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Date May 4 May 6

Tweet This Saturday departure to Korea to start the World Cup preparation on Monday in Seoul. 12:32 AM May 4th via web On Monday we start World Cup preparation with Korea: Periodization, altitude strategy, oxygen masks, nutrition, analysis system...can't wait 3:32 PM May 6th via web Bags are packed. Ready for phase 1 of WC preparation at the National Training Centre in Paju, Korea between May 1022. 2:31 PM May 7th via web May 22 we'll travel to Tokyo to play Japan. May 25 we fly to Austria for phase 2 of WC preparation. June 3 vs. Spain. June 4 to South Africa! 2:34 PM May 7th via web

May 7

May 9

Just arrived at the National Football Center in Paju, Korea. Great to be back. Tomorrow the team gets together to train for the first time. 7:18 AM May 9th via web Great first session with the Koreans!! Everything the Korean players do is always at 100% intensity. That's why I love to work with them. 4:55 AM May 10th via web Yesterday we started with 12 players. Every day more players arrive from their clubs. Next Monday the squad will be complete. 7:48 PM May 10th via web Yesterday was an underload session as most players have played in the weekend and still needed some recovery to be fresh for upcoming days. 7:52 PM May 10th via web

May 10

May 11

Today most players had a free day as most of them have played on Sunday. Always a day off on the second day after a game. 6:35 AM May 11th via web Between 24 and 48 hours after the game the main focus of the body is to repair the (muscle) damage as a result of the game. 6:38 AM May 11th via web If you train on 2nd day after game there will be less energy for body to repair itself. The recovery process will take longer than normal. 6:40 AM May 11th via web Based on the characteristics of football and the principles of periodization we have developed a training program for the next 4 weeks. 5:39 PM May 11th via web Based on this so-called 'team periodization' we will develop an 'individual periodization' for each player to tailor the work load. 5:41 PM May 11th via web Although football is a team sport each individual player has his own typical physical characteristics and fitness level. 5:45 PM May 11th via web Within our team periodization we will make adjustments for several individual players based on those physical characteristics. 5:46 PM May 11th via web For example at Manchester City this season we reduced the volume of training for Craig Bellamy as he is an extremely explosive player. 5:50 PM May 11th via web In his 14-year career Craig never played more than 15 consecutive games without an injury. This season he played 43 games without any injury. 5:52 PM May 11th via web For the first time in his career he stayed fit from the first till the last training of the season thanks to this individual approach. 5:54 PM May 11th via web

May 13

Just back from the oxygen room. Every day we stay for 1hr in a special room with 1000m altitude simulation to prepare for Austria next week. 5:18 AM May 13th via web Next week the oxygen in the room will be further reduced to simulate 1700m altitude to prepare players for playing in Johannesburg. 5:21 AM May 13th via web Step by step we gradually introduce the players to the difficult circumstances in South Africa with respect to altitude. 8:39 AM May 13th via web Today we will train at the Seoul World Cup Stadium where we will play vs. Ecuador on Sunday. Underload session after 2 days of hard work. 6:30 PM May 13th via web Every training we use the Inmotio system to analyze position, distance covered, velocity, acceleration and heart rate of all players. 6:32 PM May 13th via web The Inmotio system is the most accurate tracking system available. Players are tracked 1000x per second. Accuracy is more than 99%! 6:34 PM May 13th via web Thanks to this system we know the exact work load within each exercise per individual player so we can even better balance training schedule 6:37 PM May 13th via web We also use the system in Austria and South Africa to analyze how players will deal with altitude when doing the same exercises as this week 6:40 PM May 13th via web

May 14

Just back from a enjoyable training session at Seoul World Cup Stadium. We did a really funny game during the warmup. 5:24 AM May 14th via web Today the Feyenoord Youth Academy was voted best Dutch Academy. Congratulations to all my former colleagues!! Keep up the good work. 9:01 AM May 14th via web

