How does the Italian team prepare for a European Championship? Professor Castellacci answers

Posted on in Prevention and Physical training.

It is a national team which runs (in every sense) and is amazing everybody at Euro 2016 with its physical and psychological preparation. But how do you reach and maintain an optimal condition even though it is the end of the season? We asked Professor Enrico Castellacci, the national team doctor, whom we managed to contact during the days leading up to the Italian team's departure for France.

Professor Castellacci, can we hope for an Italian summer? How is the training for the 2016 European Championship going? 

Obviously, we hope that the sky above France will be coloured with the Italian colours, aware however that this is a sports competition for which we are doing everything possible in order for the training to be optimal, and knowing that the answers will be given on the field.

Which risk factors could affect the Italian team’s physique? 

There are risk factors as we are facing competitive commitments so near to the end of a championship which was extremely stressful physically and psychologically for the players. Therefore evaluating the recovery is fundamental. For this reason, among other methods, we will perform blood and saliva tests which allow us to monitor the conditions of the individual player.

What will you take to France of the equipment available at the centre of Coverciano? Certainly luggage branded Sixtus Italia. 

We must make sure that there is the hyperthermia equipment, the lasers, the diathermy devices and many others, all strictly supplied by Sixtus. I take this opportunity to thank Sixtus, which for years has supported us with passion and competence.

You have been relying on them for years now, in the past which episodes and results do you remember with the most pleasure? 

Surely the victory at the 2006 World Championship and the second place at the 2012 European Championship. Exhilarating experiences, I would dare to say moving, and hardly describable because of the great emotional impact.

How important is nutrition when preparing for a sporting event like a European Championship? 

Nutrition is, of course, extremely important not only for the performance, but also for recovery, fundamental in this type of competitions. It is necessary to respect the criteria of rationalisation in the relationships between nutrients, hydration, and a correct supplement integration under medical supervision.