One question I’m constantly asked when it comes to training the Indy Eleven is this:
What changes from year to year with your in-season programs?
And while it’s a great question, it’s not necessarily the best question. At this point in time, my basic philosophy with regards to in-season training is well formed.
The better question is this:
How has the make-up of the team (and the athletes playing on it) changed within the last year?
For instance, the past two years we’ve featured a very young team. Guys who are just getting their start in pro soccer have been put in a place where they can work
their way up the ranks. And with a younger team, you have a group of guys that not only recover a bit faster, but are a bit more raw with regards to their athletic development.
As a physical preparation coach, it’s my job to help develop these guys physically into the athlete’s I know they can become.
With this year’s squad, however, we’re featuring a bit more veteran roster. These guys are much further along with regards to their technical development. However, the development comes with a price: Many have played in the professional ranks for years, and as such, have a bit more tread worn off the tires.
So now, instead of working with these guys twice per week at trying to develop them, my job shifts to more of a performance manager role. My job is to make sure that I keep these guys feeling fit, healthy and strong over the course of the seven month season.
I’ve learned in my tenure with the Indy Eleven that no two years are exactly alike. However, with smart planning and a program that’s customized to this years time, I’m confident we’ll have a successful year.