With an eye on the return to training with the start of the new academic year in September, IHM Football Academy Senior Coach, Sam Launay and IHM at Ellesmere College coach, Brandon, have recently been chatting about the importance of pre-season training and preparation. Sam and Brandon wanted to make sure that they can send some clear guidance to the young players in plenty of time to allow them to prepare for the long season ahead.

Making sure that you get back into training, pre-season, is always really important. It gives a player an advantage over the rest of the squad. No player wants to start a new season as the least fit player on the team. Pre-season fitness training will show if you may not have been keeping your fitness up or maybe enjoying too many burgers and pizzas over the summer break! But, this is completely natural. Both IHM coaches agree that everyone deserves a break.

However, being properly prepared for the new season ahead is important. You are advised to build your confidence before the season even starts. It’s comforting to know that you’ll have a good level of fitness from the very beginning. The coaches also stress the importance of keeping stamina high. You need to be able to keep up with the game and be able play the full 90 minutes.

And it’s not just your physical fitness that you need to consider. You also need to be mentally ready for the upcoming season. You want to know that you can keep focused and maintain your levels of technical and tactical ability throughout the match. So, yes, pre-season can be tough, but it is definitely worth it.

Brandon says:

“Pre-season is vital in terms of getting a base level of fitness.
I’ve done way too many pre-seasons to remember, but in the life of a footballer, pre-season really gets you up that fitness level.
Everyone has had a break over the summer. You’ve had a good break off, a good break away, probably eating a few too many burgers and chips, but it’s good to get back into routine.
It also helps with team camaraderie and working together, going through those kind of tough, tough sessions to work as a group, and that will ultimately help you further on in the season.”

Sam agrees with Brandon:

“I agree with what you say about bringing the lads together, a bit of camaraderie and gets the spirits going as well when we’re all going through that, we call it turmoil, but doing your bleep tests and doing your butterfly runs and whatever they might be. It’s killer, but if you’re doing it all together as a team, it’s good.”

If you’re coming back after the summer break and you’ve not done a single run or a single bit of exercise in the best part of two months, then you’re really going to struggle.
For this reason Sam and Brandon have put together some pre-season guidance for our players.

Football skills and technique sessions and individual practice doesn’t often need any equipment apart from a football. There are plenty of videos on YouTube that you can use to practise in your free time.

Familiarising yourself with the ball, especially when you are tired after a fitness run, will allow you to perform better when you arrive back in September.

Football practice will look more like a game when practising with others as part of a group (friends, local team etc) and this will also be beneficial to your fitness and awareness.

Look out for Sam and Brandon’s pre-season fitness building tips as they help our players prepare for the start of the new season.