (Fitness wise)
The next guy is called Dave Brailsford  – In 2010, Dave Brailsford faced a tough job.
No British cyclist had ever won the Tour de France, but as the new General Manager and Performance Director for Team Sky (Great Britain’s professional cycling team), Brailsford was asked to change that.
His approach was simple.
Brailsford believed in a concept that he referred to as the “aggregation of marginal gains.” He explained it as “the 1 percent margin for improvement in everything you do.” His belief was that if you improved every area related to cycling by just 1 percent, then those small gains would add up to remarkable improvement.
They started by optimizing the things you might expect: the nutrition of riders, their weekly training program, the ergonomics of the bike seat, and the weight of the tyres.
But Brailsford and his team didn’t stop there. They searched for 1 percent improvements in tiny areas that were overlooked by almost everyone else: discovering the pillow that offered the best sleep and taking it with them to hotels, testing for the most effective type of massage gel, and teaching riders the best way to wash their hands to avoid infection. They searched for 1 percent improvements everywhere.
Brailsford believed that if they could successfully execute this strategy, then Team Sky would be in a position to win the Tour de France in five years’ time.
He was wrong. They won it in three years!!!
Yes this is cycling but we can pass this in to football and we do at RTFC.
Of course there are lots of different training methods we use as well as supplements and training tools etc etc but you never know who’s going to be reading this do you!!!
Here’s to a successful 15/16 season
Thank you,
Scoty Taylor.