News from Baiersbronn: Intensive training sessions, but always keeping the fun involved

A long day loomed for Hoffenheim's first team on Friday. The day started with a 90 minute training session, which included several exercises involving practicing shots on goal. There were in fact many goals scored during this session, although keepers Tom Starke, Daniel Haas, Jens Grahl and Ramazan Özcan showed good performances under the watchful eyes of coaches Zsolt Petry and Cesar Thier.

With a clear blue sky and sunny weather conditions, the players welcomed every chance to catch a break and take a drink. Peniel Mlapa, the new signing from 1860 München, appears to have integrated himself well already. The same applies for the other new man in Hoffenheim's squad - Tom Starke.

The afternoon also featured intense preparation for the upcoming Bundesliga campaign. Sport psychologist Jan Maier had thought of something really special for his players. At first, he scheduled a running exercise in groups of four. Equipped with GPS transponders, the Hoffenheim pro's ran through the vast terrain and mastered all types of challenges involving speed and skilfulness. "It was a very tough exercise," admits Christian Eichner. "Especially the heat made things difficult for us. But it was fun nonetheless." The group that won the competition included Manuel Gulde, Vedad Ibisevic, Daniel Haas and Robin Neupert. Haas confidently responded to this achievement with a smile on his face: "There was no question as to who would win." But the real highlight was still to come - the next task asked each group to build a type of "soapbox". It became evident that some of the players were very talented in using all types of tools. The final product was not necessarily resembling those of our partners Audi, but they still managed to create a certain degree of amazement. The actual race caused for lots of laughter, as the players and caretakers were clearly enjoying themselves.

There are still two days left of training days in Baiersbronn and there is bound to be more intensive but fun exercises for the players. Obviously, we will continue to keep you posted.


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