Mccarthy On Fitness

West Ham's new fitness instructor John McCarthy says that the players have responded well to preseason training - but there will be no let-up once the campaign gets under way.
John is hoping that by improving the training methods and dietary habits of the squad, he will be able to help improve their performances - and reduce injuries.
"Basically I am a sports scientist and fitness is only part of the work," he says.
"There are also the aspects of injury prevention, diet, hydration - so it is all about co-ordinating the scientific input.
"We work with a sports dietician to get that right but she can't be here all the time so I do that as well, making sure the right food is available and educating the players about what they should be eating.
"It's also about putting together training sessions that work with the coaching in order to work them hard but not tire them out completely.
"My job is to plan the training and that has to link in with the coaching, so we work very closely with Glenn and Paul to get the most out of the players in the shortest space of time."
With that comes the consideation of what food to take on board, and John adds:
"The catering has been massively improved - not to say it wasn't good before.
"But it has taken on a different emphasis purely because of the amount we are eating with training twice a day most days.
"It is basically working out how much you should have for your body weight.
"Players need up to 4000 calories a day, and you can't get that all in just by piling pasta on.
"60% of the meal should be carbohydrates wherever that is coming from  - pasta, potatoes, whatever.
"You can also improve someone's performance by getting their hydration right so we are weighing them and measuring that to make sure they are taking the right amount of water before and after training.
"It sounds simple but that can improve your performance; if you are dehydrated from one day to the next, your training will not be doing half of what it is supposed to."
John, who has also worked with Celtic, Blackburn, Liverpool, Derby County, and Sheffield Wednesday, not to mention several cricket clubs, is no stranger to Chadwell Heath.
"I was here a couple of years ago doing some work, but it is nice to be here full time," he says.
But he does have some assistance, as he explains:
"Russell Allman is working with me because you have got 40 players including injured and recovering players as well as input into the youth teams.
"The challenge is to get all the players working as a team and to treat them as the elite athletes that they are."
He says that the feedback from the playing staff has been good, adding:
"The players are responding very positively to the training and have been working very well.
"The sessions challenge everyone, including Paolo - and he is very happy.
"There is a positive buzz around the place, and it is all about working as a team.
"The training has been commented on and people are saying 'I like this, I like that' and we want them to go into training feeling they have done the best they can.
"A lot has been changed but it is in line with what the players feel they want.
"We are getting good results so far, and we know the facilities are going to improve as well."
As for his philosophy about injury prevention, he adds:
"The players can do that by being strong enough and conditioned enough to tolerate the demands of the game.
"A lot of the game you spend without the ball so you need to have good all round strength and conditioning.
"You also need good stability, and if that is in place you are less likely to encounter an injury.
"And if you are well fed you are less likely to have low energy levels, which is a major contributor to injuries.
"We can only give them the best possible chance to succeed, and even with the fittest team a lot of other things happen that you can't predict."
And if you are wondering who the tall fellow with the light blond hair who warms up with the players before the games is - that's John!