THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Substantial increase in fitness levels in Indian National Team pre-season camp

Indian national football team head coach Stephen Constantine.

There has been a substantial increase in the fitness levels of the Indian National Team boys during the pre-season training camp in the Capital, National Coach Stephen Constantine has informed.

As per the tests conducted on the set of 23 boys on July 25, 2016 (the day when the pre-season camp kicked-off) and August 7, 2016 (a day prior to the departure of the team to Bhutan), themaximal aerobic speed scores were 12.94% better than when the camp kicked-off.

Also, the Vo2max (aerobic capacity) scores were 11.67% (on August 7, 2016) better than the first day of the camp.

“When the players came in from inactivity the first thing we needed to do is to ascertain where exactly they are physically. The increase in their fitness levels has been very significant. A rise of almost 13 percent in 10 days of training is huge,” Constantine told AIFF Media.

“There were two sessions on most days and on occasions we even had three sessions in a day. The morning session would be aerobic work and was followed up a 20-minute gym session on some days which intended to increase the strength,” Constantine informed. “In the afternoon, it was all tactical and technical addressing the roles and responsibilities of the players.”

Constantine mentioned that he was “grateful” to the General Secretary Kushal Das for giving him the opportunity to work with the players.

“I need to mention that we also have four days of training in Bhutan prior to our kick-off on August 13. I am grateful to the General Secretary. The AIFF have tried and are trying to give me more or less what I want,” he added.

“When I get the players for two or three days I cannot work anything physically with them. It’s just impossible to increase fitness in two or three days. We need time with them prior to any match simply because they are not doing the same physical work at the club level,” he uttered.

“Prior to a match you got to focus on tactic, technique, and roles and responsibilities in some positions. At the time, there’s no time to work on the fitness. You assume that when they are in their clubs playing in a regular league, there is no need to focus on the fitness side.”

How do the players sustain the fitness level which they have attained in the pre-season camp, you enquire.

“It’s something they need to figure out for themselves. If the club is not doing the work, they need to figure it out, and it will be for their own benefit. If they don’t sustain the fitness levels, then we will have to start from scratch when they report next time to the National Camp,” he commented.

“It’s important that as a nation that we understand that if we are to qualify the Asian Cups and World Cups, we need to got to be doing more from the physical side and sadly I can’t control that as it done by the clubs,” he opined.

The Indian National Team arrived in Thimphu on Monday (August 8) to face Bhutan in an unofficial friendly match slated for August 13.

(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)