Olympics build-up packs quite a punch
WITH the start of the Olympic Games less than 100 days away, Team GB boxing coach Lee Pullen is flying in more ways than one.
The Folkestone man has the hopes of Great Britain's best in his hands at their Sheffield base and he's been jetting around the world with them to ensure they're in the best shape.
He guided two more to qualification for London 2012 in Turkey – bringing the total up to seven – but it could have been eight.
Pullen said: "Getting two to qualify out there was a fantastic achievement but I thought we were really, really unlucky not to get a third.
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"There was a point in it and I thought our lad was harshly treated by the judges.
"We're off to China next to get the girls qualified there and I've just come back from Poland, France and then Turkey – all in April.
"All the boxers have trained ever so hard and their hard work will pay off and they'll come good. I have a tough job but as we get nearer the excitement is mounting.
"We are getting close now and we've come down a tough, long, hard road.
"There's a lot of pressure on us but we'll deal with that and there's enough talent in our team to shine."
Plans for when the Games do kick-off have already been made.
Pullen explained: "We're staying in the Olympic village and there's a holding camp just outside of that before the Olympics start.
"We have tough camps with the Uzbekistanis, Brazilians and Germans before then but things are look good. I'd like to thank all the staff at Dungeness B power station for their support."
6.00am: The alarm goes off and we're up straight away. We live in a block of flats in Sheffield with all the other boxers so we get them up too.
6.30am: Each day we have to weigh all the boxers in. We do that before they set off on a busy day.
7.00am: All the group go on a run every day, normally around 7ish. It varies what we do but a lot of the athletes work together. We train in the same place Jessica Ennis does and she's down there every day. It's good to see the different sportsmen and women working together.
7.45am: The run's done so it's breakfast time. We have the Manchester United nutritionist Mark Ellison supply all the food. Every week we get an individual box of food for the coaches and boxers which is tailored to each person's individual needs. If they need more protein or carbs, they get them. Then it's a bit of rest
10.30am: The sessions start and it can be anything from gym work, to technique, to strength and conditioning. They do that until lunch. All the sessions are filmed for analysis.
12.30pm: Lunchtime and a chance to fuel the body. What the boxers have varies as it's all geared to individuals. It can be anything from pasta-based dishes, fish to rice.
3pm: Sessions again and normally boxers come in groups of four – but us coaches are there the whole time. They do individual work and it's not a mass gym session. There's more sparing, padwork and drills and we get them completing set out circuits. Again it's all filmed to look at the strengths and weaknesses.
6pm: The boxers go down to get an ice-bath or sit in the steam room. We don't encourage too much of that but they have time to chill before taking on more food. Boxers have Lucozade throughout the day – we're sponsored by them – but it's not the stuff you'll get in the shops. It's specifically for sportsmen and they drink lots of water too.
7pm: Time for an evening meal before the boxers have time to rest. Not for me though, once the food is done the coaches sit down and plan the next day. We used to do this routine on Mondays to Thursdays but as the Games grows closer it's going mad and we're doing it every day. I rarely get any downtime but I'm not moaning – I love it.
9pm: We sit down and analyse the videos so we know what's going right and wrong.