Lead Academy Sports Scientist Adam Yates is into his fifth season with the Clarets and is currently away with the squad in Prague, as they take part in the CEE Cup.
Yates’ role consists of monitoring the groups’ physical development and improving performance, including hydration, diet, nutrition, recovery and general lifestyle off the pitch.
Tony Philliskirk’s side reported back for pre-season on July 1st and currently coming towards the end of their fourth week of pre-season.
And the first-year scholars are into their first full-time job since finishing school for the summer in May, and Yates states the importance of getting them into the rhythm of things sooner rather than later is very important.
Yates, who previously worked for Bradford City and Chesterfield said: “It’s all about laying down the foundations for the rest of the season, such as improving endurance, improving strength, increasing lean muscle mass and ultimately creating a protective layer for the players to minimise injuries during the season.”
Obviously, the majority of the first-year scholars aren’t as physically developed as the second years, so we have to get that work into the them early, so they are ready for the upcoming season.
Some of the lads come back with lower fitness levels or higher body fats than others, so it’s a good opportunity to fix these inhibiting factors of performance, which in turn compliments the other components I have mentioned.”
Yates played for Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers as a youngster, before joining Sheffield United as a scholar in 2006-2008, playing in a youth team alongside England world cup semi-finalist and Manchester City defender Kyle Walker as well as Burnley’s Matt Lowton.
And the sports scientist believes the experience as a player in elite academy systems helps him in his current role working with the squad.
The 29-year old who achieved a masters in strength and conditioning said: “There is also a social aspect to it, as its two new groups that are coming together, so it is important that they build relationships with each other, but also a chance for the staff to get to know the individuals better, which of course is vital if we as staff want to get the best out of these lads.
A big one which underpins everything is education, having a six-week pre-season is a great way for me to educate the players, through workshops, presentations and constantly speaking to them about the right things to do off the field to aid their athletic development.
It is important to get these fundamentals into them for the rest of the season, for example; hydration, diet, recovery, gym work, general lifestyle and the standards that we set at Burnley Football Club and what it takes to be a professional footballer.”
Since arriving in the Czech Republic capital on Tuesday, the temperatures are yet to reach below 25 degrees, with all three group matches being played in above 28 degrees.
“The heat factor is massive, the lads haven’t played in these types of temperatures, so it’s just another opportunity for me to educate the group and for them to experience such conditions.
The hydration aspect is very important, as we know dehydration can significantly impair performance, especially in 34-degree heat which the players have experienced this week.” Said the former Premier League fitness testing officer.
Before breakfast every morning Yates and physio David McCrea set up a mini monitoring station on the corridor of Burnley’s floor in the hotel, where the pair look at various different aspects from the players.
“Every morning myself and physio David have conducted a physical/mental monitoring session before breakfast, here we test the lads’ hydration and give them instant feedback, which informs them how much water they need to drink during breakfast and lunch.
We also have many supplements to support the players such as hydration tablets, electrolyte drinks, recovery drinks and protein shakes to help their bodies recover and to replenish any water and minerals lost through sweating.
As well as these we have conducted other recovery strategies such as ice baths, yoga and light walks.” Added Yates.