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IS THE PANDEMIC CREATING BETTER NRL PLAYERS?

As much as this last 2 years during the pandemic is hurting so many people in all works of life, I also think it could be helping those that we aren’t often thinking about and that is the pro athletes that are on the boarder line of playing in the first teams that they are involved with. At the same time, I feel like this last 2 years could help generate even better players moving forward. 

Nathan Cleary (pictured) was voted as the best player from his peers in 2020.. (Getty Images) Via Yahoo Sports

Now I know this might seem like I am talking absolute bullocks but I honestly feel that by these players not being able to play constantly and regularly it can make them even hungrier for their moment in the sun. I’m not saying we will see these people immediately but within the next 2-3 years we can expect to see these people being the cream rising to the top and possibly eclipsing what the current players have done. 

Yes, I may look like an absolute idiot if nothing changes but I believe that given the lower grades have stopped, all the teams have had only 1 team to select for so if you aren’t selected you will almost certainly oppose the regular starters in training and assist them in post-game reviews. By doing this not only will they see different things that will assist them in improving their game they are technically already becoming assistant coaches for the team and helping find out different philosophies on the way to look at their opposition.  

The way I’m thinking about this is majorly looking at the athletes assisting with the video review as while they aren’t playing, they are perfecting being able to pick up on the little tells that different people have in the way they play they sport. And the more the fringe players do this the more they can then assist the next generations coming through to do this while they are trying to make the big time which, in turn can help push all games to the next level. 

Now while as I stated earlier that there is no guarantee that the players will improve, I can truly say it would not surprise me if these athletes coming through, do go to the next level and make it harder for different set ups for plays or motions to be identifiable to the opposition which will then push everyone else involved in the games to the next level.  

So in looking at how the world has changed so much in 2 years in the way people watch and perceive everything I can only hope that now the players, coaches and support staff dissect everything in a much more different and newer way. 

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