Steve Fletcher: The importance of routine in success
PUBLISHED: 15:59 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 15:59 16 November 2016
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Routine is vital for any football club to function properly and for your players to perform at their very best
At AFC Bournemouth, we have a certain degree of continuity in terms of how we prepare for every match. Assuming we’ve played on a Saturday, then Sunday will usually be a rest day. Our manager Eddie Howe trusts the players to cool down in the way that best suits them, typically with a light walk.
Monday is a recovery day for those involved in a match over the weekend. Some players might go in the ice bath, the cryotherapy chamber (a state-of-the-art alternative to cold water immersion or ice packs) or have a massage, all of which helps to treat any muscle or tissue damage. Those players not involved in the game will train. We have harder, physical training sessions on the Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when the group is back to its full quota – about 25 –and we really work on fitness levels. Our in-house sport science team help prepare and monitor these sessions, as they do for everything involving the players.
If we are playing on a Saturday, Thursday is traditionally a rest day but there might a few first-team players training – either on their way back from injury or looking to make an impression with the manager. Friday is when we focus on the tactical aspects of our upcoming match; we work on set pieces and other game-related scenarios. There’s a small 11v11 game or an extended five-a-side that day with a forfeit for the losing team which makes it good fun! It’s nothing too intense, just something to get the legs going.
My week at the football club is intense, fast-paced and exciting. I usually get in about 7am and leave at 6.30pm. Some mornings I get in earlier as I set-up a weights circuit for myself and Eddie. I make the circuit up in my mind on my way to the stadium and then we meet in the club gym at 6.15am about two or three times a week. I try to vary the exercises, so Eddie doesn’t get bored and lose interest!
My coaching commitments with the first team take-up the morning, after lunch, Jimmy Glass, our player liaison officer, tells me which outreach events have been arranged for the afternoon. It could be visiting a charity, school, business or showing someone around the stadium.
Home match days are pretty hectic. I get in for about 8am, at 9:30am I join Eddie and Simon Weatherstone to train the lads that aren’t involved in the game that day at the training ground for a couple of hours. Then after a shower, and grabbing something to eat, I go over to the Vitality Stadium.
On match days I juggle my two roles. As club ambassador, I meet and greet guests at the stadium and distribute the players’ tickets to make sure that runs smoothly. Then it’s out onto the pitch as first team coach to help the players warm up before the match kicks off. Even though it’s a long day, I’m not home until 7pm, a match day seems to fly by.
About Steve Fletcher
Affectionately known as ‘Fletch’, Steve joined AFC Bournemouth in 1992 and played for them for over 20 years, setting the club record for most appearances. He is now their Club Ambassador and First Team Coach.
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