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Improving fitness and football awareness

Gemma Donnelly says the players have been provided with training aids to boost performances

10 May 2020

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Rovers Ladies manager Gemma Donnelly says her players have been working hard to develop both their fitness and their football awareness during lockdown.

The players have all been provided with a series of training programmes, including home workouts, outdoor exercises and online classes, aimed at maintaining fitness levels, which the coaching staff can track.

But Donnelly says that a personal development task, where players can identify their own strengths and weaknesses via video analysis, will hopefully prove to be more beneficial when the players return to the pitch.

“It’s incredibly tough, but we’ve done a number of things for the players and we’re hoping that they use their one allowed exercise a day to ensure that they’re keeping fit,” the Ladies boss told iFollow Rovers.

“Our strength and conditioning coach has been setting them home programmes to do, so it’s been a combination of offerings.

“Workouts they can be doing in the house, we’ve also got stuff scheduled over the web as well, like Yoga classes, but equally they have to submit their recordings via an App or from their watches or their phones.

“So we can track what they’re doing, where they’ve been, how long they’ve been exercising for, at what intensity etc, and then we can monitor that based on the programmes that we’ve sent to them, but equally so we can see who’s actually putting a shift in whilst they’re at home and not shirking, because we’re still due to resume our league when it’s safe to do so."

Donnelly added: “On top of that, we’ve set their food diaries as well, so they have to submit that information and, of course, along with that, they’ve been given homework of an analysis task, which is a progressive task over the number of weeks.

“It started from just being able to clip themselves during games, but it’s progressively worked into units and the whole team, in terms of things we’re looking to identify and where we can improve our performances.

“So they’re not short of tasks, that’s for sure. We’re not just trying to fill a void, we’re trying to make it really purposeful, otherwise they won’t do it.

“Being able to watch themselves back and analyse themselves, some have found it really hard, because they don’t particularly like watching themselves, but others have really enjoyed doing the task, because they have identified things they can improve on or things they have done really well which they would like to take forward into the games.”

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