England Trains for 2018 World Cup Semifinal Using Rubber Chickens

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

England's Harry Kane fails to catch a rubber chicken used in a game of tag as he takes part in a training session for the England team at the 2018 soccer World Cup, in the Spartak Zelenogorsk ground, Zelenogorsk near St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Alastair Grant/Associated Press

The mood in the England camp appears to be pretty laid-back as the Three Lions prepare for their 2018 World Cup semifinal against Croatia.

Part of England's training involved throwing around a rubber chicken:

FIFA World Cup ๐Ÿ† @FIFAWorldCup

When you bring a rubber chicken to training... ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ˜‚ @England // #WorldCup https://t.co/qRZCxxiZt0

England @England

Well, that's one way to warm up for a training session... ๐Ÿ” #threelions https://t.co/Dsp5fkjsab

"Our physical performance coaches try to keep refreshing the warm-ups for the players and keep them stimulated, using a bit of fun to get them moving," national team coach Gareth Southgate said, per ESPN FC's Mark Ogden. "Just some mobility exercises."

Keeping the atmosphere light can make a difference during a major tournament. The Blizzard's Dave Farrar recounted how Denmark coach Richard Moller Nielsen famously allowed his players to play mini golf one night during Euro 1992, which Denmark went on to win.

Should England go on to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966, rubber chickens and inflatable unicorns could become a staple of the national team's preparations going forward.