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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, August 13th 2020

'Players prepared for tight turnarounds' - Geary

With ten games in nine weeks and the dangling carrot of finals rugby potentially to follow, Kevin Geary’s role as Head of Athletic Performance has never been more important.

An extended lockdown period presented its own unique challenges, but with rugby now back on the menu, Geary says load management will be one of keys to success during a congested run-in.

Under and overload

“One of the biggest challenges is the management of each individual,” he said. “If you include the Academy, we’ve got 50 players to work through across 10 weeks.

“There is of course the danger of overloading certain players, but underloading of players is also an important factor. So, if you take no part in the first five weeks of games due to selection, you could then end up playing a game and if we’ve underloaded you and not looked after your training loads, then you’re likely to underperform, or worse, to break down with an injury. So, it’s about finding the correct balance for the each individual.

“We combine our video analysis and GPS data – GPS is very good at measuring running loads but not as good at measuring impact loads, so that’s where the video analysis comes into it.

“You combine GPS, video, overall training load and overall match load to give you a clear picture on what each individual player has been exposed to. The aim of this last block of training has been around preparing the players for these tight turnarounds & high match/training demands.”

High-Performance Centre

The Bears’ preparations for a jam-packed finale have been boosted by the formal opening of the club’s state-of-the-art High-Performance Centre – and Geary says the new facility has enabled a smooth and safe transition through the return to play protocols.

“The size of the centre has been a huge benefit. We’ve held all of our team meetings in the indoor facility and the large space has allowed us to distance the players, while the large doors enabled us to ventilate effectively.

“In the gym, we’ve been able to set up 18 individual stations within the new centre whereas we could do a maximum of nine at Clifton. So, that’s doubled our capacity and meant we didn’t need to break guys into small groups or extend the training day.”

With the Bears still fighting on two fronts – domestically and in Europe – Geary and his team know their work could play a huge part in the outcome of the 2019/20 season.


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