The Cumberland Throw

Eels Pre-Season Training – November 15, 2019: Hit And Run

It’s the last day of the first week of pre-season training. You’ve got about a third of the squad in attendance. You ease into the weekend, right?

Wrong!

http://www.starrpartners.com.au/office/starr-partners-narellanThough I wouldn’t describe this week as the most demanding week of pre-season that I’ve ever witnessed – nor would I expect it to be – it did end with a physically challenging field session.

I had considered breaking this report into the subheadings of conditioning and skills, but that would not have done justice to the structure of the session. I’ll therefore attempt to describe the session from a sequencing perspective to provide an insight into the coaching that accompanied the physicality of the work.

In this field session, the squad commenced ball work straight after the warm ups. Three on two plays in a grid prepared the players for some of the drills that lay ahead.

The skills work continued as more players were added in attack and defence as the work seemed to be about short side corridors. At this stage, it looked to be as much about attacking decisions as defensive ones.

After the first drills wrapped up, the group transitioned to a sequence of conditioning runs – 800, 600, 400 metres. This was completed around a course with bends and curves rather than running in straight lines up and down the field. Between the runs, each player had to field footballs – obviously under fatigue. Real footy is always played at varying levels of fatigue.

Ethan Parry

It was then back to corridor skills work which this time was most definitely about defensive positioning and decisions. In these drills, the numbers advantage is always given to the attacking group, the aim being for defenders to shut down plays despite being outnumbered.

This work was completed near my vantage point so I was able to listen to BA coach individuals about their positioning and movement, and how a particular defensive decision would force attackers to respond and what that might mean to the space available to them.  Listening to moments like this provides a small glimpse into why so many players have spoken to me over the years about the quality of BA’s coaching.

More running followed with the quick bursts of fielding under fatigue. A note at this point. As we observed the conditioning, we wondered whether certain players were being selected to lead each run out. This was because every run would see a different player go out hard to the front to lead the group. I checked on this but it was apparently each player looking to set a standard. Special mention to Johnny Fonua for his stand out efforts today – and to Stefano Utoikamanu for starting the preseason in tremendous shape.

Was the conditioning done yet?

Not a chance.

Malcolms were then introduced. For those unfamiliar with my reports from last year, Malcolms simulate match conditions via players doing short sprints and hitting the ground every ten metres or so. That up and down off the ground is the type of exertion required in defence.

In this instance, after a quick set of Malcolms, each group of players ran to collect a ball and immediately begin a set of six. This was all about each player quickly finding a role for themselves after gaining possession, and to make themselves heard as they moved the ball. Everyone’s contributing. Everyone’s talking.

Andrew Davey and RCG

What I value about this, is that it’s coaching the players to think and communicate. From conditioning runs where the players were told to think as they ran, break up their runs and not go into mindless run mode, to these early ball sessions, the message about the mental side is being emphasised.

Finally, an extended period of Malcolms rounded out the toughest field session of the week. I haven’t seen the contact, the gym, the kicking or any of the other sessions which take place over the five days of training, but after this morning, the players will definitely need a couple of days of recovery!

Week one done! We saw a little bit of Reagan Campbell-Gillard in action today. I’m hoping to be able to report more about him and Dylan Brown next week.

Eels forever!

Sixties

22
Click Here to Reply ...

avatar
9 Comment threads
13 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
WMDAjaxRowdyMiloJohn Eel Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
ECNIV
Guest
ECNIV

Thanks for the preseason reports Sixties. Much appreciated in offseason.

Colin Hussey
Guest
Colin Hussey

Good report sixties, especially in the small areas of detail regarding the malcolms and other areas, I am assuming that while there are similarities in the patterns compared to last year, there are some differences?? I like the way you tell how BA is talking to the players in regard to thinking as they run. In being able to make decisions on the run can make for some break up of the opposition defence, makes for players able to work on their foot work and jink- evasive running skills. I watched the RCG interview last night, he comes across as… Read more »

Mark camman
Guest
Mark camman

Hi Sixties – when do you expect the whole,squad to be back in training?

Milo
Guest
Milo

Thanks again Sixites, another great read.
Do we know if the defence is done behind closed doors in terms of the wrestle contact rooms? Or is it that the squad has only been back for a week and they will introduce this in coming week/s.?

Thanks for the reading. It’s much appreciated

Paul taylor
Guest
Paul taylor

Another excellent read mate . Be interesting to see what defensive structure we come up with in 2020. We were vulnerable in the middle most of the year . I know RCG will plug that hole but we need to tighten that up to be any chance of a top 4 finish .

Milo
Guest
Milo

That’s a very good point Paul; we did do well as a team but that was a concern at times.

John Eel
Guest
John Eel

What I like about this club at the moment is the way that they are building the squad. We may not be buying the million dollar players that are being hawked around on an annual basis but we are buying players who are better than the ones that they replace. The back room staff are also changing with little tweeks which gives us continuous improvement each year. As a club this is what we are looking for. Last year we had the likes of Ferguson, Lane and Blake who were quality recruits. We also had Sivo who was a project… Read more »

Rowdy
Guest
Rowdy

I believe whatever BA says. Or whatever Sixties says about what BA says! Mostly because it is more pleasant to do that than to believe what some of the death-riders on other platforms are saying about “what BA does or says” ‘cos that’ has been distressing over the past 4 years. Their slithering, sniping and undermining of the best thing that has happened to this club since 2009 is an irritant beyond measure. Now on a more serious note: When it comes to coaching the best measure has usually been performance by the players as a group and or the… Read more »

Ajax
Guest
Ajax

Thanks for the fantastic report!!!

WMD
Guest
WMD

Cheers Sixties, thanks for keeping us all informed and sharing your thoughts. On top of being excited with how our 2020 squad is looking, I’m also super impressed with the interviews on the Parra Eels website. Brendan Inkster comes across as saying all the right things this early in the pre-season. “Come round 1 we want to be fitter, stronger, faster that other teams”. RCG saying that he wasn’t enjoying footy the season just gone but is ready to rock’n’roll in 2020 and has his sights firmly set on representative footy again. David Grower, who always comes across articulate when… Read more »