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  • Daniel Kamenetzky


At the age of 16, Jude Bellingham achieved the remarkable feat of becoming a first-division player. However, it is crucial to address a common oversight in professional clubs: the lack of personalized training strategies for players making the transition to high-level competition. In many cases, there is a missed opportunity to implement a progressive increment of load, building upon the training initiated at the academy level.

It is essential to recognize that at each stage of a player's development, there are specific skills and knowledge to acquire. When a player bypasses stages at the academy level, they miss out on the chance to learn new facets of the game, experiment with new ideas and techniques without pressure, solidify existing techniques and game concepts, and most importantly, allow their body to complete biological development in a safe and low-stress environment.

In the case of Bellingham, and as observed in many other young athletes we evaluate, it is evident that certain aspects of his techniques still need refinement. If left unaddressed, these deficiencies could potentially pose challenges to his physical well-being and limit future career opportunities. Some of these issues are already surfacing, as detailed in the freely available report on Spandrel's blog.

The transition of a player to the first division is a nuanced process that, in our opinion at Spandrel Analytics, is not well-developed in many clubs. We believe this deficiency contributes significantly to the rise in injuries among young athletes.

While analyzing athletes based on publicly available information has its limitations, we acknowledge that the ideal situation involves integrating all critical performance variables such as conditioning and technical capacity, tactical prowess, nutritional strategy, and body composition. This comprehensive approach is what sets Spandrel Analytics apart when working directly with teams and individual athletes across various sports.

The reports presented in my blog and through this medium serve as a condensed snapshot of reality for educational purposes. Although partial, they provide a substantial understanding of the probable cause-and-effect relationships impacting the performance and injury occurrences of the analyzed players.

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