Created on 02-07-2008 at 00:00 AM
The Bayern stars have reported back for pre-season training to find that almost nothing is the same as it used to be. Instead of parking directly in front of the dressing rooms, they now leave their Audis in the club’s new underground car park, from where they no longer proceed to the professionals’ quarters, but to the ultra-modern performance centre. Instead of being greeted at the door by a pack of pressmen, they emerge onto a terrace with chairs and sunshades.
Perhaps even more of a shift is a radical change in the structure of the professional players’ working day. Some used to go home after the morning session before returning for the afternoon workout, but now the playing staff spend the entire day at the Säbener Strasse. Has Jürgen Klinsmann introduced an eight-hour shift system at the club?
“No, it’s not a move to an eight-hour day,” Klinsmann insisted at his first news conference on Wednesday. Once pre-season is over, the players would spend “substantially less time“ at the Säbener Strasse, “because we’ll normally only be training once a day.“
However, pre-season is another matter altogether. The schedule calls for two workouts a day, with the players remaining together between sessions. They eat together, work out in the gym, and the overseas players and coaches take German classes. They are provided with films, books, laptops and recreational areas. The objective on the one hand is to create a oasis of well-being, and on the other to promote the stars’ personal development. “We’ll work intensively with the players, as we want to bring them on as individuals,” Klinsmann explained.
No training camp
Even when the training burden is reduced to a single daily session, the intention is for the players to continue their personal programmes. “People say matches are won and lost in the head,” Klinsmann commented, “but if we don’t train their mental abilities, we have to ask ourselves whether we’ve actually helped the players in winning matches.“
The new performance centre provides the premises for this intensive individual coaching. “The players are utterly enthusiastic about the centre,” Klinsmann revealed. The new facility at the Säbener Strasse means there will be no training camp this summer. “We can work in a targeted and intensive way to the highest standards right here,“ the coach pointed out.
Energy in abundance
The players are free to return home and “live their lives” following afternoon training, Klinsmann noted. “It’s important they spend time with their wives and children. I think what we’re doing will free up a great deal of energy rather than draining it. It’s better than sitting around in some hotel of an evening and wondering what to do with yourself.“
Klinsmann is certain the players will take to their extended working day. “I’m not worried at all. In fact, I reckon they’re looking forward to it.“ The current squad is by and large made up of “a younger generation who expect to be stimulated, inspired and motivated. We’ll keep them busy with plenty of topics and ideas.“ The schedule includes plenty of time for such activities.
Typical pre-season daily schedule:
9.30: Meet at performance centre, briefing on training plan for the day
10.00: Individual preparation for morning training in the gym (Klinsmann: “The players will already have worked out for half an hour before they take to the pitch.“)
from 10.30: Training (approx. 75 minutes)
Thereafter: Cool-down phase in weights room
Thereafter: Squad lunch
13.15 to 14.00: Media window: Reporters have access to players at round table discussions or news conferences. Simultaneously, players and coaches may attend German class or pursue other personal development projects.
15.00: Individual preparation for afternoon training in the gym
from 15.30: Training
Thereafter: Treatment, massage etc
Approx. 17.30: End of working day