IT was back to the classroom, of sorts, for members of Argyle’s first-team squad on Tuesday, as they participated in their end-of-season testing at City College Plymouth.
Argyle’s Strength and Conditioning coach Ollie Osborne led the session, under the watchful eye of Head of Football Derek Adams and his coaching staff. The testing took advantage of the college’s state-of-the-art facilities, and included data gathering of players’ core strength, agility, balance and weight-lifting, as City College Plymouth’s programme manager for strength and conditioning, Ian Davis, explained to the bewildered Argyle Media team on Tuesday morning.
“What we’re trying to do is assess what the players’ capabilities are in relation to strength, jumping ability, safety and mechanics in relation to movement,” said Ian.
The Pilgrims were put through their paces on four different machines. The ‘nord-board’, which assesses risk of hamstring injury by looking at the balance between left and right hamstrings, the isokinetic dynamometer, which tracks the balance between quadricep and hamstring strength, as well as a force platform which assesses jumping ability and a weights rack.
All tests were ably administered by City College Plymouth staff and students, overseen by Ian, who felt that the performance of the Argyle players was excellent, given the exhausting nature of a season’s toils in Sky Bet League One.
“We are expecting the performance at the moment to be fairly good, but they’re getting towards the end of the season, so they’re going to be a little bit fatigued,” said Ian. “We can compare the data to what we collect in pre-season and then try and keep them performing highly, while also protecting them from injury.
“The bits of kit that we use, and the technology that we use, gives us pretty much instant feedback, so the players can see actually see for themselves on the screen whether there is some sort of imbalance. Things are looking really good, especially for this stage of the season.”
The data gathered over Tuesday’s session will be used as a benchmark for players’ fitness, allowing Ollie and the rest of the back-room staff to analyse the squad’s fitness when they return from their end-of-season break in the summer.
“City College have offered us the facilities which are state of the art,” said Ollie. “There’s a lot of equipment here that we can use, and we’ve got a lot of great coaches working with us which is all the better for us.
“We’re just looking at strength and balances, the dynamics of how the player has been this season, so we can send them away with better strength and conditioning programmes so we can make them into better athletes.”
You can view the video of the Pilgrims’ excursion to City College Plymouth for free on iFollow Argyle, which includes full interviews with Ollie Osborne and Ian Davis.
For further information on degree-level courses available at City College Plymouth, including routes in Strength and Conditioning, Sports Therapy or Sports Rehabilitation, click here.