Football Rehab – part 1


A fully fit player trains volume before intensity. He will first build up his ability to maintain making actions, before he will work towards making more actions per minute by training how to recover quicker between actions. A normal sequence in which to do this is by playing football conditioning games in an 11 v 11 format. You start this in preseason, followed by playing football conditioning games in the format 7 v 7 and then at the end of the football conditioning game reference you use 4 v 4. Football conditioning games are of course only one part of the whole week periodisation.
However there is an exception. A player in rehab is not able to execute more actions per minute, let alone maintain making many actions over a prolonged period of time, for example in a football session. In other words a player in rehab is temporarily unable to do the same workload as his team mates. Therefore a player in rehab has to do the opposite of every other player in the squad, by working from intensity to volume.

A fully fit player is able to execute every action at 100%. An injured player loses this ability temporarily because of his injury. Let’s say that the injured player is only able to execute his movements/actions at 60%. This means that there is a 40% gap between what he was able to do as a fit player and what he actually can do now. This gap must be closed very gradually and not forced. As we all know fitness build up quickly disappears a lot faster especially a rehab player. A gradual increase in workload towards full team training will ensure the players ability to maintain this fitness for longer.

Since this player is only able to execute his movements/actions at 60% of his 100%, the first thing the player has to learn is to train at a 70% intensity. This 70% is the players relative 100%. Since he will be exposed to 70% for the first time in a certain session this must be done in a quality session. Slowly but surely the intensity in the quality sessions is increased towards team training. To ensure the chance that the rehab player will be able to execute every movement/action at his relative 100% he needs to be totally fresh. Freshness is one of the main aspects within a quality session.

During the session the player in question needs to recover fully between actions so that he can execute the next action with the same quality. In other words the player needs maximum recovery between the movements/actions. In a quality session you want to improve the players ability to execute a movement/action better. This process will continue until the player in question starts training with the squad. When the time is right the player will start to join in with the squad where he will start to execute football actions. In this case the football actions/sessions are more important then individual training with the rehab coach. When introduced to team training for the first time the rehab player will, obviously,  participate in the football exercises first. He will do this because he must be totally fresh at the beginning of his  football session(s) and to ensure the quality needed to execute his football actions. Depending on what has been agreed upon in the staff meeting the player will step out of the football session and join the rehab coach for more work. This figure QL-QN shows that there is a difference between a quality session and a quantity session, which we haven’t mentioned yet. What exactly a quantity session is will be explained in the next post.

A rehab player unable to execute his actions at a 100% as a fit player, must be gradually introduced to a higher intensity. Therefore it is important that training to improve is of a higher order, then training to maintain in a rehab process. To ensure that the player is able to execute a quality session, you as coach, have to create the right prerequisites for the player both within and towards the planning of his session.

Thanks for sharing.


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