May 15

Just finished last training session. Tomorrow game vs. Ecuador. We did some football sprints to develop some body tension for game. 2:35 AM May 15th via web Korea vs. Ecuador 2-0. Solid game. Good for match fitness. Great atmosphere in stadium. The red devils behind the goal were terrific! 7:02 AM May 16th via web South Korea vs. Ecuador 2-0 This morning we did a recovery session with the first team. The subs had a conditioning session 4v4. They really worked hard. Good job! 6:02 AM May 17th via web Players have a day off tomorrow. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we will train 7v7, 11v11 and 4v4 respectively. One session a day! 6:05 AM May 17th via web On Saturday and Sunday we will taper off the training load to prepare for the game vs. Japan on Monday in Tokyo. Tuesday travel to Austria. 6:08 AM May 17th via web No training today. So we have all day to analyze last week's training sessions with the data of the Inmotio-tracking system. 6:42 PM May 17th via web Within each exercise per player we look at number of sprints, total sprinting distance, high intensity distance and total distance covered. 6:45 PM May 17th via web

May 16 May 16 May 17

The same analysis per exercise we'll make for heart rate: average heart rate, high intensity heart rate and recovery heart rate after 1 min. 6:49 PM May 17th via web In Austria at about 1000m altitude we will do similar exercises as last week so we can compare each exercise at altitude vs. sea level. 6:52 PM May 17th via web The hypothesis will be that similar warm-ups, passing exercises, position games, big and small games will be more demanding at altitude. 6:55 PM May 17th via web With the Inmotio-tracking system we can precisely analyze what these higher demands will be at altitude in terms of work-rate and heart rate 6:57 PM May 17th via web With these data we will also find out which players suffer more from altitude in training than others. So we can tailor work load per player 7:04 PM May 17th via web May 18 @iseansteele Always 11v11 in blocks of 8 min / 7v7 in blocks of 4 min / 4v4 in blocks of 2 min / All games 2 min rest between blocks. 2:38 AM May 18th via web in to iseansteele

@raymondverheije how long will your 7v7, 11v11, and 4v4 games last?

@SoccerCoachingC We will publish our complete preparation process including training sessions after the World Cup. 8:49 AM May 18th via web in to SoccerCoachingC

May 19

We had a great conditioning session today. First 15 min core stability exercises. Followed by a warm-up with a lot of body contact. 7:07 AM May 19th via web So the players were well prepared for Football Sprints with 10 sec rest: After a pass two players sprint for the ball. Who wins can score. 7:10 AM May 19th via web We finished the session with conditioning games 6v6. The pitch seize was 50x40m. We played with 20 players and 4 goalkeepers on 2 pitches. 7:15 AM May 19th via web Overall it was a tough session. But if you only train once a day you can push your players without developing structural fatigue: quality! 7:17 AM May 19th via web @SoccerCTC New book 'Periodisation in Football' will be published in English after the summer. Not sure yet what type of media we will use 9:21 PM May 19th via web in to SoccerCTC

This afternoon we'll have a tactical session of max. 75 min. During the session we will focus on preparing for the game vs. Japan on Monday. 9:29 PM May 19th via web Besides the tactical purposes, this extensive session will - indirectly - also have a physiological purpose: recovery! 9:32 PM May 19th via web Never do 2 conditioning sessions in a row. Always try to plan at least 1 tactical (underload) session in between! 9:34 PM May 19th via web As for tomorrow we have planned another conditioning session with Football Sprints with 60s rest and conditioning games 4v4. 9:35 PM May 19th via web

May 21

@KSJKO Normally I train both. Endurance by big games like 11v11. And speed by Football Sprints. Before World Cup you have to pick priorities 12:20 AM May 21st via web in to KSJKO

@raymondverheije do you usually do endurance or sprints?

@cudgie Will let know on Twitter later this year. 12:21 AM May 21st via web in to cudgie

@raymondverheije Look forward to reading that when it comes out!


