This has been a very challenging time for both players and coaches. Since mid-March players have been unable to train in group sessions or play in games. However, as I have told our players on multiple occasions we have to all look at this situation as an opportunity.
There has never been another occasion when players have had unlimited time to focus on their own individual development – without the disruption of school or normal life. The players who maximize their training time during this period will be the ones who will have advanced their performance levels in relation to their peers and will be the most successful once team training and playing resumes.
During this timeframe we have supported our players with a detailed weekly training program (on our blog) that incorporates technical, tactical, physical and mental components. This week’s blog content below. It can be accessed directly here
The detailed blog training content is supported with weekly LIVE zoom sessions and the players also post video of their training activities on an APP called CoachNow. The feedback from players has been very positive and a lot of the players are achieving personal bests in their technical work.
I see a lot of players throughout the world posting random videos of themselves doing technical work but how many are following a regular and consistent plan that will develop all 4 pillars of youth development – technical/tactical/physical/mental.
There is a school of thought that we, as coaches, should be encouraging creativity more by facilitating our young players to be creative and come up with their own training activities – like our generation did many years ago.
I fully support that viewpoint but also believe that players can be more creative when given some ideas first – which they can then run with themselves. I am seeing proof of this in the training videos that the players are posting – they are adapting the activities to match the space that they have available and on many occasions adding their own “twist” to things.
Early feedback from parents and players was that they wanted some “structure” to the training activities. Don’t forget that the players (and their families) have had to quickly transition from a very structured school and team environment to an unprecedented lifestyle. To assist with this we have been utilizing another APP called SoccerPulse. This provides the players with a suggested daily time table and also with an opportunity to enter their RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) after every workout.
If any players or coaches would like to learn more about how we have kept our players fully engaged during this period of physical distancing I am happy to answer any questions that you may have or help as best I can.
I can be contacted via Linkedin, Twitter @ianlearnperform or on Instagram ian_mcclurg_learn_perform