The Australian off-season for amateur football players is long and it can be hard to stay conditioned. FourFourTwo got some tips from EXOS performance manager Brock Christopher, who gives you his expert advice on staying in shape over the summer.
Give your body the chance to heal
Summer is the perfect time for the body to recover from any niggling injuries. It’s important to give muscle joints and the soft tissue surrounding muscles the chance to heal. The endocrine system (the set of glands that produce hormones to regulate sleep, mood and sexual function amongst other things) needs rest, as does the nervous system. Older players, in particular, will take longer to recuperate. A reduced training load, physiotherapy and even alternative medicine can help accelerate recovery.
Use it or lose it
The end of the season isn’t an excuse to do nothing. If you don’t stay active, you will quickly lose all that hard earned fitness. Just one week of complete rest is enough for aerobic fitness to drop by five per cent, meaning your stamina levels will quickly plummet. Anaerobic fitness – your ability to do high intensity exercise such as repeated sprints – will also rapidly decline. Power and speed will gradually suffer and muscle strength will decrease by 1 per cent each day you are inactive.
Don’t do too much too soon
It’s common to see players try and pick up where they left off the previous season, but this just isn’t possible. Light activities which engage both mind and body are key in the early off season period. Think of it like investing money in the bank that you will cash in later on. With this approach you will be adequately prepared to return to your club and participate in small-sided games, excel in fitness testing and avoid pre-season fatigue.
Brock Christopher is the Performance Manager at the EXOS International Off-Season Camp for Pro Footballers – http://www.teamexos.com/
[Image Source Twitter: Aston Villa defender Ritchie De Laet at EXOS Off-Season Camp, June2017]