Some of the Club’s up and coming players were shooting hoops rather than scoring goals on Monday evening as Academy coaches took a novel approach to training.
For one night only the footballs were locked away, as the Under 9s, 10s and 11s were asked to take part in basketball and judo training at their Dyke House School training base.
The idea was the brainchild of the Club’s new Lead Foundation Phase Coach Alan Young, who organised a link-up with local basketball team Hartlepool Heat and Kevin Pattison from Judo 4 Schools.
“It might sound quite strange but there are a lot of transferrable skills in sport and we wanted to encourage the players to embrace a different approach,” he explained.
“Playing basketball requires agility, balance and spatial awareness which are all vital in football, while judo is all about strength and core stability which are also essential in the modern day game.
“The lads dealt with it all really well and the feedback we have had is that they really enjoyed it and got some valuable lessons from it.
“It’s definitely something we will look to do again because it’s useful for the players to recognise those transferable skills that are required in elite athletes – plus, it was a lot of fun!”