We’ve heard from players in our competition that have been affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, coaches have also been hard hit with National Premier Leagues 2 Women’s University of NSW Head Coach Steve Greenwood getting on with it being active behind the scenes.
“COVID 19 thankfully hasn’t affected me personally in a physical sense but mentally it’s been really tough.
“I live for football and not being able to take sessions and be on the sideline is hard.
“Since the lockdown, I’ve been focusing on PD and reading a lot (currently ½ way through Carlo Ancelotti: Quiet Leadership) also taking in webinars and watching and analysing old matches.
“I’ve just started watching the Brazil National Team ‘All or Nothing’ doco-series on Amazon Prime.
“This all helps to keep me sane and fill the coaching void.
“Physically I’ve been trying to exercise as much as I can, 10km runs and walks whilst listening to football podcasts.”
The recent extension to the suspension of football until May 31st has placed a heavy strain on Greenwood as all football activities have ceased until further notice – this in turn has impacted on his day to day job as a head coach.
“Unfortunately I’ve been unable to work since the end of February.
“Coaching is my full-time profession and the schools which I coach also shut down their sports programmes a few weeks prior to Football NSW / FFA postponing the football season so it has been taxing to say the least.”
Coaches across the globe have utilised unique online approaches in reaching and communicating with their players as well as offering each of their team members personal training schedules ensuring they’re keeping on top of things both physically and mentally.
“UNSW FC and the Technical Director Gabe Knowles has been very pro-active since the suspension, rolling out Train at home guides for all the teams both female and male as well as coaches actively ‘checking in’ with their players.
“I think it’s so important that all coaches aren’t just focusing on the physical wellbeing of their players but also their mental state and showing a duty of care for them as people first and foremost.”
Like footballers, coaches have felt the pain and strain with football not being played as Greenwood laments on missing every aspect of our beautiful game.
“There’s not one singular thing I miss the most.
“I miss everything, the training sessions and the banter, driving to games, the first and last whistle, analysing the matches, writing the match reports, little things like cleaning my boots or putting on the training kit before a session.
“I’m missing everything but mainly the players.
“I’m blessed with such a great group this season and not being able to work with them at the moment is sad.”
Asked what his message was to the NPL NSW public regarding the current lockdown our sport and society is experiencing Greenwood replied.
“My message to the NPL NSW Public is to be sensible and follow all the guidelines that have been laid out.
“The sooner everyone in Australia is conforming to these rules, the quicker this will pass and we can all return to some sort of normality.
“I’ve been telling my girls we’ll Win the Wait’ by staying home and staying optimistic while we wait for our return back to training and competition.
“The more we hang tough now and stay safe, the more we’ll win together when we get back to the pitch.”