Don’t put Bombs on a fighter plane!

05 September 2016 Ben Cartwright recovery, football, fitness, development, sport, practice, actions, cognitive, loading, injury

There are many arguments regarding the best (or optimum for the benefit of the language snobs amongst us) way to continuously improve football fitness. The shame of this matter is that

A) the answer is blatantly clear (and undeniable)

B) arguing against the clear answer causes divisions (and therefore conflict) in the sport we love.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could work collaboratively for the consistent and continued development of players rather than our own egos? (a whole other blog).

The clear answer is to maximise football practices (training) in order to achieve the highest level of football fitness. Gaining every possible physiological improvement in a football context. That is a concept even a person with very little cognitive capacity can comprehend. Anything else that could be done in order to develop football fitness without compromising the player or the maximised use of football practices should also be considered.

Any method that compromises the player (incorrect loading = injury) or football practice (minimising fitness effect and ability to execute playing style at high tempo) is absolutely detrimental to football performance development, no question!

Look at it this way, sport is like war. There are many different sports, just like there are many types of warfare. Football is like dog fighting in an air war, with the players being jet fighter planes. We (the football fitness coaches) are the armourers, we equip the planes ready for the fight (which lasts 90 mins and is against 11 other jet fighters in a formation). We need to make sure we supply our fighters with the most effective weapon systems. This is undeniably air to air missiles (football practice), with a better chance of victory going to those planes carrying the maximum amount of missiles they are capable of. Fighter planes also carry cannons (those elements that add to players performance without compromising them or the maximisation of football practice, trunk stability for example). Cannons are also useful in the fight, but will always be secondary to the use of missiles.

Now imagine an armourer says hold on a minute, cluster bombs are also a weapon system (yeah in a ground war, ie another sport) so il fix these to the jet fighter instead. So they fit bombs at the expense of the missiles (weapons have a weight cost, players have a metabolic cost). What would motivate a person of reasonable intelligence to do this? (Maybe they want to stand out as a brilliant armourer worthy of social media celebrity?).

What would in happen here? The planes would be ineffective or less effective in a dog fight (of course). Then consider fitting more bombs to the wings of the fighter plane than it can handle, what’s going to happen? You’ll WILL break the plane! Sound familiar?

The injuries in football caused by those in charge of training is nothing short of criminal. Please do us all a favour, stop trying to fit bombs to a fighter plane so that you can stand out as ‘a brilliant’ armourer. Because you are in fact denying us the development of our game and destroying the lives of our future players (who are actual humans, not planes).