The Munster squad have started their second week of remote training with Head of Athletic Performance Denis Logan providing the latest squad update.
The squad are adhering to all government guidelines set out to help ensure the spread of coronavirus is minimised with tailored training programmes in place for each squad member.
Speaking about how the squad are continuing to train from home, New York native Logan outlined the process that staff have followed over the past number of weeks to provide the players with the necessary tools to maintain high fitness levels.
“The first thing for us was to make sure the players had all of the necessary equipment so they could train at home,” said Logan.
“The players, like the coaches, have seen what’s going on and realised that this isn’t going to blow over in the next few weeks and have gotten their minds around the fact that this is not going to be brief.
“I think when you come to that understanding and realisation then it makes it easier for you to create a working format that works for you. “If you’re under the impression that, ‘ah, this is only going to be for two weeks’ then you’re only going to go day to day.”
Good advice for anyone working from home at the moment.
Regarding the training programme itself, Logan explains that it is an opportunity for players to focus on any areas they can improve physically.
“We have an eight-week programme for them.
“We really tried to take a physiological approach and we looked at the squad and thought how many of the guys need to improve their conditioning or how many of those guys could improve their movement patterns. The way we looked at it wasn’t position-specific but rather needs-specific, understanding that that was more important with the players being away from us.
“This is a great opportunity for a guy, say, who needs to put on two kilos of lean mass. So they’re going to get the equipment and they’re going to get this programme.
“Another example can be a player who’s got a squatting or lunging pattern that could be improved, he’s got asymmetry. In that case, you know what, you’re going to get dumbbells because you’re able to use those independently and you’re going to get this programme – so that’s the approach we took. That’s the way the equipment and programmes have been delivered to the players. It’s not rugby- or position-specific but it’s actually individual-specific.
“Likewise for our injured players, they all got individual programmes to help them rehab their respective injury so that was the approach that we took right now – not only having to supply all of our players with equipment but also making sure they’re getting the programming that works best for them.
“They’re not with us so we can’t make these adjustments on the fly so we have to give them the programme that’s most appropriate from the start.”
New government measures introduced on Friday night mean this week’s training plan will differ to last week’s with people only allowed to exercise within two kilometres of their own home.
“We built conditioning programmes for them in the event that they could get outside and run. Then new measures were brought in on Friday night, but if they can’t get out and run and needed to do some kind of home-based programme we also gave that to them as well.
“It’s still a very fluid situation but giving the players as many options as possible has been the approach. “That’s been the case over the last few weeks where we’ve constantly had to try and find solutions. There has been very good interaction and communication from the players giving real time updates on what they can and cannot do and us trying to find solutions.
“Up to this point, thing have gone really well given the circumstances have changed almost daily.
“The realistic expectation for players is we need them to stay in shape, we need them to do something regularly and we have goals that we want them to hit. But there’s no pressure that they need to stay match-fit because we know there will be no games in the immediate future.
“One thing that we’re really conscious of is being able to give the players as much information as they need but at the same time not inundating them with things to think about at the time because it’s a real-life situation that’s going on.
“This isn’t a vacation, everyone has to stay at home because there’s a virus out there that’s killing people. There’s a lot of stress at home and a lot of people have young ones that are now home full-time that they have to take care of, help home-school, help alleviate whatever fears they have.
“There’s so much to it that we want to help the players to know that we’re there for them and at the same time we don’t want to create too much of a burden on them from a communications standpoint that may not be neccessary.”