FRISCO, Texas – With combined team training prohibited around MLS through June 1, the FC Dallas coaching staff have had to get creative to keep their players engaged while doing solo workouts.
On Monday, May 11, FC Dallas players returned to Toyota Soccer Center for individual training sessions after two months of working out on their own. While it’s undoubtedly better than practicing in solitude in public parks, they’re still lacking the benefits of a full, combined session alongside teammates.
To simulate the variation of a normal training session, head coach Luchi Gonzalez and assistant coaches Peter Luccin and Mikey Varas divided the roster into groups of four which rotate throughout three main drill stations. Not only do the players go though different drills every day, the coaches will change stations each week, too.
“Each coach is assigned a theme each week and that changes every week,” Luchi said. “We have three stations: Mine was dribbling this week, Peter’s was short passing combos and Mikey’s was short and long range passing with variations and techniques. And that’ll evolve once we get some feedback from this week and see what we want to keep doing and what we’ll do different next week.”
Midfielder Brandon Servania trains individually at Toyota Soccer Center
The key is variation. The coaching staff tries to differentiate each session as much as possible so they don’t become monotonous. Challenging the players day in and day out is a crucial aspect of this first phase back.
“It’s important that they hear different voices each day,” Luchi added. “Development needs variation. If you did the same thing with the same voice every day, then it becomes predictable and I don’t think that challenges the mind enough. We want to make sure we’re having our players out of their comfort zones. There’s a little bit of everything that the coaches try to bring in different ways and all that makes the development of the week more holistic and more effective.”
With each coach focusing on a different aspect of the game, the players are reaping the benefits of their unique backgrounds and experience.
“Each coach specializes in different things,” said Brandon Servania. “Luchi was a forward when he played so dribbling is one of his strengths. Peter is a legend so all his combination play and passing techniques will help. And Mikey helps with the long range passing from the back. So when each coach can key in on one thing to help you and your game, it’s easier to be nitpicky and improve.”