Dunfermline Athletic

The appliance of science

Friday, 17th Feb 2012

Ross Hughes on his job as Sports Scientist for Dunfermline Athletic

Ross Hughes

When Sports Scientist Ross Hughes joined Dunfermline at the start of the season, little could he have anticipated how busy he was going to be. This week he spoke exclusively to the website to give an incite into his job:-

"We have just been really unfortunate this season to have the amount of injuries that we have. These things happen in football and you just have to get on with it, do your best and try and get the players back as quickly as you can.

"You take measures to try and prevent these things happening but football is one of those sports where you just can't predict these things happening. We try and get the players back as quickly as we can.

"We try and strengthen up ankle joints by balance stability and strength conditioning work. We do resistance training to strengthen up muscles to stop injuries when under stress. Flexibility training gives players a greater range of movements through the muscles. If they are ever pushed into a range where it is unusual for them, then they have the ability to deal with that."

Some players have better movements through hips, some might have past problem injuries that limit them so Ross' task is to get the best fit for everybody.

"There are one or two that need one to one work or a bit of extra strengthening. You want to get the muscles into longer lengths so every player is treated as an individual."

The longer term injured Steven Bell and Nick Phinn have been major work for Ross and physio Kenny Murray. Ross was full of praise for the fight that Steven has put up:-

"He is nearly there now, he just has to try and get over that final hurdle to get himself back. He is as keen as mustard but has just been unfortunate. It seems he goes over one thing and another crops up to hold him back. I have never had the real pleasure to see him train because he has been injured since I came here.

"It is frustrating for him and frustrating for the medical team as well, there is nothing we would want more than Stevie Bell pulling on a Dunfermline jersey and going out and doing well for the Club.

"It is the same with Nick Phinn. His injury happened in Austria in pre season; it was just one of those things. He has started training again and is looking more like his usual self. Fingers crossed all goes well this time.

"There is an unpredictability about going back into training and it is about doing your best to bridge that gap between the rehab and full on training. Hopefully we have got there with Nick this time and he can kick on from there."

The job of all the coaching staff involves keeping players morale up. Ross continued:-

"You know when players are feeling down, when you need to go and put your arm around them or have a wee word in their ear. You pick up wee signs and it is part of coaching and management to use your skills to identify these sorts of traits in players. You need to man manage them to get the best out of them. There is a bit of psychology involved and keeping them fixated on the goals that they want to achieve."

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