I worked with 8 athletes Sunday morning, all footballers, with the intention of increasing training intensity. We do the usual warm up, activation/stretch, then start to increase loads. This can be speed load, strength load or power load, whilst manipulating the endurance aspects of the workout.
The main thing I learnt from Roy Keane is that training needs to be intense to stimulate the mind response that will be activated on match days. When I look back at Cristiano Ronaldo there is one thing clear, when he got to United he was a very focused training athlete that wanted the best to get to the top.
It was here though at United, with Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Gaz Nev, and Nicky Butt to name just a few, that he learned what INTENSITY was all about. From this point on, his focus would be on intensity to forge the ability to be MIND ready on the pitch match days.
From my observations in the past with the best players around I learnt how to create the intensity in the workouts to make sure the lads were match ready. 8 athletes working on speed through to power, acceleration deceleration into into strength, peripheral vision into specific cognitive responses for athletes wanting to attain the highest level. We need varying exercises stimulating the various attributes of athletic abilities with a big look at football skill.
We then look at the various situations in games and gage the skills required for the differing problems that arise during the match. Do we need speed? Yes of course, we need to accelerate and also decelerate to gain control of the body to deliver high skill on the ball with balance, whist observing the positional placing of our team mates, plus the advances of the opposition trying to stop us in full flight. These are the normal goings on in a football match.
But does our training give us the right skill and athletic ability to be ready for what comes our way?