This morning he was brought by private plane from a snowy airport in Moss to sunny Spain, where he is about to start a new chapter in his life. He is only 16 years old, but has already achieved more in the sports world than most can hope for, Martin Ødegaard is kicking his way out in the world in record time.
Jan Hoff is Professor of Medicine at NTNU in Trondheim, and has previously worked with both Real Madrid and Ødegaard’s former club, Strømsgodset. He says the youngster’s new teammates are on a different level than what he is used to.
“Training sessions in the two football clubs are not very different. It has been a few years since we worked with Strømsgodset, but the skill related exercises we have observed in Real Madrid, Barcelona, Celtic, or Rosenborg for that matter, are not substantially different. Primarily, the difference comes down to the players just being better, so they are both much faster and more accurate, he says.
Hoff is with his research colleague, Jan Helgerud, known for his leading research on training, especially in connection with physical training in football. He says Ødegaard is going to face much tougher resistance with his new club.
“Norwegian football teams train as much as Real Madrid during the pre-season period, but Real Madrid play more matches against better opposition throughout the season, and players who are part of these teams develop faster.”
In Norway, Ødegaard is seen as the best of the best, but Hoff says he has a long way to go before he is as good as his new teammates.
“Martin Ødegaard has to train as much as Cristiano Ronaldo has done over the last ten years to become as good as him. If he continues individual practice with a ball as well as physical training for better endurance and better strength, that is. He has to do this two to three hours a week for years, only then he can get to his level,” the researcher explains.
“We met Ronaldo in Manchester United approximately ten years ago and he had surprisingly similar starting point to what Ødegaard has today,” he adds.
If Ødegaard wants to make a name for himself among the world’s best players in his new Spanish league, La Liga, he must become stronger, and preferably be able to lift 200 kilograms or more while doing a 90 degree squat. However, in order for Ødegaard to run significantly faster, he can start off a little lighter.
“We have shown in research that an increase of approximately 50 kilo in 90 degree squats allows players to run almost a metre faster per every ten metres. This, in addition to the fact that increased strength reduces energy costs, they can run almost a kilometre more per game.”
It is not only Ødegaard’s strength that needs improvement though. He must also work on his endurance to keep up with his new opponents, and according to Hoff interval training is the key to success.
“Approximately 20 sessions with four times four-minute intervals allow players to run 1.7 kilometres longer during a game. Additionally, it can double the number of sprints and increase number of involvements with the ball by 30 percent. Work capacity is important for footballers as well.”
Hoff believes that Ødegaard will be followed up closely, and that personal trainers will most likely be at his disposal. In an interview with the newspaper “VG” yesterday Hoff said that “many” of Real Madrid players have personal trainers for strength, endurance and flexibility training. Not only to run faster and longer, but to help prevent injuries and strengthen muscles and bones as well.
Normally, Hoff works as a professor at NTNU in Trondheim, but together with colleague Helgerud he has acted as responsible advisor for physical training for a wide range of Olympic champions, world champions and World Cup winners. Furthermore, they have been consultants for a variety of professional football players and teams. They have published well over a hundred research papers on Pubmed, the world’s largest database in medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care and preclinical sciences. Today, they are also partners in Myworkout, contributing with training advice and guidance, in order for us to provide the best training to our customers.