It’s not all about what happens on the pitch at the training camp. Recovery is a key element and knowing when players need more recovery and when they are ready to carry a heavier load.
This morning was an opportunity to help the players work on their recovery from the previous sessions. Hydro massages in a special pool helped work on the muscles, as well as massages, working in the gym and other exercises. These are important aspects of the training camp as they ensure the pitch sessions can be conducted to their maximum level and gain the most from it.
The evening training session began with a 30 minute workout to firstly get the muscles warmed up and then some gym work to help with conditioning. This was followed by a series of seven-a-side matches. With the management staff casting a critical eye over the action they are able to see where improvements have been made and areas that need to be worked on.
Before, during and after each session David Flitcroft outlines his thoughts, what he is looking to see and how he feels it has gone. It’s great to be able to see it all unfold. I feel fortunate to be able to watch from close quarters how everything is brought together. There is no doubt Flitcroft has a great ability to inspire his squad when he talks to them and you can see them respond instantly when they take to the pitch.
All the players retired to their beds early tonight. Thursday, as the manager said, would be a day they would not forget. It promises to be an intense morning session that will take all their strength to get through.
As for me that hill from the pitch to the hotel virtually takes all my strength. It still doesn’t feel any easier, but I’ve got three more treks to ensure before I head back to Barnsley, by then it should be a breeze!