It’s that time of year. Many of you this week will have made the first trip back down to your club for some of the opening fitness sessions of pre season. Grim. There’s nothing worse than the feeling you get after that first session but at least you know you're on the road to getting that carcass in shape!
As much as we hate it though, pre season is a very important time of the year and you can, if you give it your full attention, give yourself a huge benefit over other players you might be competing against within your own club or those you come up against over the season.
Take the opportunity and embrace it rather than queuing up for the physio for that suspiciously tight hamstring!
One thing is key though. Don’t tear into pre season with barely a care for your body. You will pay for that. And badly.
Build into not only the sessions, but the season. Bear in mind we are going to be belting each other and local rivals for the best part of nine months so don’t go mad and break your body at this stage.
Yes, push yourself but you know better than any when you are about to crumple in a pile of beer smelling dust. The more time you are involved in the sessions and on your feet the better.
Base fitness is key at this time.
And that means only one thing. No apologies here...Running.
It’s the greatest way to get fitter quicker and some of the running drills we are used to are truly disgusting. But they don’t last long do they….. Well, they shouldn’t if your coach has an ounce of concern for you!!
You can increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capabilities through these drills so make sure you get them in the bag. You need to get an aerobic base before getting stuck into the shuttles and down and ups.
You might be a coach or a player reading this but either way, tell those running pre season that there are loads of great games you can play which can kill two birds with one stone.
Everyone working on their fitness at the same time as working on their ball skills, spacial awareness and game understanding. No one even realises they are doing it. Well they do because they are hanging but it’s better than running from line to line! Isn’t it?
Make sure that fitness games are a big part of your club’s pre season.
Don’t hate pre season. Enjoy it.
Yes we know it’s not the most comfortable thing we’ve all experienced but it’s a necessary evil and if you get a good one under your belt you will feel the difference for sure. We know you feel better because it’s the first time we’ve seen you strutting your stuff in the changing room with your towel round your waist!!
However it goes for you and your club, try and get through it as best you can and then you can focus on what we all crave, the competitive games. They aren’t far off. Just make sure you put the graft in now prior to unleashing your ‘inner Manu’ on everyone.