Hearts midfielder Don Cowie offers insight into role sports science plays, including use an app



Hearts midfielder Don Cowie has revealed the players use an app to tell the club how happy they feel.

Even before Robbie Neilson’s side were granted use of the new £33 million national performance centre at their Heriot-Watt University base this week, the Gorgie outfit had been making the most of what sports science has to offer in their bid to get the edge on an opponent.

That includes the players having to log their wellbeing on an app before they arrive at training every morning.

(Pic: Twitter @JamTarts)
(Pic: Twitter @JamTarts)

The facilities and science on offer a world away from what Cowie was used to as a youngster at Ross County and the 33-year-old admits players now want for nothing.

The former Inverness, Watford, Cardiff and Wigan playmaker said: “This new facility is beyond anything I’ve had at the clubs I’ve been at.

“It’s a real asset to have and when you show players around that you’re trying to sign, it’s going to be a real coup for us – that’s for sure.

“You see the recovery area we have now, the gym – there’s an indoor pool as well.

The desire might not have been there to go to the gym but now it’s right there, you can’t hide from it. It’s wee things that give you that attitude to do it.

“Small details is a big thing in football. Malky Mackay used to talk about it as a manager, it’s fine details and it’s fine margins.

“The one per cents can really make the difference come Saturday. If everyone is doing it, you add it up and it can be a big gain.

“Every morning we’ve got an app that we’ve got to log our wellness, how we’re feeling, our muscles – everything. It’s very detailed. That has to be done before you come in or you’ll a big fine.

“Even training day-to-day, you’ve got your GPS, they can monitor how fast you run in training and how far you’re running so they can say in the next day, ‘taper it off a wee bit, don’t do as much because your stats suggest you were overworked yesterday’.

“Hearts are striving to be the best and all this is coming together nicely.”

Cowie concedes modern-day players are mollycoddled but he welcomes the advances after offering an insight into the apprenticeship he served at County.

Speaking ahead of today’s visit of former club Inverness, he added: “You see the changes in the years and it’s frightening.

“From what I had to go through, it’s way and beyond. With everything in life, phones – everything, it changes doesn’t it?

“I would have been cleaning seats in the stand on a Monday, sweeping the stadium and putting the covers on in the winter. You’d be cleaning the bus but now it’s just cleaning the boots. It’s changed days, it just moves with time really but that’s what I had to go through.”

Hearts will bid to record their first league win of the season today and Cowie added: “It’s been a hard start. Celtic and Aberdeen were the two best teams last year.
“We’ve only taken a point but I think we’ve acquitted ourselves well.”