A top quality session this morning! Only 55 min of max intensity. A warm-up with several agility exercises. They really like that! 12:22 AM May 21st via web We skipped the Football Sprints with 60s rest. There were some signals that not all players had fully recovered from Wednesdays training. 12:22 AM May 21st via web Alternatively, we did some isolated sprinting during which the players have much more control compared to the allout football sprints. 12:24 AM May 21st via web Finally, we did 6 games of 2 min 4v4 with 1 min rest. What an incredible intensity! 12:27 AM May 21st via web When preparing for the World Cup the clue is to never really exhaust the players. Train them hard but keep them fresh at the same time. 12:28 AM May 21st via web If you test urine, saliva or even blood of players regularly, you can monitor their trainability. For example, CFK is a powerful signal. 12:30 AM May 21st via web Today's small change in our training program is a perfect example of periodization being the perfect tool for injury prevention. 12:33 AM May 21st via web This morning we had a low intensity training to taper off towards the game vs. Japan on Monday after a week of hard training. 8:54 PM May 21st via web After the warm-up we did an extensive endurance passing exercise of 4 x 4 minutes with 1 min rest. Low intensity but constantly on the move. 8:56 PM May 21st via web The passing was followed by half an hour of set pieces. After lunch we will be on our way to Tokyo. Tomorrow training in the stadium. 8:57 PM May 21st via web May 22 Just arrived in the beautiful city of Tokyo. What a privilege to do this work and visit all these great places. 6:24 AM May 22nd via web The coaching staff watched the Champions League final at 4am Tokyo time. Now we need a recovery training! 5:55 PM May 22nd via web @CvetanIvanov We are still considering the best type of media to publish the book. Maybe on internet. Will let you all know on Twitter asap! 10:01 PM May 22nd via web in to CvetanIvanov

@raymondverheije mr Verhejen do you have any idea when the book will come on the market in English.

@DrCraigDuncan Saliva cortisol/testosterone is a powerful tool. And we have individual talks with players every week. Plus the Inmotio data. 10:03 PM May 22nd via web in to DrCraigDuncan

@raymondverheije hi Raymond do you use saliva cortisol to monitor or a mixture of subjective and objective measures
May 23 Just back from training in the Saitamo 2002 Stadium. Heavy rain but what a beautiful stadium. Wow! 4:49 AM May 23rd via web As the pitch was a little waterlogged due to rain, we had to slightly change our training plan. The pitch was too heavy for a full session. 4:52 AM May 23rd via web If you train for full 60-75 min on a very wet pitch the day before a game, there will be a risks of heavy legs (quads/calves) during the game 4:55 AM May 23rd via web Therefore, we reduced the net training time to 45-50 min. We skipped the passing exercise. Warm-up, boxes 5v2 and only 2x10min 11v11. 4:58 AM May 23rd via web The players responded very well on this adjustment. They always appreciate when a coaching staff anticipates by tailoring the training load 5:00 AM May 23rd via web @ShinjiOno I cannot agree more with your statement. You're absolutely right! 6:43 AM May 23rd via web in to ShinjiOno @edward1965 No problems. Even with this amount of rain the quality of the pitch was still ok. No complaints from the players. Great game! 6:53 AM May 23rd via web in to edward1965

@CvetanIvanov In the first week we did conditioning games 11v11. Last week we planned conditioning games 7v7 and 4v4. The normal sequence! 6:55 AM May 23rd via web in to CvetanIvanov

@raymondverheije may I ask why the order of the games is not 11v11/7v7/4v4? Or when the players are fit it doesn't matter as long they are fresh?

