Nashville, Tenn. (WKRN)- It’s been almost a full week since Nashville SC got the green light to start up individual workouts at Currey Ingram Academy. These practice sessions are in compliance with detailed health and safety protocols and while it’s been different, head coach Gary Smith things are going smoothly.
“It’s been great to have guys back to the training grounds. Our interaction is Zero. Players are on their own, there is no interaction and no coaching and a lot of safety precautions in place.”
While these sessions are very restricted, Smith said it’s beneficial for them to be training on the same surface, and just having players return, is a big boost to the teams overall attitude.
“I think the big positive out of this is the morale. It’s a very nice step in which we hope will be a return to play in the not so distant future, said Smith.
As for the upcoming season, MLS commissioner Don Garber said the league is “focused at getting in as many games as possible” but that the season’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic will alter how they will be played.
Right now there has been talk of possibly bringing together the entire league in one neutral location for at least four weeks of training, and while it’s not ideal, Smith said if it’s safe for the players and the staff, he’ll do what it takes to play.
“That plan is a good one, and there are one or two others that have a more regional approach with no all teams going to one venue. Where we end up, I don’t know but as long as the groups are isolated at this point and we can train in safety, we’ll get the rest of it done,” said Smith.
In the meantime, Smith said his title of ‘head coach’ has been different than in years prior. He’s been busy learning the virtual side of things, jumping on several Zoom calls every week, yet he’s embracing this new norm.
Smith added, “I’ve done more video calls then I’ve ever done. This is something that is pretty new to me and suddenly these computer-based video calls have become the norm. You are getting used to a different type of environment but I think it’s a period of time we’ve all taken for reflection.”
Learning Spanish is something Smith is doing when he gets any downtime, saying that it is a language he’s always wanted to learn but it’s “not easy.”