Christian Clarup about Sparta
We made the podcast in English with the Head of Performance Christian Clarup. After the short part in Czech, there is half an hour-long podcast with new member of Sparta coaching team. There is also short written part in this article. Listen here.
You had a TV interview here in Austria for O2 TV sport and the reporter said afterwards: “thank you and the best of luck”. You have replied: “it's not about luck.” So, what is it all about?
I think he wanted to wish us the best of luck with the season and of course, luck is an aspect of football, but in my opinion, the job we do is not about luck. It's about preparation, about being into your stuff, knowing what you do and why you do it. If you know that, you have eliminated all the uncertain factors. Sometimes you are unlucky with a strange penalty or whatever it can be in football, but in general, for me, the football job is not about luck, it's about preparation.
Could you share with us your philosophy? Describe your work in keywords.
it's quite simple. we work with speed, intensity and power. Then we try to be consistent, which means we're doing the same things again and again and again. Maybe just in different variations or different volumes or whatever it can be, but everything is based on speed, intensity and power.
Do you think that it's necessary for players to understand what they do and why?
Like most other aspects of life, it's important to understand. If you get a certain task and you do something and maybe also if it's not the most fun thing to do, why we're doing it. Is there a reason behind the things we do? Because everybody can make people tired or make them run 1000 meters or whistle and stop watching, that´s easy. But what is the purpose of it? It makes the job easier if the players understand why we do these kinds of training, these kinds of runs, this kind of power activities and stuff. Also, later in the game when they actually see there's a difference in their fitness performance, then they understand, why we do all the tough stuff.
How long would it get the player on the desired physical level?
The honest answer is that no one can answer that. That's why we do all the fitness testing. Because there is a lot of individual difference in the football team. After we've done all the testing, we spend another two days doing testing during the week. So, we understand now the physical profiles of the players and then we know exactly what elements to work on. There's no one model, that fits everybody, so we need to do different stuff based on your position, your age, your injury history, your physical test, your physical performance, size, weight, body fat and so on. Then we just tune the guys in for what we do. Physical training is not a quick fix, it takes time. It takes quite a long time before you get the guys into it. Now, after the first four weeks, the players have lifted their level a lot and what we're looking at are things like sprint meters. That's what we really want. Accelerations where you have a change of pace. When we look at our running data from the matches, we can see, that they have lifted the level quite a lot and that's a really good start.