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  • John Kennedy: Players will have to get on their bikes to catch me

    John Kennedy: Players will have to get on their bikes to catch me

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 03 Apr, 2020 20:01

  • DESPITE not being able to get out on the training pitch, the Celtic players are maintaining a competitive atmosphere within the squad as they take up the weekly challenge being set for them by their coaches.

    Last week, Greg Taylor came out on top in the 5k challenge, posting the best time of all the players and staff who took part. This week, it’s the bike challenge, and assistant manager, John Kennedy, is confident he’ll be there or thereabouts at the top of the leaderboard.

    “We want to make sure the players are getting what they need, and for the staff it’s much the same because we need to stay active as well,” John Kennedy told the Celtic View podcast. "We’ve got a reasonably fit backroom staff who’re also getting involved in a lot of the stuff that we send round to the players, so in the 5k challenge, Stevie Woods, Damien Duff and the fitness guys were all out recording their times and submitting them as well to be part of it.

    “And it’s the same for the bike challenge. That’s my speciality because I can’t run so much so I was the pacemaker. I was the first one to submit a time which gives the players a target, which not many of them will reach, by the way!

    “Having that competitive edge is what makes these players winners. So whether it’s these training challenges, playing computer games – I know Nir Bitton and Jeremie Frimpong are always going on about playing NBA basketball – or on the pitch on a Saturday at Celtic Park, it’s just in their nature. They want to win, so it’s tapping into that and using that to our advantage.

    “And if you stimulate them in certain competitions, they want to take part and try to win while also reaping the benefits of staying active and staying fit.

    “The fitness guys have worked that well, in terms of creating the group using the apps and everything else so that everyone can see each other’s recordings, and it’s just that stimulation which allows them to try and squeeze an extra bit out of them at times when it’s difficult to get your mind what you might be training for.

    “So being part of it and staying connected with the players and having that relationship with them, which we’ve always had. We’re very much their coaches and management, but we’ve got a good bond. We trust each other and communicate regularly, and have that connection which we’ve always had and we’ll continue to do that.”

    Listen to the full Celtic View podcast with assistant manager, John Kennedy.

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