Chris Rush says that this unprecedented period of no football could prove beneficial to the club’s future fitness planning.
Rovers’ Head of Athletic Performance has been monitoring the players’ physical data over the past four weeks through a sports science App, which the squad have been using when going on regular runs, permitted by Government guidelines.
The Rovers coach has been delighted with the buy-in from the players, which he insists has increased competition within the squad, and Rush says that the system is something the management team may look to replicate during the next off season.
“This is actually quite new to us, we’ve never done this in an off-season before, and it’s actually really useful and good that the players have got behind it,” he said.
“More than anything, it’s keeping them a little bit sane, to go out and do some work, but they can also communicate to each other through this tracking App, through social media and see each other’s work, and it’s been really good on that side of things.
“Historically, in the off-season, when I first started 14 or 15 years ago, when players were given a programme, you’d find 75% of those programmes left in the changing room at the end of the season when everybody went off on their holidays and they didn’t really do a lot.
“Increasingly so now, players do the work more often than not and because they do the work, they’re more than happy to have these tracking Apps, because they want to show that they’re doing the work.
“So it’s definitely something we’ll use moving forwards, because it gives everybody a peace of mind. I can give a report to the manager on how many sessions each player has done and the distances they’ve covered, so his mind is at ease.
“But also from their point of view, just having that positive environment, where they are seeing the rest of the team doing the work and if they are feeling a bit lazy on a particular day, they do feel a bit of pressure knowing that the rest of the group are doing their stuff.
“At the end of each week, I’ve provided the manager with a little report on each player and what they’ve done, but we’re on the phone most days.
“The big balance and the pressure is, we want to make sure this team stays as fit as possible, so when the games do start we’re right at it, but on the flip side, at this moment in time, being as responsible as we can and making sure that we do look after the players as best as possible, that’s the key job really.”