Cova da Piedade has developed a multidisciplinary plan to reduce the impact of the competitive stop caused by the covid-19 pandemic on the training players, who may “lose the will to train and compete”, according to the club's psychologist.
The plan, revealed today to the Lusa agency, involves all 40 members of the youth football department and covers not only the area of physical preparation, but also the nutrition and psychology offices, in a job that intends the damage to be “the smallest. possible ”in the personal and sportive training of athletes.
“The biggest impact of the stop will always be on the level of interpersonal relationships, stopping being with each other and doing what they like”, explained Vanessa Rosa, a psychologist who accompanies the approximately 300 young people of the club on the south bank.
For this reason, the working group is in permanent contact with the young players and launched a daily challenge that 'forces' them to “work with their parents” and to be in “permanent contact with teammates and even opposing teams. ”.
“The goal is for them to remain active and interact. Suddenly, they no longer have routines and find themselves closed at home with their parents, which unfortunately may not be good for everyone. The impact always depends on how each person sees this situation, but there will always be those who are more concerned and vigilant ”, stated Vanessa Rosa.
The psychologist fears that some of the young players will return “more reserved and fearful” because of the situation they are experiencing and, therefore, the plan aims to make athletes realize that they “are together” and that the coaches who accompany them are always present, despite forced physical distance.
In addition to the challenges and two daily training plans that coaches provide through a mobile application, young people from Cova da Piedade also answer a questionnaire that allows, among other data, to collect information about weight and quality of food.
“This situation affects a lot of things and this allows us to assess their dietary impulses, fluctuations in appetite and understand how the change in routine is affecting the way they eat”, explained Mafalda Ng, responsible for the nutritionist office of formation of Cova da Piedade and also of Sporting.
For now, the young players have taken home indications of “basic food and hygiene care”, but a more detailed plan is being developed to help them “adapt the quantities” of food eaten and guarantee the “quality of meals” .
“Weight gain is a fear, despite maintaining physical activity, but we will also have cases in which there will be loss of muscle mass, hence the importance of continuing to eat properly,” explained the expert.
The challenges are being a “success” and the coordinator of the youth soccer department receives dozens of videos daily from athletes who “equip them and their parents to Cova da Piedade, even without being asked”, in activities that “ imply great energy expenditure ”.
Henrique Silva, who accumulates the coordination of youth football with the training of the initiates' team, also explained that the support for the players also goes through a study support office.
“We have a platform where they record notes. Nobody is punished, on the contrary, when they are not good we sit down with them, with the psychologist, we try to understand where the problem is and how we can help them ”, explained Henrique Silva.
Cova da Piedade is a training entity certified with four stars by the Portuguese Football Federation since July 2019, having obtained a rating of 88.75 points, the highest of all clubs in the district of Setúbal.
The club on the south bank of the Tagus has about 300 young people in its training levels, distributed by three teams of Benjamin, two of first-year children, one of second-year children and two teams of initiates and other teams of youths .
Both in initiates and in youth, the club guaranteed the permanence in the national championships of the respective echelons even before the interruption of all competitions decreed by the Portuguese Football Federation as a preventive measure against the covid-19 pandemic.
The junior team, which competes for the national championship of the 2nd division, is under the management of SAD, which is responsible for the professional football of the Piedenses.