GPS trackers, psychology and a sports scientist: How John Pemberton has changed the way Chesterfield train

John Pemberton has given an insight into his training methods and the changes he has made since being named Chesterfield caretaker boss.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 4:35 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 2:08 pm

The 55-year-old has revealed that he has increased the tempo of training sessions and introduced GPS trackers to monitor how hard players work.

He has also brought in a sports scientist and held psychology meetings with individuals.

The changes are a result of the players telling him that they do not feel “sharp” enough.

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Pemberton said that it is not a case of the players not being fit enough but rather the intensity has been lacking.

"When I have spoken to them (the players) what they were saying is that they didn't feel sharp,” Pemberton said.

"So a lot of the training that we have been doing has been based around the tempo of the session.”

Despite his comments Pemberton did not want to lay the blame on the previous management team and said he was not criticising them.

John Pemberton.

He said: "Everyone is different, I am different to the way other managers and coaches work.

"I am not saying what has been done (previously) is wrong, right or indifferent.

"What has happened is people have been set up and coached in how they want to play.

"I want to play a little bit more high tempo if we can.

"I want to simplify things a little bit more because you are asking players who are lacking a little bit of confidence to do things that they are probably not comfortable with doing.

"It is not a criticism of what has gone on before it is just what I wanted us to do they did not feel sharp enough to do it.”

As well as upping the intensity of training Pemberton has insisted that the players wear GPS trackers during sessions to monitor how far they run and sprint

"I like us to cover five to seven kilometres in a training session,” he explained. “The first training session that they did a lot of the players covered four-and-a-half kilometres and four kilometres and that is not enough for where we want to go but we had no GPS to see that. Now we have got that.

"If I say to someone that they are not running enough but there is no evidence then it becomes a confrontation. If I can put the evidence up it becomes fact.

"I work a lot of my training works off metres per second and I do plan it to the second because it is important.

"I am gobsmacked that if you had access to that data that you would not use it."

The club has been without a fitness coach since November when Rob Coleman was let go.

So to help with analysing the health of the players he has brought in a sports scientist.

"He is American who has been working in the MLS but he is over here now,” Pemberton said.

"I have got a good friend of mine who heads up the sports science at Derby. He has been doing a lot of work with them and when I rang my friend he was happy to let him come here and work for us so that is pleasing.

"So when I talk about the fitness side of things I can now give facts."

Pemberton is leaving no stone unturned as he bids to prepare his team mentally for the relegation battle that awaits for the remainder of the season.

He has held individual meetings with players to discuss how they are feeling and try and build their confidence.

"I have got psychology qualifications,” he added.

"I have worked with sports psychologists.

"I worked with a top one who works with all the top athletes in sports for a year when I was at Bristol.

"When I talk to people if it not for them then I am alright with it.

"I am not going to force anybody into it but if it just tweaks one then it has been worthwhile.”