The first blog is a brief introduction to the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) and how I feel it has impacted on Sport Science.
If you have not heard about it, or have little knowledge on the Academy System in English football, the Premier League introduced an initiative named the EPPP. It was introduced in 2012, with the intention of improving Youth Development across English football; categorising clubs from Level Four to Level One. With this, there was a greater investment in the Academy infrastructure from both the club itself and the Premier League. This saw a greater financial support of departments such as: coaching, recruitment and sport science to name but a few.
In my opinion, the introduction of the EPPP has not only been fantastic for the staff and players already in the Academy System, but has been very important for creating job opportunities (be it full-time, part-time or internship roles) in an elite setting within all departments.
For Sport Science alone, this influx of money allowed clubs to invest heavily in their respective departments. Without doubt, the biggest investments for Sport Science were the introduction of the GPS Systems, and the subsequent employment of further staff members. I do not know the exact total number of Premier League Academies who had GPS before the EPPP’s introduction, but I’d estimate that the majority of Academies invested far more significantly in GPS post EPPP introduction.
The intention of this first blog was just to give a brief overview of the EPPP, and give a basic idea of how I think its’ introduction has impacted significantly on Sport Science departments in Academies throughout the country. Whether this be in allowing departments to invest more money in technologies such as the GPS Systems, or by more job opportunities be created for both experienced sport scientists and recently graduated students. I think this will only help give current and/or future Sport Science students the confidence that there will be job opportunities post-graduation that will allow them to get on the job ladder in the field they want!!
In future posts, I will write about:
How the GPS was introduced into our Academy; the problems we faced, how it has developed etc,
How training and/or matches are fed back to players, coaches, sport scientists and other appropriate staff,
- How the data is used for rehabilitation from injury,
Our on-going projects such as the Small Sided Game Project,
How we assess Training Load,
Blogs on GPS variables such as Player Load, Training Load, Monotomy etc,
How I assess live data during training/matches
and lots of other aspects of the training analysis department at the Academy.
Please feel free to comment on blogs, and/or send me an email if you have any questions and would like to know any more.