On Friday, June 5 the Exeter City Academy under-14s, 15s, 16s and 18 players were treated to something a little different for their home learning programme.
These age groups have been working hard physically preparing for the long awaited return to Academy training and so they invited former Academy coach and ex-Yeovil, Forest Green Rovers and Crawley Town player, Chris Giles to take a Yoga session designed to strengthen, lengthen and aid recovery for the boys.
‘Gilo’ works with numerous sportsmen and women encouraging the use of Yoga to help build the stability, mobility and strength needed to compete at the top level while staying injury free and quickly recovering to be able to go again.
The lads went through classic Yoga exercises such as downward dog and cobra along with a few more challenging core exercises and showed real enthusiasm and dedication to try something that was new to them but could be of real benefit throughout their football careers and day to day living.
Speaking about the session, Chris Giles said: “I offer Yoga inspired sessions to athletes. We focus on improving strength, core stability and flexibility, to benefit the athlete's performance, efficiency and longevity in their chosen sport.
"The sessions are primarily physical, developing an inward awareness of how the body functions - but the spectrum of benefits is huge, from improved breathwork, increased blood flow, body awareness, mental clarity and recovery.
"If only we had been introduced to these type of sessions as a kid...' is a statement I hear all too often from current and ex professionals, within any sport.
"As amazing as our sports are, the repetitive movements can cause body dysfunctions, imbalances and injuries. Most of my diary is spent helping fix issues in adults, but a real passion is introducing youngsters to these sessions.
"The chance to engrain professional habits, movement patterns, revive core stability, create personal awareness and prevent injuries at a much younger age is exciting, rather than having to repair when broken. Trust me on this one, I speak from experience!
"In my opinion Exeter Academy is a fantastic place for a professional pathway, putting every individual first, and thinking way behind the scenes of the individual, developing well rounded individuals, not just great talent. It comes as no surprise that the Coaches requested this introduction and education for their players.”
This was another example of the continued engagement the Academy have strived for during lockdown in an effort to help further development in our young players in all aspects of football, schoolwork and life skills and it was great to see so many of the boys ‘Zooming’ in to have ago.
A big thank you to Gilo for a fantastic session that was a lot harder than he made it look!
Find Chris Giles online at: