Why do Football Clubs do Warm Weather Training?

Why do Football Clubs do Warm Weather Training?


Despite being barely two months into 2019,
Liverpool have already been on two warm weather training camps this year. They went to Dubai
for four days in January and then to Marbella for a
couple of days in mid-February. Their return from the UAE was followed by consecutive draws
at home to Leicester, ironically in snowy conditions,
and also away at West Ham. That dip in form meant the Reds missed their
opportunity to open a commanding lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier
League table and led to criticism from some fans, who
questioned the decision to take the players away to such different climates. But it’s
not just Liverpool who do this: Wolves have also been to Marbella,
Tottenham often break in Barcelona, and it’s a
common practice amongst European clubs. Whenever there is a break of ten days or so between
matches, sometimes due to a premature exit from a domestic cup competition, clubs waste
no time in jetting off.
But why do they follow this practice? Jürgen Klopp is a big advocate of warm weather
training and has brought this with him to Anfield
from the Bundesliga, where there is a winter break or ‘Winterpause’ [prn: Vinterpowser].
Interestingly, that’s what sees Bayern Munich make an annual winter trip to Doha through
their partnership with Qatar Airways, something
that has attracted controversy due to the human rights
transgressions of the country. The average UK temperature in January is a
chilly 4 degrees Celsius and Klopp said that these cold
winter conditions mean that you can “only run and shoot and tackle”. By contrast,
it’s around 20 degrees at the same time in Dubai and 15 degrees
in Marbella. Expanding on this, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl, who has recently
taken his side to Tenerife, said that there is more time to
train tactical aspects in warm weather simply because you can “rest for two or three minutes
and explain things without catching a cold”.
Body muscles are more pliable in these conditions, meaning
less time is wasted warming up and the general risk of muscle strains and tears is reduced.
There are also simply more daylight hours to train in, with eight to nine hours of daylight
in the UK in January compared to eleven in Dubai. This
affords time for the schedule to be more relaxed, especially with fewer media commitments to
attend to as well. Of course, there is an inherent risk where
travel is concerned and changing time zones can harm the
sleep patterns of finely tuned athletes. Warm weather training camps have long been used
in athletics, where sport scientists have repeatedly found
that it helps to improve cardiovascular fitness. That’s also
why tennis star Andy Murray has always headed to Miami for an intense training block every
winter. The heat is a stress on the body that makes
training more challenging. The blood thickens in warmer
conditions and the heart has to work harder to pump oxygenated blood to the working muscles.
The body adapts to this by increasing blood plasma
volume, which essentially equates to better cardiovascular fitness. This benefits the
players as they are then able to train more effectively in cold
weather – useful when they return to the harsher conditions of the UK.
Back in 2010, a study at the University of Oregon found that cyclists who had done warm
weather training performed between 4-8% better – a
large margin when it comes to elite competitive performance. Even in cool temperatures, footballers
become overheated during intense exercise and
so these heat adaptations can have an impact. Andrew Misra
The sunshine also helps with Vitamin D production, which in turn helps reduce injury risk and
benefits muscular function and adaptation to strength training. Up to 70% of athletes
training in the UK have been found to have worryingly low
Vitamin D levels. Sir Alex Ferguson installed tanning
booths at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground for this purpose. Heat stroke
and sunburn are also risks while training abroad, albeit
minor concerns due to the extensive department of
physiotherapists elite clubs have to look after players these days.
The psychological benefits are just as important as the physiological benefits and these camps
are not just about gruelling physical work. The mental
benefit should not be overlooked, particularly after the
hectic December schedule in the Premier League. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be a
problem in the UK and changing up the routine keeps the mind flexible and adaptable. It
also provides an opportunity for team cohesion, bonding
and to forge a close affinity between manager and players
– something that has always seemed important for Klopp.
Virgil Van Dijk has recently cited the training camp the squad went on shortly after he signed
for Liverpool at the end of January 2018 for his
rapid integration into the squad. Distractions are reduced
not just for the players but for the manager too. However, families are sometimes allowed
to come along too and fostering such a close-knit
atmosphere could make all the difference as the business end
of the season approaches.

About the Author: Garret Beatty

100 Comments

  1. Most clubs have full size indoor pitches so does this not undermine the argument that its too cold in winter for tactical work – just go indoors- also I don't get the daylight argument floodlights? I understand long trips but would have thought the costs of a 4 day camp in terms of travel stress etc outweighed the benefits

  2. Great video! Always thought it was just for a break/holiday and light training. Never knew it was this in depth!

  3. Why don’t they – the wealthy teams at least – simply build a quality in-door temperature controlled facility?

  4. Fans are basic people and only think of the immediate results, the lfc players look so fit considering its April after a world Cup year. Those WW camps have defo helped

  5. Why don't they do their trainings in South East Asia? They get to train from 7 am to 6 pm all year round. Plus its warm with no big margin changes in the temperature.

  6. Bayern Munich taking vacations to Qatar attracting criticism for Human Rights reason while it's okay to go to Dubai in a country playing a leading role in an ongoing war causing famine and destruction in Yemen and funding military coups across the Middle-East. Yeah sure. At least, try to be coherent in your display.

  7. This felt like a BTEC Sport lesson. Please do a video on why its important for athletes to look after their bodies after retirement. Having watched Harry's Heroes, I've found that footballers of yesteryear pig out because they feel they no longer have to do the routines they did when they were professional.

  8. Please never ever stop making these videos.. ill be watchin them when im in my 80s.. oh an i tell anyone who gives me the chance about your channel

  9. 15 and 20 degrees is warm weather training is it? I’m an Australian and a warm training session would have to be at least 35 degrees

  10. Wow never knew Euro clubs did this. In Mexico practically every club go to beaches like Cancun for preseason training as well.

  11. I'd die for 20 degrees here in Norway. Played the 2nd game of the season for my club yesterday and it was 2°C and wind :/

    Can confirm the training aspect as well. In early pre-season(January-February) we regularly train in -15°C weather, where it takes ages to warm up and you really can't do any tactical training, only running around and few breaks.

  12. What a good video. I've always wondered why so many football players were taking pics in Dubai a few months ago. Super informative

  13. I always thought they did it for a break from the fans and it would be a quiet place to train and you know get away from things

  14. Oh wait Bayern have a partnership with Qatar airways? & They complain about psg & City?

    How much more hypocritic will old clubs be

  15. Don't the teams have indoor training facilities in their home towns? Why not pump up the heat or humidity inside them?

  16. Canada's CPL is currently doing a warm weather training in the Dominican Republic. Partly because we are still getting snow in some places and partly its cheaper to play friendlies when the other teams are near by and not on the other side of the country. For example HFX(Halifax) Wanderers FC will have 36,588 km of travel over seven months of the season.

  17. Great fan of your channel, but this video is loaded with myths. All those supposed benefits don't balance out the expenditure, fatigue and logistics involved. I wonder what other gains can be obtained in places like Mallorca…

  18. 3:53
    Joe: "The mental benefits should not be overlooked"
    Illustrator: Say no more;
    DRAWS GIANT FREAKING EYEBALLS

    Brilliant 😂

  19. Very useful to go on these camps, but just affordable for big teams. Which small team could dream of flying to Qatar to train? Sure, in Spain clubs can go to Marbella, but in UK and almost every European country that's not possible

  20. Some have questioned Bayern's winter camp in Qatar, due to "Qatar's human rights controversies"??? Bullshit!! Qatar may not be a democracy, but it citizens are to rich and small in population to care. So long as the money flows to the half-a-million citizens, they don't care. Qatar is not China or Venezuela.

  21. Knowing some of the outspoken tweets some football players make it's very brave taking them to Dubai or elsewhere in the Middle East every year, considering that poor lady in the news recently…

  22. Great video as always.

    Can Tifo make a video about the situation currently going on at Coventry City? Surprised they haven't done already. A minefield of political corruption, false promises and disappointed fans.

  23. Why not train indoors part of the time during the winter? While it wouldn't provide the psychological benefits, all the physical benefits could be replicated in an temperature controlled environment.

  24. I think it was Sunderland who went to New York with David moyes after sacking a lot of staff members. Safe to say that season wasn’t the best😂

  25. Your body adapts to the climate you normally spend your time in, but if there’s constant change with in the climate around you it could cost pneumonia.

  26. I have been a long fan of tifo for awhile and I recently just joined the channel. I must say that now with access to exclusive content I realized I've joined the illuminati of football. Tactics, history, finances, politics, and health related content now. What don't these guys do. Great video!

  27. Yeah you clowns had to mention Qatar ‘human rights’ issues… Stay in your lane and stick to football please

  28. Never understood why they don't just train indoors with the heating on? Some brilliant full sized indoor facilities around: no reason why the wealthy clubs can't afford to have them.

  29. this is stupid…yes UK has 8 hours of sun and DUbai 11, but they only train for 2 hours so…
    And what about the jetleg and the time that they spend on travelling…

  30. So this is another reason players wont join MLS? Our weather is ridiculously different even just north to south, imagine east to west.

  31. Very interesting and informative video. I'd always thought it was mostly about having a beer or two in the sun and getting away from it all for a few days.

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