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Why balance is key during pre-season

First-team fitness coach Chris Rush talks us through the importance of the club's training programme in Austria

27 June 2018

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First-team fitness coach Chris Rush is working closely with the Rovers players to ensure they're ready for the new season, and says it's important to strike a balance in order to achieve results.

Tony Mowbray's side are out in Austria for a week-long training camp, with a first pre-season match against Hibernian just around the corner, and the focus on being physically prepared for the 2018/19 campaign.

Speaking after day two of preparations, which included an outdoor gym session, pitch and park runs, Rush said: “It starts in the last few weeks of the season.

“Obviously we find a training camp that suits our needs, the weather not being too hot, being in a nice and quiet environment.

“The players get given a programme when breaking up for the summer that they have to follow so when they come in on the first day for testing they are prepared to work hard and they don’t have to have too many light intensity drills to get back in to it.

“That’s the modern-day footballer, a good three or four weeks before you come back in you have to be doing your preparation work and be ready to go so pre-season can be pretty tough from the off.

“You have to have a good relationship with them.” 

“They know in their heart of hearts that we have their best interests at heart; this isn’t done for us it’s done for them to be as good a footballer as they can and the team be as successful as they can.

“When you’re pushing them and pushing them, even though they are moaning at you as they’re doing it, once they’ve finished it’s fine.

“They know they are the levels required so you can’t be screaming and shouting at them and telling them they aren’t doing enough, you have to have a relationship where they respect and listen to you.

“There’s that balance to make sure they are working hard and ready to go.”

Rush also plays an important role throughout the regular season, and says getting to know Mowbray as both a person and a manager has helped the process.

“I’ve worked with the manager for 18 months now and you get a good feel for each other works," he added.

"I think the more time we get down the line, the more process improves. I know better what his demands are of the team, what he wants from individuals.

"He wants to play a high-energy game so the players have to be ready for that and thankfully he trusts me to make sure that happens.”

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