Lockdown… what do I do?

Where I coach in the UK the youth game has been put on hold – we cannot train and we cannot play matches. How long that will last for is not entirely clear but it does not mean that I am putting my coaching on hold.

With the club I work with we have been talking to the players over Zoom and given them some advice through the head coach at the club. What is key though during this time is that players get lots of time touching the ball.

So this may be playing off a wall with two cones set wide with a one two to the next cone and back again getting passing and receiving touches or getting a member of the family to pass or throw the ball so the players are getting touches from a moving ball that way.

Whatever it is that you can get your players to do it is important that they keep in touch with a ball and that they have some sort of physical exercise and fitness work that they would have received during a normal season.

You can recommend physical TV programmes like Joe Wicks on YouTube. Wicks, also known as the Body Coach, decided to bring back the free YouTube live workouts he launched during the first lockdown, stating he wanted to “help young children and families get through this difficult time when schools are closed, to bring some energy, change their mood and hopefully lift their spirits”.

And for more game like things what I want my players to do is to practice things they are good at to make it better because I know this is preferrable to doing the things they are not so good at. But if they can do some work on the things they are not so good at I will be a very pleased coach!

One of the things I know my players enjoy is the time we spend on the tactics board working on game plans and showing how to set up for things like corners. Simple stuff works like “what should the corner taker do when he has taken the corner kick?”

This is where the coach can help by explaining your tactics. I want my corner kick taker to sprint into a position just outside the penalty area where he/she can either pick up rebounds or be there to snub out counter attacks.

And you don’t need to be at training to get those points across.

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