DHL Stormers Skills Coach Labeeb Levy says that the players have risen to the challenges of both developing their skills and reaching out to their communities during lockdown.
Skills are one aspect of rugby that can be worked on from home, so Levy has been busy with the help of his two daughters at their home in Bo-Kaap making skills videos for the players.
“Every week I send the players videos of three or four individual skills to do and the players send their videos back.
“Fortunately for me it is different from someone who wants to do scrum training for example, as there is quite a lot you can still do.
“We also send the players tasks or challenges, so we have competition and every week we have a winner,” he said.
Levy has challenged the players to come up with their own skills as well and has been pleasantly surprised by their creativity.
“We challenged the players to come up with their own creative skills and it is quite amazing what some of them come up with, stuff that you wouldn’t even think of.
“Dan du Plessis was using a rugby ball to do soccer skills, Salmaan Moerat’s skills was throwing bags of potatoes onto a truck.
“Everyone’s situation is quite different, you have got Bongi [Mbonambi] for example, he is passing a ball but his child is hanging on to his leg. So the players also have to be creative in how they plan their day,” he said.
His two daughters Insaaf and Nuha have also been a crucial part of the videos that Levy send the DHL Stormers players.
“My daughters play a bit of touch, so they also have been helping me a lot. They enjoy it and they challenge you, it is not always easy coaching your own children.
“We do all sorts of stuff, in the house, outside the house. Their mother sometimes gives them a tongue lashing and chases them onto the stoep or the garden, but it is all fun and games,” he said.
The DHL Stormers Skills Coach has also been looking at other sporting codes for inspiration during this time.
“I have looked at goalkeeping in ice hockey, what they do for reactions. I have also looked at handball and things like using different balls,” he said.
Levy added that the way that the DHL Stormers players have got involved with various causes to help those less fortunate during the lockdown has been inspirational.
“This lockdown has really brought out the humanitarian side of our players, a lot of the guys have really bought into the Pick n Pay Feed the Nation campaign and some of them have been helping the Be The Difference Foundation as well as various other personal initiatives.
“A lot of them are going out of their way, if you follow their social media profiles and I think our players must be commended for the effort they are putting in out there,” he said.