Lazio athletic trainer Fabio Ripert highlighted the importance of the squad’s physical condition and preparations ahead of the final stretch of the season.
Speaking in an interview with Italian radio broadcaster Lazio Style Radio (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) earlier today, Ripert first spoke about the preparations required for the business end of the season.
There was little time between last season and the start of this one. We have set up a different preparation than usual, as we only have two weeks of recovery.
By monitoring the guys, we saw that there wasn’t a big drop in aerobic fitness and strength. The important thing in this final phase is to try to get the whole team in top condition and work with individual programmes, based on who plays more and who plays less.
With our equipment we are able to regulate the individual loads for all the guys. In this final phase you have to be as effective as possible and there are several aspects that count, mental, physical and tactical. There is no room for error.
He then moved onto discussing the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
There were also Covid cases that influenced things. Those who came from Covid took 2-3 weeks to return with a normal heart rate.
On the athletic side, we can’t condition an athlete in a week, we need at least six weeks. This has also led the coach to make certain tactical choices.
The Biancocelesti athletic trainer spoke about how to avoid injuries.
There’s four trainers and we manage the squad. Individually we do work in the gym and split into groups of 4-5 with excellent results. Compared to the 1970s, today’s players cover more kilometers on the pitch, a midfielder can cover up to 14 kilometers in a match.
This is why injuries have increased. The highest number of injuries occurs in matches and not in training, because during the match there is maximum athletic and psychological stress. Body and mind are linked, if the psychophysical stress increases there are more injuries.
Ripert was impressed with the condition of Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi.
We have real professionals in the team. Acerbi is very strong mentally, above the norm. On a physical level he has great recovery skills. Then it also depends on the role. Although he runs a lot, a defender does a few kilometers less than a midfielder.
Deep-lying midfielders, for example, expend a lot of energy. Making them play too many consecutive games rather than a defender is not the same thing. Nutrition is also very important and Acerbi controls it a lot.
Finally, Ripert discussed the upcoming European championship.
There’s so little time that the national teams will do more tactical work than athletic work. When the leagues are over, we need to switch off a bit and rest.
At a motivational level there will be no problems for a tournament like the European Championship, so I don’t think we will see big differences at a physical level.