Lee Fearn on the search for improvement in all areas
In the second part of our interview with strength and conditioning coach Lee Fearn he talked about the constant need for improvement as the medical department continually looks to develop and evolve as new practices come to the fore.
“Next season is a new challenge with new players in the mix, but we’ll try and make sure the trend of improvement continues at every level of what we do,” he said. “The reason why we do things is to give the players the best chance possible of performing.
“One thing I will say is that we don’t like the term ‘injury prevention’ round here. All we try to do is look at the risk factors certain players have for injury and we try to reduce those risk factors.
“What we did last season, and we’ll be utilising it again next season, is to make things quite competitive. The way to stimulate adherence to training and hard work with players is to turn as much of it as possible into a competition.
“We sometimes display who had the fastest speed that week, or who worked at the maximum percentage of their speed, because you can’t really compare a Michael Raynes to a Charlie Wyke when it comes to top speeds, for example. That would be unfair. If we look at who works at the best percentage of their own top speed, or who covered the most distance, you start to see who has really pushed the boundaries.”
“We’ll be working within four minute intervals during pre-season and we will look at who works at what level within that,” he explained. “Again, we’ll look to see if we can use that to foster competition so we’ll display the information afterwards. There’s always a good buy into that because the lads are keen to compete with each other. If we can make the players thrive on competition then hopefully there’ll be a little bit of a transfer of that into a match day.”
On how much things have changed over the last few seasons, he said: “I think when you look at the physical data throughout the leagues over the last 10 or 15 years it shows that a more scientific and analytic approach does work.
“Things like sprint distances covered and overall distances covered are increasing every year. That isn’t down to any one department, because everyone plays their part, from the coaching staff and medical staff to the players themselves.
“With anything in this field you find that over time, with the introduction of new technologies and procedures, you learn more and your knowledge base increases. We pride ourselves on the fact we’re always seeking to improve within our department, because we aren’t the finished article. There’s an awful lot about my own profession that I want to improve on a daily basis because I think we all have to keep doing that.
“We have our philosophies and our way of working and we set our targets for all of the right reasons. Everything we do is to improve the performances we get from the players. As ever that’s in tandem with the work the coaching staff does.
“We like to think we win together and we lose together. And when it comes down to it the players are the ones who actually get out there and do the work, so a lot of the credit has to go to them when we’re successful.”
And on what he wants to see on the first day back after the summer break, he said: “The players arriving on time and at the right training venue is always a good start! Seriously though, I’m sure they’ll be in good condition.
“We have data from the end of last season from the players who’ve been retained, so we’ll use that, and one thing I will repeat is that we were very happy with the condition the players came back in last year.
“That’s down to them knowing the philosophy of the football club and it’s testament to the players that they go away and do the work they need to do to make that case. I’m sure it’ll be the same again this time round.”
Click HERE for part one of this interview.
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