It has hardly been a full week since his recent appointment, and the new Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has already started to imprint his creativity in his new club’s training methods.
The German manager who is well reputed for employing unusual and creative drills in training, made the Chelsea squad train with miniature-sized footballs today in order to improve their ball control as well as their technical ability.
The Chelsea squad were pictured in their training facility at Cobham today, training with footballs of a much smaller size than normal.
Thomas Tuchel has got his Chelsea players training with mini balls to help improve their control and the accuracy of their tackles.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 29, 2021
He’s also been known to make defenders hold tennis balls to stop shirt pulling and shape pitches into diamonds to encourage diagonal runs. pic.twitter.com/qOnNi9UrSv
The reason behind the abnormal training drill was one that stems from Tuchel’s demand to train the highly talented Chelsea squad into one which can display good ball control and technical ability.
Training with smaller balls is likely to help the players adapt to keeping hold of the ball in tight spaces, as well as improve their control of the ball.
It is not the first time that Tuchel has employed unusual practices in training, as the German has been reported to make his Borussia Dortmund squad train while holding tennis balls in their hands once: as he wanted them to be able to win the ball back without any foul play.
A mid-table position after the massive spending spree in the summer guaranteed club legend Frank Lampard’s dismissal at the helm, causing Tuchel to take up reins at very short notice.
His first game in charge of the Blues finished 0-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers, as one could see the Bavarian’s influence on the team after only one training session: Chelsea changed formation and kept almost 80% possession of the ball.
The influence is only going to shine further if Tuchel is successful with his unusual training methods, as the club aims to get their season back on track as soon as possible.