Thoughts of the week
- This is usually a period of time in the yearly sports calendar where there are no games, matches or events. It follows off-season (a complete rest and break from play) and comes prior to in-season (when the main competitors occur).
- During this phase the athlete and/or team aim to get as physically prepared as possible for 2 main reasons 1) To improve physical performance and 2) To reduce likelihood of injury. The ultimate goal is to be as ready as possible for the first day of in-season.
- This can be done at any location that there are appropriate facilities and equipment. However many squads tend to venture abroad to a warmer climate or train at sports complexes that offer many different options and choices. Often having everyone and everything in place makes logistics much easier.
- This is sport specific and different sports have different approaches that work best for them. A higher priority is initially given to the physical side of things such as preparation, strength, power, speed, agility, conditioning and recovery. The technical and tactical elements are still included but the fitness over skills volume is usually higher at the start of this phase. As the phase continues the volume tends to gradually even out with equal priority given to both areas. It will then progressively switch round to focus on skills over fitness towards the end of the phase.
- Plan! Before you start doing anything make sure you know what, why, where and how. Once you begin it’s hard to reset.
- Time! Allow plenty. Don’t try and fit in more than you need too.
- Focus! Particularly on quality over quantity. Simple things done well consistently add up to great results.
- Individualise! Have a generic structure for everyone but try to approach each person in you squad or team individually in order to get the ‘best fit’ program for them. All this may need is a few specific tweaks here and there in different areas but the adaptions will be a lot more effective.
- Measure! Whatever it is you’re looking to gain or achieve ensure you test it accurately and regularly to monitor change, particularly at the start and end of a certain time period. Ensure you record and file every thing.
- Patience! Don’t be in a rush for results. Things take certain amounts of time to change. Become fully immersed in the journey, enjoy the process and have faith in your preparation.
- Fun! Make it enjoyable. Think outside the box about what you could maybe do differently to still achieve your objectives. Involve the athletes in the process so they fill like they can contribute, ask for their advice and feedback. If they feel like they have ownership of certain activities that they enjoy then the whole pre-season will be better for everyone involved.
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Recipe of the week
Bubble & squeak rounds
- In a large pot boil some mixed vegetables (we used sweetcorn, peas, carrots and broccoli) together with some potatoes (we used halved king edwards) for about 15mins until soft. Drain & leave steam to settle.
- Melt some olive oil spread in a pan then add vegetable & potato mixture. Season with some sea salt, cracked black pepper, mixed herbs & chilli flakes. Mix & mash together, cooking evenly all over. Separate in to small burger sized rounds, pat down with spatula then continue to cook until edges char.
- Plate & save as in picture. This goes really well with poached eggs!
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