The legacy of Covid-19

I’m beginning to wonder what the legacy of a Covid-19 structure to football training will be once we have a more or less return to normality on the touchline.

We are a club that up until lockdown made it a policy that the coach shook hands with all their players at the beginning and at the end of training. Of course that has stopped but I still make sure I arm check all my players before they go home.

It’s difficult to escape that bonding need when you have coached the same players for a season of training and matches. Most clubs were last season also coming around to getting the players to all shake hands at the beginning of games much like the professionals do.

Player development

But I don’t think the legacy of Covid-19 will prevent members of your squad developing into skilful, clever players who can read the game and take part in matches. Certainly during lockdown when I looked around at the groups training at the same time as me they were all taking part in activities and learning passages of play that will help develop their skills.

If you take something like the “Y” drill – you can work with your central player on receiving and turning with the ball. We used it in training last week and you can get really technical with the way players receive and then which way to turn if a defender is on their shoulder

You can also work on weight of pass, body shape when receiving pass, head up to look at target, passing technique and using inside and outside of both feet. Or you can just watch the players work it out for themselves.

Be hands on

I’m very much hands on getting the receiving player to position correctly and to receive so the ball is protected from opponents. The outside hook turn is one skill I’m keen to get my players to work on and this is ideal.

So while training sessions do not look like they did before lockdown they have been excellent in coaching the game skills players need. Now we can move into contact again I am really looking forward to see how the players react and how much of what they learned since March has stuck in their football brains

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