- in Science
England women have started to train around their menstrual cycles, says manager Phil Neville.
The Lionesses’ new physical performance manager Dawn Scott is creating a “bespoke” approach that Neville says has “made a big impact already”.
Women’s Super League Club Chelsea have been adapting training in a bid to optimise performance and avoid injury.
“We have to tailor our philosophies, profiles, the way we test, strength and condition,” Neville said.
Last week, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes revealed they have been designing players’ individual plans around the phases of their menstrual cycle since August in an attempt to help control weight fluctuations that can occur and lower the chance of soft tissue injuries.
Research in 2016 showed more than half of elite female athletes say hormonal fluctuations during their menstrual cycle hampered their training and performances.
There is also ongoing research into the link between anterior cruciate ligament injuries and specific phases of the menstrual cycle.
“We’re seeing in the WSL they’re starting to implement that as well through the influence of people like Dawn, and the top people in the world,” said Neville.
Scott spent nine years with the Football Association as head of sports science before she moved to the US in 2010.
Her innovative approach to menstrual tracking has been hailed as playing a key part in their World Cup triumph last summer.
She returned to England in November to work with Neville’s coaching staff.
“We have got someone with a really great experience of working with elite athletes,” Neville said.
“Since the World Cup, I wanted to bring the best possible elite workers within my staff – and I think I have got that with Dawn.”
England begin their defence of the SheBelieves Cup against the US on 6 March.