Posted On Tuesday, 05th April 2011 at 08:47
Good Luck to two Excelsior athletes: Dan James and Robin Williams (TASS funded) who are competing this week in Turkey for the England blind football team.
They beat Thailand 4-0 yesterday, and have Germany to contend with today.
Speed training for football
I have been working extensively with both footballers over the last few months, especially on their speed training. It is important not only to be able to run fast when playing football, but also to change pace quickly.
Blind footballers especially run slower with the ball as they are keeping it between the feet under control. This results in a shuffling action. Robin has been working on changing his speed and direction once he has passed the ball.
We have used acceleration training that requires a shift of body angle, including the head, and a fast hand and foot action to create the dynamic change of speed.
Before we got to this stage whe had to first ensure Robin's body was strong enough to cope with the demands. We did strength and balance work in the gym, plus some coordination drills for running technique.
Treadmills slow you down.
Blind footballers do not have a visual imprint of what running should look like, so when coaching them it is important not sit them on a bike or a rower and then expect them to run fast naturally. Treadmill running hampers their movements as they have to hold on for balance.
So far, so good. Let's hope they continue to play well.