During the coronavirus crisis, every football side across the world is facing uncertainty regarding their training and the maintenance of their players’ fitness. FC Barcelona of La Liga – one of Europe’s elite – have shared how they have managed to handle this problem.
Barcelona Modify Training to Suit the Isolation Period
As the strategies implemented almost worldwide by the respective countries’ governance impacts the competition, training and meetings of football teams, some teams took the matter into their own hands in terms of fitness and training.
Via their Barca Innovation Hub page, the Catalan giants have shared their ways around the limitations of the isolation period to keep track of their players’ fitness.
An Elite Team’s Way of Coping
As Barcelona are a top side, their training strategies and methods are almost unrivalled. Their players are used to high-intensity exercises, complex instructions and agile movements each day at the training camp.
As games have also come to a halt, the idea is to continue a similar workload to weekly La Liga, Copa Del Rey and UEFA Champions League fixtures, so that the players are able to cope when resuming suddenly yet again. An elite mentality towards the game is shown by an elite side of Spanish football.
The Mental Challenge for Everyone at Barcelona
This hard time hands a big challenge for coaches, nutritionists and other background workers at the club to prove their worth and overcome such a difficult situation.
The maintenance of a players’ motivation, fitness and shape requires emotional, physical and technical support with whatever it may concern. Coaches have to modify and come up with different strategies in order to keep players interested in completing their programmes, and having a largely positive outcome of it
The Coaches’ Thoughts
Coaches within the club on the Barca Innovation Page were quoted numerous times with their explanations of what players should expect in their training programmes given to them at home.
Antonio Gomez, Barcelona’s first team strength and conditioning coach has played an integral part in the development of the instructions. He said: “Even though that as a community we were not aware of the impact and the measures that were to be adopted, we tried to anticipate them and developed a schedule for each player that tries to simulate the workload of a regular week”.
He added: “The load dynamic is very similar to our regular microcycle. We simulated our two-game weeks and the day off, by outlining two workload peaks, one in the middle and the other at the end of the week”
The Barcelona Training Deciphered
The main objective of the training given to the players is to reach the heart rate and intensity of their usual training, games and other activities. They are able to do this by working out on the spin bike or treadmill by preference, both of which involve cardiovascular endurance and some muscle movements.
Later, players would send their RPE (Rate of perceived exertion), the distance, and pace to their coaches who are in daily contact with the players. This information is used by the coaches to analyse and modify the training to what is needed to keep the player fighting fir for when the game day finally comes.
Weight of the players is also to be closely monitored by the coaches as the energy use is significantly reduced while in isolation. The shape of the body is to be maintained by the players accurately.