@DrCraigDuncan Totally agree. Players are no tool to execute the program. The periodization is the tool. We're working with human beings! 6:58 AM May 23rd via web in to DrCraigDuncan

@SoccerCTC Game this evening vs. Japan and on June 3 vs. Spain will tell us if the team is sufficiently conditioning and use tests as backup. 9:42 PM May 23rd via web in to SoccerCTC

May 24

Japan vs. Korea 0-2. The game was ok. Regional pride at stake but lots of respect from both sides so no injuries. 9:00 AM May 24th via web Koreans looked fit and fresh. They recovered well from this weeks training. Our nutritional program has something to do with it as well. 9:03 AM May 24th via web

For 2 weeks now we use the great supplements of CNP. Slow and fast releasing proteins. The main focus is on muscle recovery after hard work. 9:05 AM May 24th via web Slow releasing protein supplements before breakfast and after dinner. Quick releasing proteins during and after training. Players like it! 9:08 AM May 24th via web Tomorrow we fly to Austria for next phase of our WC preparation with some physical work, tactical training and games vs. Belarus and Spain. 9:11 AM May 24th via web Our challenges in the next 48 hours: recovery from the Japan game, over 12 hours of travelling, 7 hours time difference and 1000m altitude. 9:12 AM May 24th via web @jonasforsberg Football Sprints means sprinting in a football situation. For example, after a pass 2 players sprint and who wins may score. 9:19 AM May 24th via web in to jonasforsberg

@DrCraigDuncan Thanks. Game was ok. Good for team development, match fitness and no injuries. Players will step in the plane in a good mood. 9:21 AM May 24th via web in to DrCraigDuncan

@nickdaws4 Not yet. We are considering the right type of media to publish the book. Maybe an e-book. Will let know on Twitter asap. 10:19 AM May 24th via web in to nickdaws4

May 24

South Korea vs. Japan 2-0

May 25

@jonasforsberg Yes, indeed 10-30m sprinting before scoring. Normally, we work from short to longer distances within the exercise. 12:26 PM May 25th via web in to jonasforsberg

We just arrived at our hotel in the beautiful mountains of Austria. Had a good flight. Players still look fresh. Tomorrow recovery training. 12:28 PM May 25th via web Tomorrow we'll do a similar passing exercise as last week to compare the Inmotio-data/heart rate to check players' response to altitude 12:35 PM May 25th via web

On Thursday and Friday we have planned some conditioning work before we taper off for the game vs. Belarus on Sunday. 12:36 PM May 25th via web @cudgie Absolutely. If you overload them within 72 hours after an intercontinental flight you'll ask for problems. So no overload this week. 2:25 PM May 25th via web in to cudgie

May 26

@DrCraigDuncan Spot on. They're not used to that. We trained them to drink during football in first training week. Their bodies have adapted 12:36 AM May 26th via web in to DrCraigDuncan

@rocheapplied Good point. Last January we had 3 games in South Africa with lots of Vuvuzela's on the stands. Players know what to expect now 12:39 AM May 26th via web in to rocheapplied

@cudgie Therefore, in the upcoming days we will do the conditioning work in more controlled exercises with less coordination requirements 12:41 AM May 26th via web in to cudgie

@DrCraigDuncan That's another thing we worked on in first week. No extra ind. training unless discussed. Now they focus on quality/freshness 5:03 AM May 26th via web in to DrCraigDuncan

@HstephenG We explain to players everything we do: periodization, analysis, nutrition, altitude-strategy so players become more professional 5:07 AM May 26th via web in to HstephenG

Just back from training. Players looked really sharp. Warm-up, 4x4min passing exercise, 5v2 boxes and last Monday's subs did some extra work 9:59 AM May 26th via web Normally the subs do small games. Because of the travelling, time difference and altitude, we decided to do some isolated interval running. 10:02 AM May 26th via web

