It’s that time of year again and the UK is shutting down to enter panic mode over its annual heatwave. For Premier League footballers, though, life can’t come to a halt and their office is perhaps the least air-conditioned of all.
Having spent the morning on the training pitches of Copers Cope, the Palace squad have been in the thick of the heat today and training at the usual high intensity of top-tier football.
But how do they prevent the heat from becoming problematic and what steps do the coaching team have to take to keep their players in peak condition? We spoke with Scott Guyett to find out.
To start, training was shifted an hour earlier to keep the lads from the midday sun.
“We’re kind of not used to this so we’ve had to make a few adjustments,” Guyett explained. “We’ve trained an hour earlier, we usually train at 11; today we trained at 10.
“We’ve just changed training a little bit, we’ve dropped it down to an hour, had regular drinks breaks, usual wet towels.
“We gave everyone an individualised sombrero,” he then joked, “but found out once they ran it blew off. We had to shelve that idea.”
Today’s session was also segmented into far shorter chunks than it typically is, ensuring players remained hydrated and cool in spite of the sun’s relentless beating.
“We discussed it before training today that we would work in five-minute blocks which allowed us to have more drinks breaks. It breaks training up a little bit but ultimately it gets everyone in the shade for two or three minutes, allows them to have a drink and then we move back onto the drill.”
Any advice for fans looking to enjoy a kick about this evening? Of course. Guyett was raised Down Under…
“In Australia, we say ‘slip, slop, slap’, it’s a bit of a motto for Australians. Slip on a shirt, slop on suncream and slap on a hat.”
There you go. Slip, slop, slap. Sorted.
Watch the video below to see the lads in action in the blistering south London heat.