Chilliwack FC players work on a passing drill during a Monday morning Return to Play camp at Exhibition Field. (Eric J. Welsh/ The Progress)

Chilliwack FC Return to Play camps focus on individual skills

Ball control, dribbling and passing are emphasized in small-group physically-distanced training

The first takeaway watching a Chilliwack FC Return to Play camp is that companies that manufacture pylons will be doing very good business for the next few months.

Coach Victory Shumbusho walked around the north endzone at Exhibition Stadium, surrounded by dozens of flat multi-colored pylons, laid out to accommodate drills for a dozen or so teenage boys.

From above you can imagine it looking like a bag of Skittles spilled out on the field, but this is how soccer is adapting, to get players back on the pitch in a pandemic. There is no contact allowed, so everything is ball on foot with a focus on passing and first touches as the boys weave through and around the pylons.

“A lot of players have not been training at all because they weren’t allowed to go to a field at all, so the point of this camp is to get them outside, get them touches on the ball and build up their fitness because the season is going to start very soon,” Shumbusho explained. “Given the circumstances we’re having, we have to follow the rules of COVID and be more creative coming up with sessions that will work on the passing and dribbling. So how do you do that and still have a very effective session?

“So far it’s been good, with the coaches coming together with ideas.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack FC plans Return to Play camp for July

READ MORE: Chilliwack FC selling face masks to raise money for new Soccer Fund

At the end of a Monday morning practice, Shumbusho had three players inside a rectangular box, moving and passing.

He said it’s a challenge keeping young players at an appropriate distance from each other, because they want to talk and socialize, but when they’re into a drill and staying at least six feet apart, he’s enjoyed coaching with a focus on technical soccer.

He said it may be a blessing in disguise having players ‘limited’ to skills drills.

“Most of the time, you train with a team and you focus collectively as a team, but with this most players are focusing on their technical ability in their own space,” Shumbusho said. “They’re developing skills they’ll need individually, and I feel when players are good individually and they come together collectively, the team is even stronger.

“The more they improve their ball control and dribbling and what I call their ‘skill bag,’ the better they’re going to be when we’re back into normal training.”

The downside comes after the practice when dozens of pylons need to be picked up.

“Normally we’d have the players do this,” he said with a laugh and a smile. “But with COVID and maybe spreading the virus, we have to.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Boys soccerchilliwack

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Twister at the Chilliwack SPCA

Small animals like rats are one of the first to be surrendered and last to get adopted

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Chilliwack Salvation Army to give away free laundry detergent and more at drive-thru event

They will be handing out Tide detergent, toothpaste and eggs to anyone who is in need

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read