Subs did 2x4min 15m sprinting-30m jogging-etc 2 min rest. Isolated running requires less coordination than 4v4. Better with fatigued players 10:08 AM May 26th via web Tonight we'll analyze data of today's training and compare it with last week's training at sea level to check how players deal with altitude 10:10 AM May 26th via web Today we trained later than normal at 5.30 pm - which is 0.30 am Korea time - to keep players awake and to speed up recovery from jet-lag. 11:42 AM May 26th via web May 27 During yesterday's passing exercise players' heart rate was 5-20 beats per minute higher compared to sea level last week. 3:01 AM May 27th via web The Inmotio-data show big differences between players. Five players had no higher heart rate - 4 players were 15-20 beats per minute higher. 3:06 AM May 27th via web Those 4 players will have lower training load in upcoming days as they need more time to adapt to the altitude. We'll keep monitoring them. 3:08 AM May 27th via web Today's training: core stability, warm-up, football sprints underload (1x8x15m/10sR) and games 6v6 underload (2x4min/2minR). 3:12 AM May 27th via web Compared to last week, we reduced work load of football sprints and games 6v6 to 50% to anticipate on 15hr travelling, jet-lag and altitude. 3:18 AM May 27th via web Again, we'll compare today's Inmotio-data of football sprints and games 6v6 at 1000m altitude with the data of last week at sea level. 3:20 AM May 27th via web Old news about Lee Dong Gook. He is already training apart from the group from the start. Picked up injury in Asian Champions League game. 5:10 AM May 27th via web Lee Dong Gook suffered his injury weeks ago. But our head coach still wants us to try to get him fit for the World Cup. Great challenge! 5:14 AM May 27th via web We had a great session yesterday. We did 1x8 Football Sprints with 10s R and 3x4min 6v6. The players looked fit and fresh. 10:18 PM May 27th via web We had planned 2x4min 6v6 but on the pitch we could see that the players were able to do more work easily. So we played an extra 4 min. 10:20 PM May 27th via web Players were surprised we stopped after 3 blocks. They asked for a 4th. No option because today we play games 4v4. Had to keep them fresh. 10:23 PM May 27th via web Subs who did 2x4min extra work last Wednesday did not do Football Sprints yesterday as they were still recovering from the interval running 10:25 PM May 27th via web Subs will do Football Sprints today as they will be fully recovered now and totally fresh for next maximum intensive exercise of the week. 10:30 PM May 27th via web

Last night Inmotio-data showed players had lower heart rate, more total distance, more high-intensity distance in 6v6 compared to sea level 10:34 PM May 27th via web This data show that all players are adapting to 1000m altitude and do become increasingly fit. Our altitude-strategy seems to work perfectly 10:41 PM May 27th via web Today's training at 5pm: warm-up, football sprints (subs), 3x2min 4v4/1minR followed by some tactical work in the second part of the session 10:50 PM May 27th via web May 28 Once again a top quality training session. Football Sprints and games 4v4 both with maximum intensity but underload duration. Freshness! 12:58 PM May 28th via web Second part of the session was tactical 2x8min 11v11 to prepare for game vs. Belarus on Sunday. A 75 min session in total. 1:02 PM May 28th via web Analyzed Inmotio-data of Football Sprints with 10s rest. As expected, at 1000m altitude max sprinting speed is higher compared to sea level 1:04 PM May 28th via web Less air resistance at altitude means quicker acceleration during Football Sprints. Sometimes our preparation feels like a scientific study. 1:07 PM May 28th via web Also -when comparing 1st and 8th sprint- we found less decrease in max velocity and max acceleration compared to last week. Training effect! 1:09 PM May 28th via web Conclusion: thanks to the terrific Inmotio-system we measure the benefits of our periodization, protein supplements and....the oxygen masks! 1:12 PM May 28th via web May 29 @cudgie We will definitely publish our approach after the World Cup including video of our sessions. 12:44 AM May 29th via web in to cudgie

