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Dan Tobin discusses the challenges of keeping the Gloucester Rugby squad fit whilst we all Stay at Home

Club

25 March 2020

Duncan Wood

Dan Tobin
Dan Tobin (c) Martin Bennett/ Gloucester Rugby

Head of Performance Dan Tobin spoke this week about how he and the team are keeping the Gloucester Rugby squad in good shape in the current unprecedented circumstances.

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The squad are now just over a week into a period of training as individuals rather than as a squad, and Dan explained that plans had to be put in place almost immediately following PRL’s decision last Monday to postpone the next four rounds of the Gallagher Premiership.

“I suppose the day that PRL made the decision to postpone the next four rounds, meant that we had to make plans for the players pretty quickly. We’d initially made plans for three scenarios – training as a team, training in small groups or training individually. We were prepared for all three but obviously had to go with the individual plan. But we then had to revert to more isolated training what with the players being on their own at home.

“To be fair, it’s not that different to when the players go off for the off season, and they may be away from home, in a hotel for example, for a couple of weeks with limited access to equipment or places to train. So, it wasn’t a completely new challenge.”

Lloyd Evans

Lloyd Evans (c) Martin Bennett/ Gloucester Rugby

With the squad all working individually, Dan outlined the way that he and his team are keeping in touch with the squad and monitoring their progress.

“We’ve got a Whatsapp group as a team, and we’ve also split the team into smaller groups each of which has been assigned to a different member of the S&C team. So, myself and my colleagues can focus on a small number of players rather than trying to oversee everyone.

“I’m sending out weekly programmes to the group and then updating it every few days, for example, in terms of mobility work or different programmes they can follow at home – running exercises, that they can do by themselves.

“The players are pretty good to be fair at keeping in contact with me and offering feedback on a session that they may have found tough, for example, and they require a bit more recovery time afterwards.

“They may need a little more rest in their programme or, in contrast, they may feel they can progress things a little bit more. Everyone is different. If I feel one of two players are being a bit quiet, I’ll proactively contact them to see how they’re getting on.

“It’s pretty fluid at the moment, but the communication is good with the groups managed by different members of the S&C team. It’s a good group of players, we trust them and they’re working well at the moment and looking after themselves.”

It’s obviously a testing time for so many, but Dan stressed that, although it’s a scenario he’s not encountered before, that it’s business as usual as far as possible.

“It’s just really unusual. There’s not much we can all do about the overall situation, so it doesn’t feel like you’re going to lose much competitive advantage over your competitors. We’re all in the same boat and it’s a challenge for everybody.

“It’s just being sensible with it and making sure you keep your players in a good space mentally and give them all good training programmes.

“We just need to do what we always do, and try and look after the welfare of our players as best we can. It’s a strange situation but the nature of the job hasn’t really changed that much.”

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