Despite being one of the Premier League’s most exciting talents, Trent Alexander-Arnold was robbed of his chance to shine with England this summer by an injury he sustained in the build-up to the Euros.
Undeterred, and eager to constantly improve his impact upon the pitch, he used his recovery time to help pioneer a trailblazing new training technique designed to improve an athlete’s vision and reaction times…
Obviously missing out on the Euros was massively disappointing.
But after a few days of feeling sorry for myself I decided to re-evaluate the situation and see it as an opportunity for me to improve on things that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to improve upon. So, there’s always a silver lining.
I got the ‘It’s Coming Home’ fever like the rest of the country.
It was also interesting seeing it all from outside the team bubble. In Russia (World Cup 2018) we knew about the celebrations and support going on at home, but you never really understand the extent of it. This time I was seeing English people congregate in the pubs and bars, with the support coming from everywhere – it was incredible.
This week’s training has been pretty typical:
with a training session on Sunday, two sessions on Monday – football in the morning and then a 6k run in the afternoon. Tuesday was one workout session in the morning. Wednesday was a session in the morning, session in the afternoon – both football – then Thursday was a 60-minute game. Friday is recovery, then Saturday a pre-season friendly.
Back in the day, pre-season was about coming back from holiday unfit and getting yourself back to full fitness.
Whereas at this level, these days, you really can’t come back out of shape any more. There isn’t that much time between tournaments and seasons, and the gap between being unfit and being Premier League match-level ready is world’s apart – you don’t have that privilege anymore.
Even with pre-season friendlies it’s still difficult to prepare yourself for a first game in the Premier League.
It’s so hectic. It’s so, so intense. You can’t really prepare for it.
I’ve been doing Sports Vision training with Red Bull’s sports ophthalmologist, Dr Daniel Laby.
It’s something that hasn’t really been tapped into in football to any depth, but this guy works with US sports teams to improve vision and judgement, so that your decision-making on the pitch is sharper.
It involves a lot of reaction-time work, tracking of your vision and work on peripheral vision.
Your vision is the foundation to any decision you make on a football pitch. The clearer I can see, and the more I can see – judging things like the position of opposition players quicker – the better the decision I can make on the pitch.
There’s a World Cup qualifier coming up in September, and I’m hoping to get back to be part of that.
I need to start the season well, because the competition for places at England is, well, overpopulated you might say!
For the club I want to win as many trophies as I can. Just as long as I’ve got one or two medals around my neck come the end of the season I’ll be made up.
Watch Trent’s Vision – as Trent Alexander-Arnold uses vision training to takes his game to a new level.
Interview: Rob Kemp