Why can’t a footballer spend four to six weeks of the summer break simply resting? Sports journalist Giulia De Maio ask this and other questions to Federico Donghi, head of Mapei Sport’s Training Department. «Certainly the recovery at the end of the season is important to recharge the batteries. However, such a large lapse of time without adequate training stimuli could lead to a deterioration of both the aerobic mechanism and strength. This would result in an even more uphill start to the athletic preparation with the team» answers the trainer of the Varese centre, which is relied on by several top league teams, starting with Sassuolo Calcio, in the latest episode of Cubetti di Sapere.

What should a footballer do to keep fit during the summer?
«The key seems to be intensity. In fact, rather than long and exhausting training sessions, shorter and more intense running work can help keep your breath up, just as strength work with a few repetitions but loads that tend to be high can help keep your muscles from dropping».

On the other hand, should those who were further behind during the season or who suffered injuries do more?
«Exactly, in these cases the summer break should be seen as an opportunity to work more on one’s weaknesses to prevent them from affecting the following season. In this sense, the athletic work for the player should be individualised to be able to meet the specific needs of each athlete».