It was a sigh of relief when the latest UK government announcement was made and grassroots football was given the green light to return. In readiness, the RIASA coaches have been vigorously planning the next months ahead to maximise efforts on and off the pitch – we want all of our current academy players to receive as much technical coaching as possible.
With this in mind, it was great to have Tom Henson on campus delivering strength & conditioning sessions to all academy players. Tom is a highly experienced S&C coach whose career has been embedded in elite sports performance for over 13 years. His work includes clients such as the GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes, British Tennis academy kids as well as private clients.
For over 6 years, Tom has worked with Southampton FC, commencing with the First Team and progressing to the lead role in the provision of the club’s strength and conditioning programme.
Tom has been engaging with our academy players throughout lockdown. As well as providing an ongoing strength & conditioning programme, Tom has significantly helped student-athletes understand the importance of pre-activation exercises.
We were particularly excited to have Tom on site to deliver a world class strength & conditioning session in which academy players were able to understand how each specific drill could help them reach their maximum potential on the pitch.
The whole squad ran through a 30 minute pre-activation warm-up, something that all footballers should be carrying out before training sessions and match days. Mastering pre-activation exercises allows a full awakening of muscles to allow for maximum performance.
The session progressed to the assessment of speed and agility by performing specific drills to test speed, stride technique and responsiveness in a ‘match tempo environment’.