The fine tuning of pre-season
June turns into July and the sanctuary of the beach gives way to the toil of the training ground in the scorching summer sun as players return for pre-season.
As Steve Wilson pointed out in his recent blog there is a 24-hour window between the football seasons. The last campaign ended with Monday's final humiliation for the England Under-21 team and the new one started all over again with a Champions League qualifier on Tuesday.
But there are 38 days left until the Football League season starts on 7 August (most teams play their opening game on 8 August but the Middlesbrough v Sheffield United match has been switched to the Friday by Sky Sports) and I personally cannot wait for the new campaign to kick-off.
I thought last season was fantastic, with Burnley's promotion to the Premier League showing that anything is possible, and there were plenty of twists and turns elsewhere.
Rest assured there is also plenty of pre-season work currently going on behind the scenes at the BBC to make sure our coverage of the Football League will be in tip-top shape for the forthcoming campaign.
In addition to 10 live Championship games, starting with Newcastle's opening day trip to West Brom (which will be shown on BBC One), there will also be delayed highlights of every single game available to UK users on the website.
Our individual club pages are being redesigned to showcase the additional video content and there will be plenty of news, match reports and blogs to really bring the competition to life.
For footballers in the Championship, League One and League Two, the start of the new season probably seems a very long way off.
Take Bristol City. Their players report back today and will spend seven days working on their fitness in England before heading off for a pre-season training camp in Portugal.
The friendlies then come thick and fast until the season starts.
A week in Portugal doesn't sound too bad but manager Gary Johnson insists it will be "gruelling".
He tells me: "Pre-season is very important. You have to make sure the players are mentally and physically ready when the season starts."
Johnson has his training programme mapped out more or less in its entirety, its content influenced both by scientific and technological advances as well as his own experience of what works and what doesn't. (Incidentally, if you run a football team you might be interested to hear the thoughts of Reading's Academy boss Eamon Dolan on how to plan a pre-season programme for your club.)
At least the enthusiasm for finding the steepest hill and forcing players up it until they are sick seems to have passed.
"I remember that well," Johnson told me. "I remember every pre-season when I was at Watford - and every pre-season I wanted to give the game up.
"There is a way to build up a players' fitness and if someone is throwing up at the top of the hill you have not done it right."
City did not make the play-offs last season and so the players have been 'off' for seven weeks. Well, that's not entirely true - every member of the squad was given a programme to follow during the close season, while voluntary sessions have been held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in recent weeks. I'm told a fair few players have attended.
"We can check what they have done," said Johnson. "All the results can be uploaded and seen on a computer."
Fitness readings can be compared with the previous summer, while progress through pre-season is constantly monitored. Heart and pulse rate monitors allow Johnson to understand how hard a player is working and whether certain tests and drills are working an individual to capacity.
Hydration and diet have also taken on added significance, which is partly why Johnson and many other managers choose to take their players on a pre-season trip.
"You know exactly what the squad are going to be eating and drinking as well as how they are going to sleep - and these are very important in the first weeks of pre-season," said the City boss.
There is also a 'fat club' at City. Players who return for pre-season overweight are the subject of ridicule from their colleagues and have to endure additional training before being allowed to join the rest of the squad.
Politically correct it is most definitely not, but in the banter-heavy world of professional football I can imagine how it would incentivise a player to return in good shape.
Johnson lays heavy stock on having the right atmosphere in his squad. He tries to vary the exercises and drills to ensure his players do not become bored.
In Portugal, they will face at least two sessions a day, although the manager is quick to spot the importance of leisure time.
"It is a good opportunity for new signings to integrate," he said. "A week-long training camp is as good as a couple of months of normal training in this regard."
When I talked to him, Johnson stressed the importance of trust and good man-management.
He told me he does not make use of all the advances in technology to try to catch his players out, like a school teacher with an errant pupil.
"We are here to help the players," he said. "At the end of the day, they might get into the first team. That means more appearance money or they could eventually get a good transfer. They have to make sacrifices, but it might benefit them in the long run."
Many players may need some convincing, but it will all make sense when the season starts on 7 August.