SENIOR Coach David Teague has commended the team in the way they returned to training.
Following the first full week of training following the return from isolation, the team adjusted to the new training restrictions well according to Teague.
Under the guidance of Director of High Performance Andrew Russell, the players were put through a number of specially crafted drills which focused on re-establishing their decision-making under pressure.
“Our guys have been really good,” Teague told 3AW Sportsday on Friday.
“They trained in pairs as much as they could, but you’re only kicking to one guy with no decision: we’ve tried to increase the change of direction and increase the decision-making.
“We designed drills which got the physiological needs which Andrew wanted. We were probably one week out from when we thought we’d be back, so the program went really well for us.”
Monday’s training session marked the first opportunity for the team to engage in full-contact training.
However, Teague and Russell were adamant that there would be a managed and calculated approach to reconditioning the players for contact.
“We’ll build up to it. We’re conscious of not only the physical aspect: it’s the spatial awareness and not being used to training with people around them,” he said.
“We’ll build it up. We’ll start with one-on-one contests and build it up, but we’re going to break our training up and we still won’t train everyone at once in the first session.”
While the smaller training groups and altered conditions do provide a challenge for the football department and have required an adjustment on many levels, Teague also saw it as a great opportunity for the players and coaches alike.
The smaller groups, according to Teague, allowed for the players to work more closely with their coaches and help them grow their understanding of the game plan ahead of Round 2.
“We’ve learnt a bit by training in smaller groups: the accountability and ability to educate the players has been greater,” he said.
“We’ve had to maximise the on-field time and in the smaller groups, we’ve done that.
“I have to admit, by the end of six hours of track, the voice is struggling. I’ve loved it, I’ve been able to get involved with the players from a distance and be able to coach them and I know each group of seven has had their own coach going through with them."