Football is an individual team sport with 11 individuals organised together in order to work as a team. However, these players all have different roles and responsibilities for the team. They all have different genes, come from different backgrounds and therefore react differently to the training load planned by the coaches. Age differences, injury history, body composition, playing position and culture are just some of the factors that have to be considered when preparing the individual workload of each and every player. This doesn’t mean that every players workload has to be adjusted every single day. Yet, in most cases it is better to be safe then sorry.
There are two things you have to consider when planning the individual workload per player. The first thing to consider is if a player should have a structural or a temporary lower workload. The second thing is if it should be a big or a small adjustment. Players with an injury history, for example a previous ACL injury or a recurrent hamstring injury, must be considered to have a structurally lower workload. The question now is should it be a big or small adjustment? There are several reasons why these players got injured. One of them is too much too soon, which is a regular occurrence. Depending on other factors as well, the player with a previous ACL injury can be considered to have a small structural reduction of his weekly workload. The player with a recurrent hamstring injury must be considered a big structural adjustment for his weekly training load.
Youth players joining the first team in the upcoming season or a 25 year old joining the team coming from a lower level can be considered for a temporary lower workload.
The youth player was used to executing actions at a certain speed with his U19 team. With the first team Individual periodisation – part 2 he will be playing with less space and time, so the speed of actions goes up, which will then mean he accumulates fatigue faster. This youth player should be brought up to team level training very gradually. In oth- er words a big temporary reduction of the workload should be considered. The same can be said for the 25 year old coming from a lower level, but because of other factors this player could be considered to have small temporary reductions of his workload and join all team sessions earlier then his younger team mate.
Combinations of all factors are of course possible. For example a 35 year old full back with fast muscle fibre’s known with recurrent hamstring problems….here the solution would be a big structural lowering of the workload during the training week towards the next game. Football is a game sport, therefore the training minutes will be adjusted and not the Game minutes. If this 35 year old can play for 70-80 minutes every week, then it shouldn’t be a problem if he trains less then his team mates. Or does it?
A lot of can, should, would and could in this post. All players possible workload must be communicated on a daily basis within the staff set up. There are many external factors that have to be considered before entering the training pitch, but as long as you have a structured plan to fall back on, you can decrease the amount of injuries dramatically.
Thanks for sharing.