The struggles and positives of COVID-19
It's through periods of significant change where opportunities arise, these need to be explored if we're not to be swallowed up and become another victim to this deadly pandemic.
When will we return to action?
We're in constant contact with our existing site, St Martin's School, they have been outstanding with their communication with us regarding their facilities. The latest email received confirms the school are looking to provide a start date for us to return to action in September. We will have an answer during the week of 17th August. IT'S EXCITING STUFF! To be kept up to date, please visit our 'Register NOW' page.
I can't wait to get back into the hall and see how the children have developed in the 'off-season' that was forced upon them. From a personal perspective, I'm a big fan of children having this 'un-coached' time normally - maybe just not as long as they have had it!
In 'normal' times, it's when children coach themselves to improve, use their imagination in their own garden or park to develop the skills they've been taught, invent new ones for themselves but more importantly, do all this off their own back without feeling pressured from anyone, they set their own expectations.
I've been lucky to have some of the children come to me for 1:1 sessions. They've all worked very hard and they are all making progress in their own way. Each child develops skills differently but there's one thing/need they all have...the need to create muscle memory and repetitive practise installs this...it just can't be boring and the same thing over and over. This is where professional, creative coaching can make a difference.
One thing's for certain, the kids have enjoyed having some sort of structure back into their lives, it might not be in the form of normal education but sport coming back slowly is helping with the changes they have had to endure alongside us adults.
What have we been doing at Pro Lovell?
We've been crazy busy in short, first there was the YouTube sessions, then coaching was allowed so I was able to re-start the 1:1 sessions, but alongside this we have been able to concentrate on our own growth plans.
It was always my plan to open more training centre's across the South East, to improve the development of young players with the use of futsal. The good news is we're doing just that, we have a new centre opening in Dartford, Kent at the Haberdashers' Aske's Academy, which is the first of a series planned for over the next 18-24months. We can't wait for a September start date in Kent.
It's an exciting time to be associated with us at Pro Lovell.
We've been in touch with the Essex FA and are now in the process of affiliating ourselves to becoming a fully fledged Futsal club. What does this mean? Well, in becoming an affiliated club it means our teams can compete in a futsal league. The difficulty is, there aren't any around.
That's the next exciting news. We are in the process of forming the first midweek Futsal league for clubs to compete in alongside their football leagues on a weekend. This is still in the early stages but all things being well it should be ready for October of this year and provide an opportunity for clubs (including ourselves) in and around Brentwood to go that one step further in developing a child's game play.
With all the above exciting developments, we've also been improving our offering. Namely a new website, a new/different pricing structure for u6/7's and for the first time we will be accepting ad-hoc bookings (if there are spaces in the sessions). You can view our pricing on our website under 'What we do?'.
I can also confirm, despite the possibilities of our facility providers increasing our hire fees, we will not be reflecting these in our prices charged to our players. Our prices are frozen for the next 12 months.
We have agreed on our kit to be worn by our teams, these do come at an additional cost (£45) and can be seen in the picture below - we are building a club shop which will be available on our website soon.
We are also looking for a charity to support, so if you have any suggestions, please send them through to us via the 'Contact' section on our website
We will also be looking for parents to join our committee. This will involve a monthly meeting to provide updates and ideas for improving our services and more importantly help us in creating the very best experience for the children we are helping to develop.
If you would be interested in joining our committee, again, please get in touch. We want to build a club of the future, managed and provided by people, for people. Team work makes the dream work.
What's been a struggle?
Our struggles are no different to any other centre passionate about developing players. Not being able to coach in person - that was painful! I enjoyed the Live sessions on YouTube but when you can't see the player it makes life a little tougher. I tried sessions over Zoom but again, that wasn't just a struggle for me, the kids struggled too.
My happy place is teaching young players, not just important skills but also positive mindsets. It's all too often you'll hear a child say they can't do something and they require reassurance. With everything going on at the moment and that lack of contact with anyone outside their own home, some/no school time and mingling with friends, children are likely to doubt themselves even more and suffer reduced confidence in their capabilities. A good coach will spend time to reassure a kid looking to learn, they will watch when a child say's 'what, like this' - believe me they will say it to their coaches. Giving reassurance will help bring back their confidence levels, be attentive.
The struggles appear to be reducing as I'm back coaching my team at Blackmore Youth FC and also doing lots of 1:1's.
Next - I just want our centre's open and to start welcoming back previous and new players into safe, fun, educational sessions.
So what's next?
With grassroots football seeing a return to competitive training and the introduction of games being permitted from August 1st, we all need to remain cautious in society. Social distance where possible, act accordingly within the parameters of your respective football clubs and participate in the track and trace procedures at any training/games held by clubs.
Our futsal centre's are just waiting for the go ahead, don't forget to register and get on to the list to ensure your child get's a place (remember spaces are limited to 24 per session).
If anyone would like a chat on areas to practise with their child feel free to contact us, I'm more than happy to help where I can, our futsal will be returning and it will be returning stronger than ever with a bright future ahead of it as an affiliated club in the near future competing in midweek leagues.
In the meantime, live by our ethos Practise.Play.Perfect