Derby County fitness training uncovered

THREE members of the performance team at high-flying Derby County have given a superb insight into what a typical working day entails for them.

Head of Fitness Steve Haines, Lead S&C Adam Burrows and GPS analyst Henry Dyson uncovered their work at the Moor Farm training centre during a visit by Rams TV.

Steve Haines: My role is to look after the fitness of the players, reporting into the manager and Head of Medical (Nigel Cox). I work closely with Adam and Henry to report training data back to the manager and plan and implement on-field and off-field gym sessions.

The manager is quite clear on the KPIs he wants on a match day. We believe injury reduction is a by-product of good training.

Adam plans all the off-field work, which incorporates post-training gym sessions and all of the pre-training work we do. The lads are in the gym daily at 10 o’clock, half an hour before training starts. Depending on what day and what build-up we are doing, the content of those sessions will vary.

Adam Burrows: I work predominantly in the gym, working on strength, power and areas of injury risk, so that when the players go outside they are in the best condition to be able to deal with the training demands.

From 10am onwards, we do activation, which prepares the players for training so they can get the most from the session and is also used as a conditioner.

We design the session to crescendo in terms of intensity, so that when we finish everyone feels ready to jump, sprint, do technical and tactical work, whatever it may be.

Steve Haines: When they finish activation, at about 10.25, I’ll take them out and lead the warm-up. This will depend on what day it is and what the football session is going to involve. On certain days it will be about developing further physical capacities of the players which will improve their performance on the pitch.

Henry records every training session we do on the grass. With the GPS we do it live and this data is periodised during the week and fed back to the manager both during and after sessions to help with his planning.

Henry Dyson: First thing in the morning we get the GPS units out in their places ready to go for training. Everything onfield is monitored using these - all of their physical data from every training session.

During training I’m close to the drills, clipping the drills, giving live feedback to Steve and the manager and any of the coaches who want to know what a certain player has done and whether we’ve hit any targets we wanted for that day.

There’s a lot you can collect, so it’s about condensing it down and putting it into something we can use on a daily/ weekly basis and that is going to give the coaches feedback they can understand and which is helpful to them.

The main metrics we look at are distance covered and distances covered at certain speed zones, so high-speed running, sprinting, acceleration and decelerations.

Knowing exactly what the players have done means you can really control their week a lot better, maximise their performance at the weekend and minimise the risk of injury and fatigue.

Steve Haines: After every session, recovery is important, so we have the cryotherapy chamber at the moment and the lads will be using that post sessions. It’s something we’ve got for the foreseeable future and we’re doing some testing on that to see what kind of benefit we’re getting for our players.

They know they will work really hard on a Tuesday - that’s our main work day - that they’ll have a day off after that and come in on Thursday for a short, sharp session. The intensity will still be there, but we’re just going to reduce the volume, and that will carry on into Friday as well.

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