First team players at Ipswich Town Football Club have been to the University of Suffolk’s Human Performance Laboratory for pre-season fitness analysis.
Several of the University’s Sport Science degrees are run in partnership with Ipswich Town but this is the first time the Club has used the facilities with first team players.
Jimmy Reynolds, Head of Sport Science and Medicine at Ipswich Town Football Club for the Academy, explains, “We have been progressing the interaction between the University students with the Academy for a number of years and as we progress forwards there are ample opportunities for students to be exposed to the first team setting as well.”
“It can be difficult to progress in sport science and strength and conditioning if you don’t have the applied experience so to have a degree that allows students to be exposed to a huge amount of applied work and to apply themselves is invaluable. It is a very, very good opportunity.”
The Human Performance Laboratory at the University features industry standard equipment such as the Biodex Isokinetic machine.
“The machine measures forces. You can use it for the whole body but we are particularly focusing on the knee joint,” says Jimmy. “We are looking at whether the hamstrings and quad strips are producing enough force, pound for pound for their body weight. We are looking at the injury risk for each individual, how quickly they can produce that force and any areas to improve on. We can then design a programme that will be suitable for them to progress as an athlete and as a footballer.”
“Because there is so much here in the Human Performance Laboratory at the University it is about choosing the pertinent things we can do now. The academic team allow us to look at the research, the detail, the statistical analysis of everything we do. That allows us to become more efficient. Students are benefitting because as well as getting ‘hands on experience’; they can look retrospectively at all of our data too.”
Nathan Winder, newly appointed Sport Scientist at Ipswich Town Football Club, added, “We’re here to get some physical data on the lads to give us an overview to see how they are, what condition they’re in. At the end of pre-season, we’ll do some more tests and see how well they’ve improved. It also gives us a marker for the rest of the season. We’ve got a mixture of first team players and under 23’s, it is good to integrate the youngsters coming through with the first team and vice versa; for the pros to see the young lads coming through.”
“It is really good to be using the link with the University, for sport science and for the physical development of the players. There’s testing and exercises we can do at the training ground but being at the university adds another dimension. It is fantastic to have the use of these facilities.”
University of Suffolk Press Office
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