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Høgmo wants to know - not to assume
By Håvard Lindheim, 4 April 2006, 09:41

As the new test laboratory at Lerkendal is being started, Rosenborg gears up the work of mapping each detail of the players.

NEW TEST LAB: The new equipment is being set up.

Photo: Thomas Myren

"The test lab will give us safety in letting us be proactive when it comes to preventing injuries. We hope to do research as well. Just look at the leg protection Per Ciljan Skjelbred uses, made from carbon. We want to be in the front of the development on such things," Per-Mathias Høgmo tells

The new scientific center in the main tribune will officially open on May 4th, but Rosenborg already have taken large steps ahead in this field after Høgmo took charge last August. Especially, the prevention of injuries has been in focus.

Prevents injuries
"We have been very thorough, and have been running scheduled tests. With these measurements as background, the players have been given individual training programs. And we see the results already: no players are out with strain related injuries," Høgmo states.

The players have been sent through very detailed tests.

"We have taken blood samples, stamina tests, we check what they eat now and then, and we measure their weight on a regular basis. In all, we have a greater deal of control now," the RBK coach says, pleased.

Cooperates with the Norwegian Olympic Committee
Svein Arne Pettersen and Frode Vågen have been employed at the new test lab. The first named is being payed by the Olympic Top Sports.

"The Olympic Top Sports is a partner for us, as they have competence in the field; they also play a financial part. We will use them for discussions, and they can use our centre for other diciplines as well. It is a win-win situation."

"But still, football is football, and I will emphasize that our most important sources of impulse are the best clubs in Europe and the world. On some mental and physiological areas, though, it is natural that we develop things here in Trøndelag together with the Olympic Top Sports and other local actors," Høgmo thinks.

BLOOD TESTS: The test lab has advanced equipment for analysis and storage of blood samples.
Photo: Thomas Myren

In the 90s, RBK cooperated with Jan Helgerud and Jan Hoff, two of the leading experts in the field of sports physiology. Høgmo has an open mind for the ideas of these two scientists at the Norwegian University of Schience and Technology (NTNU).

"We have good knowledge of the methods they recommend as it is, since Siri Marte Hollekim is a student of theirs. They are extremely good in a small field, and some of their principles we already use," the Rosenborg coach tells us.

Freedom with responsibility
In all, this is abot creating Top Athlets from a gang of players that only last year was spoken of as 'just doing regular excercise'. Still, it's a far way to the ascetics, like biathlonist Ole Einar Bjørndalen and his colleagues.

"I am a liberal person. We must not forget the human being in all this. The players must enjoy themselves, and enjoy much in the way of freedom - with responsibility attached. This is a valid statement both when it comes to sleep, alcohol and diet. In those areas we are all different," Høgmo says. Earlier this winter he commanded all players to take part in a common breakfast in The Barracks [RBK HQ] every morning.

"Some questioned this, but it has proved to be a success. As the weeks have gone by, we have become less rigid, and made it a voluntary act; but we see that most players are happy to come here and get freshly baked bread."

"What does RBK gain from this?"

"The social aspect is important. We get together and have a nice breakfast in eachother's company, and get an easy start to the training session. At the same time we can ensure the quality of the players' diet - that they eat what they should," Høgmo says.

By teaming up players in pairs they shall also check the quality of eachothers' work.

"To get players, in pairs, to discuss their work, how they shall interact and how they can develop eachother, is a process of mental improving. And that is good," Per-Mathias Høgmo ends.

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