INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

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Can we still shoot!

You can say one thing for certain… the players I coach are thrilled to be back out training even though they are having to be aware of distancing and not trying to tackle their teammates.

I think watching games behind closed doors on the TV is helping them come to terms with the new world that they have embraced. Certainly I haven’t heard any of them complain about it not being realistic to have no tackling or confrontation.

The first question I got when we arrived back at training was: “Can we shoot?” Which basically shows exactly what it is the players like to do – you can shoot and yes there is a goalkeeper who can save the ball.

Initially when you look at the sessions you can put on, passing is the one that stands out as being the easiest to keep to the rules. But there are so many more things you can do. There are a lot of sessions on the Soccer Coach Weekly website that are suitable to social distancing. Just check out the “return to play” activities.

My players have all been in the back garden and depending on the size depends on what they have been doing. Free-kicks from all kinds of distance is one of the most common but I have also noticed how some of the players have improved their skills.

Keepy-uppies is one of the ones I like to get players to do when they are at home in a normal season so during the break I got them to try and practice every day. There has been a general improvement in individual ball control and numbers of keepy-uppies has crept up.

This all means that the lockdown hasn’t been a total waste of the players skills and that come the start of the new season the players should be ready to show off what they have been learning on the pitch.

Odd though the empty stadiums are, I am glad that the experience has shown my players that even though times are strange their favourite game will still be played.

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