This week we caught up with Kelly Chambers, Manager of Reading FC Womens First Team to find out how she is keeping positive and her team focused during lockdown.
You have recently started to use the recovery and rehabilitation pools at Nirvana Spa – what does that mean for the team?
This means so much to the team. It is a top class facility that can aid the team with recovery and rehabilitation of injuries. I know the short time that we used it before lockdown the players were there weekly using it for recovery and had a really positive affect for them
2020 was a tough year for everyone. The league ended prematurely for you. How did you manage this with your players?
It was difficult to accept at first that the season had to come to an end in the way that it did but it was the safest decision to protect players, staff and their families at the time. We gave the players some down time when the decision was made because when there was hope for the league to return the players had to keep themselves fit and everyone knows doing this alone is difficult also with the unknown if they were going to return.
There must have been significant changes your training routines in Lockdown 1 – how did you keep it going?
We had weekly catch ups with the players to check in with them around their training programs but more importantly about their well being because this was a very tough time. It was also important that we kept their training programs fresh so it didn’t become mundane. We also did some social events on online platforms so everyone could have a bit of fun together.
Who did you miss most in 2020?
I missed see my family and friends and being able to share time with them like I’m used to
Did you do / learn anything new in lockdown?
I didn’t particularly learn anything new but it was interesting to learn how much stuff you can do remotely on online platforms etc.
What are your top tips for staying positive?
My top tips are to make sure you stay active as much as possible and also to socialise/talk to people how ever you can.
How are you coping with the uncertainty of 2021?
I feel like I am coping really well. Being at work and being able to continue what I love doing has really helped.
How is this season going Reading Women? And how is the latest lockdown affecting this?
The season is going well, it has had its inconsistencies and has a whole group this something we are working together to change. I think the biggest thing that the latest lockdown has affected is the ability to be more social at work, we have been thinking outside the box on ways to do this to help build team cohesion and togetherness.
It has also affect individuals being able to do something different outside/away from work. So a lot of their focus is always on football and there is no switch off because they can’t do stuff away from the environment but the players and staff have been coping well with this and supporting each other.
What are you most looking forward to once this pandemic is all over?
Haha… something that everyone can not wait for…. I’m looking forward to socialising with family and friends and to have days out again with my daughter.
For kids who are missing their grassroots training what advice would you give?
This must be very hard for them and we always understand how fortunate we are to still continue. I think the best advice I could give it just because you haven’t got your normal training with your club, it is easy to be down, upset or frustrated BUT you need to remember this is still a time that you can learn and better yourself….So what do you want to be better at and what can I do to achieve it. Also make sure you are getting outside and being active.