Dubai City Football Club’s term three launch didn’t go to plan.
Like every other sporting academy they were readying themselves for an influx of eager children looking to improve their football skills. But instead forced closures due to COVID-19 changed those plans and the academy launching a training application instead.
Academy director Terry Kidd said the closure changed the priorities of the club.
“It goes without saying that of course there is no good time for such a pandemic, however the timing has proved very challenging for our sector as we were about to open up term three of operations and business. The restrictions have ultimately postponed all of term three of which will naturally present unforecasted challenges, decisions and pressures for what I would imagine will be the case for most sports organisations.”
“The health and wellbeing of our children remains top priority however and the relationships with our parent groups are now thriving to ensure that the amazing coaches out there and equally fantastic academies and clubs can sustain the pressures of what could be a very dry summer.”
The process of creating an app
Kidd said an app was always in the works, with the current situation speeding up the launch.
“The program that we are offering was always in the pipeline for the club to add as a future layer to our programming pyramid, to support our players ongoing development during the holiday periods,” he said.
“The programming syllabus has been in place for some time time now. The current circumstances accelerated the release of the program and application to fully support and mentor our players during the isolation period. ”
Within two weeks the content was written, filmed and uploaded so players could start their term three program.
What is a session like?
Players log in and read a session description or watch the drill demonstration before undergoing the activity themselves.
Kidd said a session lasts up to 90 minutes including a warm up and cool down.
“(Sessions have a) strong focus on ball mastery, technical competency underpinned with intensity and quality of work. Follwing the technical sessions and after completing all four skill levels our players will then follow a high intensity and demanding strength and conditioning session of which will focus on speed, strength, core, endurance and agility on a weekly cycle basis,” he said.
How will players progress be tracked?
There will be no slacking off without a physical coach present and Dubai City FC players have to remain accountable in a number of ways.
All players have a video call with the head coach each week and they are required to submit a short video of their work from each session.
A key element missing is the camaraderie that comes with playing a team sport and heading to physical venues to train.
But Kidd said the app is helping to keep team spirit strong.
“These video sessions have been fantastic for the team and club moral during this time. The spirit and enthusiasm of our players is truly unrivalled,” he said.
“Additionally we pride ourselves on the family culture that we have at the club and have been hosting weekly parent events to ensure that our amazing parent group remain part of their club. These have become very popular across the club’s community. ”
- Gulf Youth Sport is running an initiative to Support Your Sports Academy during this difficult time by running a fun challenge during the month of April. Find out more information here.