The Inmotio-data of yesterday's 4v4 showed us that all players have adapted to altitude now! We looked at heart rate and high intensity work 12:47 AM May 29th via web All players have lower average heart rates during 4v4 but do more high intensity work at the same time. Also, they recover quicker in 1 min! 12:48 AM May 29th via web This week in Austria we introduced the oxygen masks to the players. For 1 hour a day we use the following protocol: 6min on / 4min off. 12:50 AM May 29th via web Special filters are attached to the mask so we can simulate different altitudes. We have chosen for 1800m to simulate Johannesburg. 12:51 AM May 29th via web Players have saturation-clip on finger so we can check their status during session. With a Polar Team System we check heart rate development 12:53 AM May 29th via web Every day during this 1 hour session our video-analyst shows the players clips of the upcoming opponents and the coaches give instructions. 12:55 AM May 29th via web

Once we've arrived in South Africa on June 4th we will also use these masks during training in warm-up, passing exercises, possession games. 12:59 AM May 29th via web Today's training at 11am: a 60 min tactical session to prepare for tomorrow's game vs. Belarus at 3pm. 1:01 AM May 29th via web Just back from another session with the oxygen masks. Fascinating process. Huge individual differences. It's all about fine-tuning filters. 7:16 AM May 29th via web Our players are so disciplined and dedicated during these 1 hour sessions. Great respect! 7:17 AM May 29th via web I read about all those teams training twice a day and picking up all these injuries. I can't believe this is happening at World Cup level. 9:32 AM May 29th via web After 50-60 game season players need freshness training instead of fitness training. Double sessions fatigue players even further: injuries! 9:39 AM May 29th via web If you train only once a day each and every session is top quality! At the end of a long season players do really appreciate this approach. 9:42 AM May 29th via web Preparing for the World Cup is a survival of the freshest! 11:16 AM May 29th via web May 30 About to leave for game vs. Belarus at 3pm. Game for subs to prove themselves. Tomorrow night final decision about 23 players for World Cup. about 11 hours ago via web Korea vs. Belarus 0-1. The game was disappointing. Our subs struggled against a very motivated opponent who deserved to win. about 4 hours ago via web The bad news is we lost our defender after a very bad challenge. He had to be taken to hospital rapidly by ambulance. Everyone was in shock. about 4 hours ago via web It once again proves that you better play friendlies against teams who also prepare for World Cup. They play these games with more respect. about 4 hours ago via web The good news was that none of the players had problems with altitude during the game. They all felt comfortable at 1000m. Thursday vs. Spain about 4 hours ago via web Straight after the game the players took their fast releasing protein shake for immediate muscle recovery/repair and energy replenishment. about 3 hours ago via web Halfway the 1,5 hour bus drive back to hotel the players took a slow releasing protein shake for muscle recovery/repair during the night about 3 hours ago via web Last week the players reported a quicker than normal recovery in the 48 hours after the game. The players feel they benefit from supplements about 3 hours ago via web In the morning after the game the players again take a slow releasing protein shake to speed up the recovery process. about 3 hours ago via web May 30 South Korea vs. Belarus 0-1

Straight after the game the players took their fast releasing protein shake for immediate muscle recovery/repair and energy restoration. The good news was that none of the players had problems with altitude during the game. They all felt comfortable at 1000m. Thursday vs Spain Last week the players reported a quicker than normal recovery in the 48 hours after the game. The players feel they benefit from supplements In the morning after the game the players again take a slow releasing protein shake to speed up the recovery process.
June 1

Just finished today's training. Players were divided into 4 groups: total rest, recovery training, tactical training, physical training. Tomorrow last session before game vs Spain on Thursday in Innsbruck. Recovery session on Friday morning. Travel to South Africa in evening.

