Coping with the Christmas football calendar
Fixtures come thick and fast during the festive period and wintry conditions place great demands on footballers, testing their fitness levels to the limit.
Most Premier League clubs will take part in four matches in a little over a week this Christmas. However, cup commitments and European fixtures can lead to an even greater pile up of matches.
For example, Manchester City face the prospect of eight matches between the 16th December and the 15th January, almost the equivalent of a game every two and a half days. For all their riches, such a hectic run of games is bound to create headaches for the Eastlands club.
Many leading European leagues now have a break over the holiday period and there have been calls for the British game to follow suit. But with Christmas matches tending to attract larger crowds there is little prospect of this happening any time soon.
Clubs in the Championship traditionally play a full round of fixtures on Boxing Day and New Years Day to take advantage of bigger attendances. However, as both of these days fall on weekends this year the situation is compounded by the presence of a further full set of matches just two days later.
With so many matches in such a short space of time, it is not uncommon for injuries to mount up and players form to suffer as they attempt to struggle through games without sufficient periods of rest and recuperation.
The cluttered Christmas fixture list highlights the importance of proper preparation and a structured training programme.
Clubs have to take extra precautions to monitor their players fitness levels, ensure they are following strict nutritional programmes while taking care not to over exert footballers which can increase the risk of serious injury.
fitnessASSIST supplies a wide range of training aids and sports nutrition products to help athletes maintain peak physical condition and also strapping, bandages and tapes for the prevention and management of sports injuries.
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