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This Is Probably, Maybe, Not Really What Bolton Were Doing In Training Under Owen Coyle

Earlier we wrote about how Jimmy Phillips, Sammy Lee, and Julian Darby were changing the training regime at Bolton Wanderers in hopes of building discipline and shape for the players.

Clive Brunskill - Getty Images

A lot of the stuff that Kevin Davies mentioned in that piece seems like it belonged in a "Training for Professional Footballers 101" course. It did, however, get us thinking. What were Bolton Wanderers doing in training while Owen Coyle managed the club? We had some ideas:

Owen Coyle's Table Tennis Tournament

As results began to slip, Owen realized that his time as manager of Bolton would soon go in the same direction. With his managerial stock falling, Owen's reputation as a table tennis star had nowhere to go but up. Rather than propping half the table up vertically, Forest Gump style, Owen Coyle used the players to better his skills.

The Fabrice Muamba Row ZZ Challenge

Crossbar challenges are so boring and old-fashioned. Why aim for a boring, old horizontal pole when you can set up a goal in the Reebok Stadium's back row and aim for that? The rules here are simple: the ball rests at the edge of the penalty box and the person taking the chance comes sprinting in from about forty yards away. They hit the ball as hard as possible and whoever is closest to the back row, the better. Booting it out of the stadium means extra points.

The Kevin Davies Donkey Pull

Strength training? Overrated. It's no secret that Kevin Davies and family own a few donkeys so why not use them? These beasts of burden (Burnden?) will test the might (and pitches at Euxton) of the players as the players try to pull them away from their food by way of a harness and strap.

Dizzy Defending

This is an old American bit of fun here. You may have seen baseball players put their foreheads on the end of a bat held upright on the ground and spin around in circles then try to hit a pitch thrown at them. Owen thought this same tactic might help the Bolton defenders with their balance but instead, it's made the players perpetually dizzy. This explains the team shipping goals.

Do you have any other ideas about just what it was that the team were doing in training? Share in the comments