June 2

Just finished last training before Spain game. Players can't wait for this exciting match. We had another session with the oxygen masks tonight. In the first few sessions players reached blood oxygen saturation of around 90-95%. We have now reached the second phase. Players are training with blood oxygen saturation of 85-90% for 1 hour per day: 6 min on / 4 min off. In the last phase next week in South Africa the saturation of oxygen in the blood of players will only be 8085% during 1hr training session Thanks to this 'oxygen mask' protocol there is no need for us to stay at 1800m in Johannesburg for weeks and suffer all the negative effects

June 3

South Korea vs. Spain

Korea vs Spain 0-1. Lots of chances for both sides. Spain scored with a fabulous 30 meter shot in the 85th minute. The Koreans worked really hard. They deserved a draw. Unlucky loss. First signs of top fitness. Most importantly, no injuries this time. Tonight's games showed that players are fully adapted to 1000m altitude. Tomorrow we arrive in Rustenburg, South Africa at 1200m altitude. We have cancelled tomorrow's oxygen mask session as research has shown that a 12hr flight already produces a 95-90% blood oxygen saturation Tomorrow morning recovery session for all players as we don't want to fatigue subs too much just before 12hr flight. Extra work on Saturday.
June 4

Tomorrow in first session in SAF we will do same 4x4min passing exercise we also did on first day in Seoul and Austria to check players. For Sunday's physical session we've planned 6v6 but this time 4x4min with 2min rest. Increased work load as players have adapted to altitude On Monday we'll train tactically so players can recover from Sunday's conditioning session and will be fresh for Tuesday's physical session. Conditioning session Tuesday: 6x2min 4v4 / 1minR. Again, increased work load compared to Austria as players have adapted to 1200m altitude. Wednesday is free day so players can recover from work on Sunday-Tuesday and will be fresh for last 2 tactical sessions before Greece game

With the oxygen masks sessions from tomorrow we will switch to a protocol specially designed for the last week before competition. Also our protein supplement programm will be fine-tuned in the last week before the Greece game next Saturday June 12th in Port Elizabeth.
June 5

Today first training session in South Africa. After core stability and warm-up we did the usual 4x4min passing drill to get things started. The players looked extremely fresh after a 12hr flight. Looking forward to the Inmotio-data of today's training. We checked the blood oxygen saturation of Korean players after 3 hours and 7 hours during our flight from Munich to Johannesburg last night. The blood oxygen saturation varied between 97-93% after 3 hours of flying and varied between 96-89% after 7 hours of flying. A long distance flight has a similar effect as living in an oxygen room: during the flight the amount of oxygen in the blood gradually drops. From today till Wednesday we will use a different oxygen mask protocol: just 1 block of 15min instead of the 1 hour sessions we did before. This protocol is developed for the period just before competition. In this 15min block we'll be looking for a blood oxygen saturation of 85% On Thursday and Friday we will not do any 'oxygen mask' sessions so the players can fully focus on Saturday's game vs Greece at sea level. After Greece game we will do 'oxygen mask' sessions on Sunday and Monday to be prepared for Argentina game on Thursday at 1800m in Jo'burg. We might even continue with the 'oxygen masks' sessions after the Argentina game even though we play our 3rd game vs Nigeria at sea level.

June 6

This morning we analyzed the Inmotio-data of yesterday's training. Players have made huge progress compared to both Seoul and Austria. During yesterday's 4x4min passing exercise average heart rate of players was 134 beats/minute compared to 142 in Seoul and 154 in Austria. Despite this lower heart rate the high intensity distance covered in 4x4min was higher: 245m compared to 182m in Seoul and 143m in Austria. These data show players have not only acclimatized to altitude but their fitness at 1200m is even higher compared to training at sea level. The periodisation in combination with 'oxygen room' in Seoul and 'oxygen masks' in Austria & SAF clearly help players reaching peak fitness. Tonight we'll analyze the Inmotio-data of today's 4x4min 6v6 conditioning session to hopefully confirm yesterday's promising results.

Today we had the hardest and - at the same time - best training session of this World Cup preparation so far. The players were flying! After 15min of core stability we did a warm-up with lots of speed preparation followed by a 4x2min passing exercise to be ready for 6v6. Did 4x4min 6v6/2minR. Pitch size 50x40m. Despite 1200m altitude players could easily have done a 5th block. But we want to keep them fresh!

