Nowhere to hide for GWS players

Written By Unknown on Senin, 24 Desember 2012 | 14.43

Spare a thought for Greater Western Sydney players before you dig into your slice of Christmas pudding this year. You might be able to rest up on the couch afterwards, but not the Giants who each have a detailed training schedule they must adhere to irrespective of where they happen to be in Australia. Source: Herald Sun

THE GWS Giants have taken Big Brother to a new level. Gone are the days when a Christmas break meant a real holiday for elite footballers.

Gone are the days when players could slacken off from training on holidays and get away with it. There is no hiding it any more.

Giants players will be wearing state-of-the-art GPS watches at all times when they train during their two-week Christmas break with every detail of their training recorded into a program that can be seen by coaches and teammates.

Heart rate, speed, distance, terrain and weather are measured by the Garmin GPS watches that are now all but standard in the AFL.

"This year I was travelling around the world. I was in Delhi and I was watching what our players were doing in training," GWS head of performance John Quinn said.

"I could send them an email saying, 'How come you haven't done this?' It's keeping them honest.

"I guess what we've been able to do with the Giants is make that world a bit smaller. Even when the players go away, to keep track of them and keep them motivated to keep working.

"We have a system where everybody is held accountable."

So before you tuck into your Christmas Day feast, spare a thought for the Giants with no way of getting out of training on their holiday.

They each have a detailed personal exercise routine and they are expected to follow it.

Long distance running, sprints, weights and football skills. Memberships at Fitness First gyms across the country have been organised for them. There are no excuses.

Just because most of the players are still teenagers doesn't mean they are allowed to act like it.

The coaching staff see them as professional footballers and professionalism is demanded.

Equally important as the accountability is being able to monitor the players' training loads.

The Giants' sports science team will speak to every player two or three times over the next two weeks to give them feedback on how they are meeting their targets, saying they had to tell players to stop training too hard during their end-of-season breaks.

"We have to tell them, 'Don't get carried away', because they do," Quinn said.

"They're professional athletes, but at the end of the day they are also people and they've got to have balance in their life.

"We've pushed them as hard as we could possibly push them and now we get two weeks where the intensity comes off and then we build it up again when they get back.

"We're only about 90 days away from our first game so it's not that far to go and we've got to get them ready for it.

"They've certainly all lifted to a new level and I think they're more settled in Sydney. So yes, I am excited about what we're doing and I can see that we're only going to be going forward."

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