We caught up with NYRB II Strength and Conditioning coach Eric Gorman during suspension of play. He discusses how the players have been adapting to this situation, what he has been working on, and what he has been using this time to do.
How has this experience been for you scheduling workouts with players?
“To be honest, it has been pretty easy. I am in contact with the players on a daily basis, if not a few times every single day. Just checking in and seeing how they are doing, but scheduling wise, I create the workout at night and send it to them in the morning. The process of sending a workout takes place every day. This avoids a large document at the beginning of the week. At the conclusion of the workout, each player sends a screen shot of their data for the day. However, from a scheduling standpoint it’s been pretty easy with the technological advances. Monitoring the data has been pretty sufficient. We track their running volume from the screen shot the player send me. This gives me the opportunity to see how much volume they are accumulating each day and each week. It has been pretty efficient. The hardest part for myself is managing my time between work and my family.”
What are you specifically working on during this time?
“The first thing that I am doing is looking at all the data the players have sent me for that day. From there, I will monitor their progress from week to week to ensure we are achieving their normal training volume. The goal is to try and maintain fitness levels as best as we can, given the situation. This is difficult because it is not soccer fitness. Soccer fitness will come when we get back to the pitch, but for now, we have to try and maintain some level of fitness. The second thing is planning the actual session for the following day. I have to evaluate what did the session look like, was it a high intensity session or a high-volume session, or possibly both. The next step is to determine what the following day should look like. Some of the other projects that I’m working is a reporting system for when we return to training, and how do we mimic training sessions to what the game demands elicit. We have to make sure we are preparing our athletes for the demands of the game. I am evaluating previous training sessions, in order to see how we can enhance the volume or intensities.”
What are some challenges you have faced?
“The biggest challenge I have faced is time management and how do I manage spending time with family and being a strength and conditioning coach for the New York Red Bulls. That has been the biggest challenge, but it has also been positive because I know what the demand is like during the season. The days are long, and there is not a lot of down time to spend with family, so I’ve made sure to spend quality time with them. When we get back to training, we do not know what that will look like. So, the last seven weeks have been awesome to spend time with my wife and kids. There are obviously
are some struggles, when the kids want to play, but I have to work, so managing that has been a little difficult. At the end of the day, I get to spend time with my wife and kids and that is really important to me right now. Being able to work for this organization has been great. We have preached togetherness and it has shown throughout the entire organization, including our families. That word “togetherness” is a very powerful word that brings in everybody and the club has been very supportive.”
Message to the supporters:
“I would say the players are doing great. The buy-in, the feedback, and the willingness to do the extra work has been amazing. Going into this I was kind of skeptical about because I did not know how the players would react to being at home and being away from the sport that they love. The players have been doing a fantastic job. The compliance is literally 100% and they are going above and beyond. The players that we have at New York Red Bulls II, they are dedicated, they want to get better and do the extra work. They do not want time off; they just want to keep working and pushing themselves to get better. They all have aspirations to make it to the first team someday and that speaks highly of their character and what they want to accomplish. You are seeing it now where, one player does not have the space to do their fitness circuit, so they would run to a parking lot in order to get the workout in. They are finding ways to get things done and that is awesome to see. They are always responding and asking what extra work they can do to keep getting better. They can easily just say they are going to take days off, but that is not the case at all. The biggest word I would use for the players right now is passionate and commited.”