MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As a club, Memphis 901 FC decided to stay in Memphis during the USL’s training moratorium. They still can’t be together, but the technical staff found ways to incorporate new soccer lessons since the team has more time on its hands.
“We went into almost like post-season mode,” head coach Tim Mulqueen said.
Mulqueen and his staff put together individual workouts for the players and host team Zoom meetings. A different routine from the daily grind when they had to prepare for a Saturday friendly. However, the hiatus has allowed players to do more self-teaching and dive deeper into the game.
“For one it would be how do you breakdown a team that defense in their own end, load team defending, or how do you high press an opponent,” Mulqueen gave as an example.
Groups of players are assigned tactical or technical aspects of the game. They study how to play against it or use each and present it to the team. According to Mulqueen, there would never be time for it during the week in the middle of a season.
“How our calendar works, our week works is you play Saturday. You’re done with that Saturday game by Monday,” Mulqueen explained. “Monday you’ve shown all your video, you’ve had your individual meetings and that game is done and dusted. Tuesday you start preparing for your game the next weekend. So you don’t have the time to put into the individual one-on-one breakdown like we have.”
It’s worked so well, Mulqueen and his technical staff plan to incorporate it into the weekly training when things resume.
“We felt it was really beneficial and really allowed us to see the game through their eyes more which will help us help them problem solve,” Mulqueen said.
The USL announced starting May 11th, clubs have the option to open outdoor training facilities and allow non-contact training in small groups. That means four players or less. One technical staff and one training staff member can also be on the field.
According to Mulqueen, once the club can fully practice, he believes the club needs three weeks to get back into shape and ready to compete at the level prior to the shutdown.