Training is not just about ball-work and passing and moving with the Carlisle United Youth team, as they found out when the RAF set them a few problem solving exercises last week.
Those with knowledge of the Forces will know all about the good old fashioned command task, designed to foster team work, leadership and cohesion through a series of taxing tests, and Eric Kinder’s young charges were eager to take on the challenge.
In the first of a set of tasks ‘Section Commander’ and Youth striker Andy Cook guides blindfolded goalkeeper Mark Gillespie across a “shark infested” minefield.
Mark was not allowed to touch any of the balls and Andy wasn’t allowed to talk to him at any stage during the task. The only direction he was able to give was with a clap of his hands to indicate the direction he wanted his subject to follow.
All went well until the final rather tricky section, where a sneaky bit of shirt pulling ensured that the job was completed successfully.
The next ‘Mission Impossible’ had the lads split into two equal groups. The idea was for them to get across the pitch using only the mats provided – something that would never have been achievable had they remained in their dedicated sections.
It was only when realisation dawned that a combining of the teams, thus allowing use of all six mats, was the only way ahead, that the task was finally completed.