Sports Scientist explains modern approach
AFC Wimbledon first-team players were welcomed back today with a light session as part of a “modern approach” adopted by club staff, but Jason Moriarty promised that it will get tougher in the coming weeks.
Sports Scientist Jason, who is starting his sixth season with the Dons, says that training techniques and facilities have evolved greatly since he first joined and easing the players back on their first day is part of that philosophy.
Jason, who is pictured right with new signing Jon Meades after training today, spoke extensively about pre-season plans during an interview for Dons Player.
“The manager is very methodical in everything that he does,” said Jason. “Everything will be progressive during pre-season. Today was just a really light session to get them back with it. The lads have not touched a ball for two months so it is important that they find their feet. This will prepare them to work harder tomorrow. I will look at the heart rate data and I will be able to see where players are in terms of how hard they find the work that they are doing.
“We give the lads fatigue questionnaires that they fill in every morning. We monitor training loads with the use of heart rate data and we monitor fatigue during pre-season. From this information we will know if we have under-cooked or over-cooked players with their fitness. If we want to have no injuries during pre-season these measures are of key importance.”
AFC Wimbledon’s training approach during pre-season relies heavily on a system called periodisation, which Jason has a big responsibility for overseeing during the season ahead. Neal Ardley is a big believer in periodisation over the course of a season, which involves breaking a training period of up to a year into smaller periods to ensure peak fitness at a crucial stage of the campaign. This means it’s a more gradual training load throughout the summer in preparation for when the serious action begins.
We have a very modern approach here. When the manager came in he brought in his philosophy of how he wanted to develop the fitness of players through tactical periodisation. It involves putting elements of how he wants to play into a training game. “This is the season plan and we break down parts of the season into different cycles,” added Jason. “We focus on the requirements that we need in a particular period.
“In the first two weeks of pre-season it is really important to develop the ability of the boys to work from the first minute to the last minute. We will do that progressively and overload them gradually. We may work in three blocks of eight minutes tomorrow and then in three blocks of nine minutes on Friday.
“If we want to evolve their ability to press then we may take the numbers down and work on a smaller pitch. They will therefore get more ball contact with more involvement in the game so that they have to work harder. We will also look at their capacity to get from box to box. They are the three key elements that we look at so that we can develop a rounded fitness plan for the whole season.”
The full seven-minute update from Jason Moriarty is now on Dons Player, along with an interview with Tom Beere.