Pre-season has just begun, writing this, we are at the end of January and have completed four weeks of fitness training. Well, when I say four weeks, I mean three because of the Norwegian weather postponing a week of training with the pitch and running track covered in snow.
The first four weeks have all been based around running and playing, I have done little to no drill training with the team. After three months vacation between the end of the 2017 season and the beginning of the 2018 season, time to settle back into the routine of training was always going to be tough for the players, balancing work and personal life with my high demanding sessions.
Sessions in January have consisted of 30-45 minutes of fitness work on the track, a mix of endurance work and quick bursts of sprints from a jogging start to work the muscles and get them stronger as well as ending training with matches, no restrictions, just allowing the players to enjoy training and get familiar with the ball at their feet again.
February is important for me, with our first league fixture coming in April, we are a lot closer than it first looks and we must look at planning and organising the sessions and players into a format where the can learn quickly and effectively. This is based on previous seasons lessons learned and previous seasons training’s, what worked and what did not work, what did the players enjoy but it didn’t work and what did the players enjoy which did work, they are all questions I must ask myself over the coming days as I plan towards the next training session.
One of the key aspects I want to work on during pre-season is set pieces, a part of football which can win you games and lose you games which happened to us away from home last season to Undheim, going down 2-0 with both goals coming from in-direct free kicks. We must look at ways to be more effective offensively and defensively whilst making sure training is enjoyed. I have learned from the previous two seasons that training set pieces can be grueling on players, players do not like to be set up, act for a matter of seconds then set again into another shape with slight changes, finding ways to make training set pieces more enjoyable and make sure we learn whilst enjoying it is something I must look at bringing into training in the near future.
My thoughts on the 2018 season
The season will be a tough one with two great sides coming down in Orre and Bakke and Eiger3 and Hognestad coming up who were clearly a class above the rest in division 7. Looking back on 2017, success is in our own hands, we had one of the best records at home, winning 5 of our 8 matches but away from home was still an issue for the club, an issue which has gone back a number of years now and one we must work to improve if we want to make a mark on the division in 2018.
I believe we have the quality in our team to challenge any of the sides in our division and I see no reason why we can no have a better home record this season than last season. We start the season with 3 away games in our first 4 matches. This is a run of games I would have rather not had BUT if we look at it the other way, this gives us a chance to turn our away form around and have a good start to the season which also leaves us with a run of home games back to back later in the season.
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