As discussed in the last week’s post the ability to recover fast after a match or a training session is critical to the player’s career pathway as well as to the team’s performance. Ideally, we are looking for players who can perform at the highest level during the match & recover fast so they are ready to perform high in the next match.
Practical steps to define your players’ ability & speed up recovery
1) Identify the recovery pattern of your player. To do so you must evaluate certain parameters before and several hours/days after a match. There are many performance (sprints, vertical jumps, football specific endurance tests etc.) and non-performance related tests used in the literature (CK levels, mood state, sleep quality, delayed-onset muscle soreness questionnaires etc.).
2) Better to follow a holistic approach. Answer the “why” before you choose the tests.
3) Discuss with players and other staff in the club and develop a recovery strategy. From the variety of methods adopt those that
a. Are science based
b. Your players like the most
4) Re-evaluate your players as you did in stage 1. Try to do that under similar, if possible, conditions. Then you will be able to make a conclusion on which method is more effective for your player.
5) Look more to the individual rather than to the team as a whole. Try to find out what is suitable for every player. If you improve the player you will finally improve the team.