Friday, 10 July 2020

Published Friday, July 10, 2020 with 1 comment

The New Normal For Youth Sports

Coronavirus has changed the world. Businesses, lifestyles, relationships, routines, everything has to adjust to the new normal. Business models are being tweaked to include no physical interaction with customers, restaurants are switching to take-outs and delivery, luxury stores are switching to include essentials, educational institutions are going online, it’s a world spun over. So what does ‘youth sports’ look like?
This may not be the best times for youth sports as the pandemic still lingers on, and worse, the fear would go on for longer than anyone thought. That said, kids are more than will to get back to the action, running, playing, hi-fiving one another and sweating it out with their buddies.
The action on field may have to wait a bit longer, but physical training online is just around the corner. If you are a coach, here’s what to expect –
Online and In-person Training
Many coaches have been engaging their teams in virtual fitness sessions, both physical fitness and emotional well-being. While this has been a great way to keep the teams constructively engaged and positively motivated, the motivation might be dwindling. Fortunately some places are seeing unlocking in phases. There are places where public parks and open spaces are opening up. As a coach you need to stay aware. If parks have opened up in your vicinity, you can plan on having a session or two in an open park. The open park helps avoid unnecessary contact with people and surfaces, and then there is the fresh air and vitamin D that’s good for kids. You can plan a mix of virtual sessions and in-person training.
Limiting Physical Interaction
Although, this may not seem like a big deal, but coaches would have to make conscious effort to limit physical interaction. For instance, hi-fives would have to give way to air fives, and handshakes would have to be replaced by foot shakes. Maintaining six feet of distance may be the norm for a while, so coaches would have to get creative to work their training around this new normal.
The New Sports Kit
Sports kits would have to now include the following:
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Disinfectant sprays
  • Individual training gear
  • Face masks and face shields
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
A global pandemic is a first for everyone involved. Now, more than ever, is the time you need to communicate with the players and their parents. InstaTeam eases the bit of sending across the message to the entire team easier for you. So communicate, spare no detail, however basic it may seem.
Tell players not to show-up for training if they are not feeling well. Talk about the training plan in detail and make sure parents acknowledge the message – how many sessions do you plan to take in a week? How many of those sessions will be online, and how many will be in-person? What do you plan to include in the sessions? Since children are clearly not playing the game, what is the goal of the sessions you plan during this time? What safety measures are you putting in place? What precautions do you expect the kids and their parents to follow? How do you plan to handle a situation if there’s scare of a kid being positive? And so on.
While this may seem a little overwhelming, but this will ensure you and your team sail through this tough time, and are prepared for the normal again.
Happy InstaTeaming!

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