Manager Keith Curle on new training session techniques
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about some interesting training sessions as he continues to work on his core philosophy of turning the squad into a team.
“We did a thing last Thursday a lot of the players won’t have done before,” he explained. “We got the lads in pairs, blindfolded one of them, and left the other one to give instructions to get his partner past obstacles when they were walking, jogging and striding.
“We had mannequins out there, cones, goals and other things, and they had to have complete trust in each other to get from one end to the other because if you guide someone into a goal post, it’s going to hurt.”
“The reason we did that is that you don’t always have time to see everything on a football pitch,” he explained. “You need to be able to listen to and react to instructions, so you need to have trust.
“To become a team you need to trust each other completely and that’s what we want are trying to achieve through everything we do.”
“We had another session last Tuesday where the players weren’t allowed to talk,” he continued. “Most lads, once they get on the field, want to talk and voice their opinion because it’s something that does help.
“If you tell them talking isn’t allowed you start to see a level of frustration start to grow. Once the restriction was removed and they were allowed to talk again we found we couldn’t stop them.
“That was exactly what the session was designed to achieve. A football field is a lonely place if you aren’t getting information. I think it reminded everyone that you can enjoy talking and that it’s actually a big part of the mix when it comes to making a successful team.”
Speaking about what stage he feels the bonding process is at, he said: “My first interview for this job took 1 hour and 15 minutes. My second interview was about 1 hour and 40 minutes.
“I had to sell myself, and I do believe in myself, and I think I’m starting to deliver the things I said I was going to bring to this club. If you have a squad with a strong team ethic you have a starting place as a coach. If it’s the other way and the players aren’t listening to you, then you’re going to find it difficult.”
“As long as the owners know what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it, then I’m free to do what I want,” he told us. “You can’t ask for more than that as a manger.
“The players know the level of commitment that’s required in games, and in training, and they’re all starting to buy into the methods we’re using.
“I went for a coffee with Colin West the other day, we had a walk round town, and the fans recognised us – mostly because Westy still had his tracksuit on. People told us they were looking forward to the game at the weekend and there seemed to be a genuine interest in what we’re doing.
"Those fans who did come on Saturday were rewarded by a level of application and desire from the players which is now getting us results. We’ll keep working hard to try to make sure that continues.”
United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.
to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.