Vardy is a "genetic freak" like Bolt, says Leicester City scientist
England striker Jamie Vardy is a "genetic freak" like nine-times Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt, Leicester City's head of sport science Kevin Paxton said.
Vardy enjoys an unorthodox lifestyle in an era of increasing emphasis on marginal gains from advanced sports science, meaning his electric pace and immense stamina are largely natural.
In his autobiography, the Leicester forward revealed his unusual warm-up methods which included drinking a glass of port the night before a game while on match days he consumed several cans of a popular energy drink as well as a cup of double espresso.
Such unconventional habits appeared to have helped Vardy to score 24 goals last season as Leicester won the Premier League.
"I just think he is a genetic freak, his athleticism is as natural to him as Usain Bolt's. But it doesn't mean Bolt doesn't train for that extra one percent," Paxton told Reuters at the Soccerex Global Convention.
"There will always be exceptions, those stand-out outliers like 'Vards', but he works hard on the training ground even if he jokes about drinking cans of Red Bull."
Vardy also admitted he had hampered his recovery from a dead leg soon after joining the Foxes in 2012 by drinking vodka mixed with sweets.
Paxton said Vardy's naivety when he was recovering from injury was unlikely to be repeated as clubs now kept a much closer check on their injured players.
"Everything is more monitored these days," he added.
"We are not at the stage where we know everything people are eating and drinking but we do have sleep and dietary questionnaires. It could be even more strictly monitored though.
"At some point you have to let go and allow the players to learn for themselves.
"The further you get up the chain, the more cut-throat it is, and it is all about small margins and tiny percentages."