Even while team team training and competition is shut down, FC Wisconsin players and coaches continue to work hard to find new and innovative ways to train individually and continue player development. The club has been creating and sending regular training sessions to players via its Technical Improvement Program (TIP), as well as providing Psychological Skills Training, online team meetings, and more.
TIP has always been a part of the FC Wisconsin program. It was originally designed to challenge players to develop their technical ability via individual training, but has taken on greater significance in the absence of team training sessions. Now, while team training is shut down, players are being encouraged to send videos of their training sessions, allowing coaches to interact with players to provide feedback and additional activities so each player can control their own training program. Additionally the players are taking part in a variety of other activities, mostly through social media. These include weekly “skill challenges” set by some well-known former players, as well as team video challenges.
“We have always stressed the importance of players training on their own and working individually outside of team sessions,” said Youth Director of Coaching Andy Lee. “Now we have an even greater opportunity to deliver value in this type of work. Personally it has been good to be able to keep interacting with players on an individual level, even if virtually, and be able to provide very specific feedback and targets. It’s very possible that all players can come out of this as technically better players”
Academy Director Joana Bromley has been impressed but not surprised at the response from FC Wisconsin players. “Training on your own is hard for most players, especially during this unfamiliar situation. The quality and volume of the response from our players sums up the development philosophy that runs through the club and shows that these players embrace what it takes to be an elite soccer player.”
As the shutdown continues, more ideas and opportunities are being developed, including tactical analysis sessions and possible live online training. In a time of much uncertainty, one thing that is for sure is that FC Wisconsin players will make the most of the challenge and come back stronger for it.
"This is an opportunity for players to invest in themselves, to emerge from this period as better soccer players, and even to get a better understanding of team dynamics," said Director Christian Lavers. "To see the response from our players to not only the sessions, but also the challenges to engage with each other and support each other, has been fantastic."