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Fitness First!


15:59 2nd July 2013

Players being put through their paces

Into the second week of pre-season, and there are plenty of Wolves players already suggesting it is already one of the most intense they have experienced.


And that will probably be music to the ears of new Head Coach Kenny Jackett and the club’s backroom staff, well aware of the need to be one of the fittest teams out there to deal with the challenges of League One.


The first two weeks of pre-season is following a scheduled tried and trusted by Jackett throughout his career of a morning run, sharp football session and then afternoon gym work.


He is hopeful the players will then reap the rewards over a long and gruelling season.


“I’ve talked to the staff to a degree about what has gone on before,” says Jackett.


“I have my own ideas and my own training patterns and that’s been important since we came back.


“We’ve worked reasonably hard and the players have come back as they always do – they are quite fit and enthusiastic, which is a bonus for us.


“It will be interesting to see how they develop; we’re here for another week and then we go to Scotland and start the game, which will be very interesting for me.


“But these two weeks are about us laying down some foundations of our fitness.


“On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week we were doing three sessions a day and we’ll continue that through next week.

“We do one running session, one football session and one gym-based session.


“That’s my way of doing things through the early period, and I think it gives a good base to go into the games section and pick up hopefully in terms of where they left off and then set some targets as to where we want to improve.”


In terms of needing the squad to be as fit as possible, Jackett added:  “There needs to be that, and that’s tied in with good decisions and good players.


“But I think there needs to be (a fitter team) because when you’re talking about a young, vibrant side competing – and there has to be some play on top of that – those basics of enthusiasm have to be there.


“And whether they’re in the make-up with the same people or they’re in the make-up of the new individuals, they have to be there.


“The facilities here and the staff here are there for you – you can’t say there’s any excuse not to get on the pitch this afternoon or you can’t get in the gym.


“It’s a positive environment and a terrific place to work.


“We try to go through everything – the body fat is very important because it does pick up how you live outside of the training ground I think.


“It’s something you can’t kid so every three weeks we need to be checking people’s body fat.


“And then we need to feed it back to them because if they use it positively, they will embrace it and see it as a challenge to get themselves one or two per cent fitter.


“If you can make one or two per cent positive difference in any industry, you would.


“I think for players to be set those sorts of tasks is very important.”


Jackett has highlighted the level of expertise within the sports science and medical departments at Compton as a big positive about Wolves.


And he will be taking a close interest in their work and the continuous assessment of the squad’s fitness levels, particularly during pre-season.


“You do really have to embrace it because otherwise you’d only be delegating it,” he added.


“You have to take responsibility for it because ultimately the head coach takes responsibility for the results, the quality of the players and the preparation of the players.


“We have these departments to help us but you have to take responsibility for those despite the fact that they may be do a lot of the groundwork.


“You have to know what they’re doing and I watch all the sessions, watching people before it and talking to them after it.


“We will all share our opinions but ultimately it’s my responsibility so I will have a big input.”

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