Inmotio-data of today's 6v6 showed tremendous improvement compared to conditioning games 6v6 at sea level in Seoul and at 1000m in Austria. Average heart rate during 4x4min 6v6 at 1200m in SAF was 163 beats/minute compared to 169 at sea level in Seoul and 177 at 1000m in Austria. High intensity running during todays 4x4min 6v6 at 1200m in SAF was 821m compared to 659m at sea level in Seoul and 484m at 1000m in Austria

So again, like yesterday's passing exercise, players performed more high intensity work compared to sea level but with a lower heart rate!! During today's 'oxygen mask' session we presented these great results to the players while they were doing their 15min breathing session. By doing this you give players a deeper understanding of how they benefit from these sessions with oxygen mask. It makes more sense to them! Tomorrow a tactical session to prepare for Greece game on Saturday. At the same time players can recover from today's conditioning session. Tuesday the last conditioning session before start of World Cup. We'll finish our physical preparation with football sprints and 6x2min 4v4. On several occasions players suggested to me to do some isolated running at end of session. Korean players are used to do this type of work. The players told me they like to do these running exercises once in a while from a more psychological point of view. Although we apply a very football specific conditioning approach in this World Cup preparation there can always be exceptions on the rule. Therefore, at the end of yesterday's session we finished with a hard interval running exercise of only 2min but the players appreciated it. So even if a coach has a very clear philosophy on how to condition football players one should always be open minded to the needs of players
June 7

Korea decided to go for this base camp at 1200m after an extensive search for experiences and information about playing football at altitude Several experts -especially from the world of Rugby- advised us not to stay for 4-5 weeks in a hotel at 1800m in for example Johannesburg. Several top international rugby teams have experienced a drop of fitness and explosive power after staying 1 month at 1800m in Johannesburg. We've also spoken with teams who participated in 2009 Confederations Cup. They've all decided to change their approach compared to last year Bottom line is that during the weeks the quality of your daily training session goes down even if players have adapted to 1800m altitude. Although players have acclimatized to 1800m altitude they will gradually be undertrained and, therefore, will lose explosive power. Unfortunately, there is no literature available to confirm these findings as most scientific studies have been done with endurance athletes. I choose experienced top rugby and football experts above a lack of scientific literature. It proves that practice is often ahead of science. Our final conclusion was to go for a base camp at 1200m altitude and stay away from the 1800m in Johannesburg as much as possible. As we still play Argentina game at 1800m in Jo'burg we've introduced the oxygen room and oxygen mask sessions so players are still prepared. So Korean players are ready to perform in a low oxygen environment but we will not have negative side-effects of a high altitude base camp. Imagine Korea were staying for weeks in a base camp at 1800m altitude while we only have to play 1 game at this high altitude. Basically, we would have made this whole 'altitude'-thing way too important. We just had our final conditioning session before start of World Cup. Session was planned at 1.30pm. Similar to the Greece game on Saturday. On the pitch it was steaming hot so players had to work really hard. Saturday's weather forecast for Port Elizabeth promises a very warm day. After core stability, warmup and passing we played 6x2min 4v4 / 1min rest. Pitch size was slightly bigger than normal due to the heat. By slightly increasing pitch seize to 35x25m the intensity of play decreases a little bit to compensate for the extreme heat during training. Because of this small adjustment in exercise organisation players were still able to play high intensity football for 6x2min. Top quality! After arriving back at hotel as usual players jumped into outside swimming pool for 15min. The cold water helps to speed up recovery process. Because of this very hard session just before World Cup we also pay special attention today to our supplement programme to speed up recovery

June 8

Tomorrow is a day off. The players will be free all day to recover from all the hard work. On Thursday morning we'll fly to Port Elizabeth.