This was my last week with the ACTAS squad before they transfer their scholarships and become contracted Canberra United players – don’t ask its all politics and policy. There are 3 weeks to go before first W League game and the whole squad is starting to really fly. Last past 4 weeks of intensive endurance will now play dividends now that the small-sided games and technical intensity to sessions really increases. They should be good, not that everything has gone to plan or what I would have wanted but considering the circumstances I am content with the preparation that the players have put in.
Included in this has been the fantastic progress of the chronic patella tendon pain, although we never really got the bottom of the problem the course of action and the concentrated effort by all parties has really paid off. Although I enabled/aided with the progress, the praise has to be for the athlete. For anyone to have gone through what she has, has been difficult but she has done it with such dedication and diligence to every aspect of her rehab that she puts any other athlete I have worked with to shame. Well Done K Dogg, now lets get back playing!
The other injuries from my previous post have cleared up nicely, some better than others, but that is always the way.
A few of the players are away to the Peace Cup and Germany tour with the Matilda’s Squad. Good luck to you all. If you want to keep a closer eye follow Sal Shipard’s travel Blog. She is a great player with an excellent attitude and I am really proud of the improvements over the past winter that she has made. http://www.offexploring.com/chasingleather
Now that the split in the squad has been made I am really looking forward to this week and starting to get some big improvements with the ACTAS group. This group has been working consistently for the past 10 months and we are now going to chase down some really exciting performance improvements in preparation for the next few years of a large football load.
Now that the Commonwealth games are over a big congrats must go to all the athletes who 1stly made it and then those who were successful… from both NI and Australia and to a lesser extent the rest of the Home Countries ;-)
A special mention must go to Eammon O’Kane. He was the Captain of the NI boxing team and came back with Gold. He spoke really well when interviewed at the conclusion of his fight and defied the typical boxer stereotype. Well Done mate and fully deserved, he was one of my first athletes that I got my hands on as a young S+C coach. He was a Masters student at University of Ulster Magee while I was completing my placement for my Undergrad at Jordanstown. He travelled down twice a week from Dungiven – a 4 hour round trip, while doing his masters, working full time and training pretty much full time before Melbourne 2006. This mightn’t seem that far to some of you who live in big countries but in relation to NI that is pretty much from one end to the other! True dedication and a great lad.
Other coaching developments over the past few weeks included the installation and introduction to the latest version Visual Coaching. This software package is used comprehensively at ACTAS for all programming and monitoring. Having been lucky enough to have been involved with Luke and the developers of the package for a good few years now, I am really excited by the possibilities of the new facilities and it is really great to see some of the questions we had previously with regards to functionality that have now been answered. I now look forward to getting used to the new way that the software works and getting it off the ground. I will keep you updated and will add some examples once I have them.
Cheers and good luck,