Monday, 17 May 2021

Published Monday, May 17, 2021 with 1 comment

Pandemic Lessons - Important Take-Aways For Young Athletes

 


It would be a little too idealistic to say that parents enroll their kids in youth sports because it makes them better people, better citizens. These are the fringe benefits, the happy-to-haves, but most parents enroll their kids in youth sports because they love to see them win, because they know that for anything their kids do in life, competition is the name of the game, and it’ll help to give the kids a taste of it, the earlier the better. Fortunately or unfortunately, the pandemic’s changed it all. Playing will never be the same again, competing will never be the same again and most importantly, winning will never be the same again. 

 

No matter how harsh COVID 19 has been on our lives, it has also taught us some very important life lessons, lessons that will shape the rest of our lives. As parents, coaches and adults, we need to reiterate these lessons to help their tender minds comprehend this massive reality and it’s experiences.

 

Staying healthy and happy is more important than winning trophies and medals 

Our motivational speeches, pep talk and sports training, everything revolved around winning. ‘Winning is everything’, we told our kids, reiterated it over and over again. But turns out, it’s not. We need to tell our kids that anything will make sense only if they are healthy and happy. Even winning will won’t hold value if they are not healthy and happy. Teach them healthy food habits, fitness routine and mindfulness if you want them to be on top of their game, or in other words, truly win.

 

Adapt and improvise 

Sports training lays emphasis on agility and versatility. Post COVID, add adaptation and improvisation to the list. You’ll not always get to play the game that you were trained for, you’ll never get the same circumstances everywhere, your opponents will have different skill sets and different motivation levels, you need to learn to adapt and improvise. Like you did with virtual training, online workouts and zoom team sessions, you will have to do it in every situation in life. The new mantra to survival – adapt and improvise.

 

Every adversity is an opportunity to grow 

Adversities teach us what normal circumstances don’t. And when we turn these testing times into opportunities, we learn things that make us extraordinary. Every one got affected by the pandemic, some chose to suffer, others learned something beautiful and life-changing.

 

We are connected whether we like it or not

Although we stayed in quarantine and isolation, but the pandemic taught us how our lives are connected, not just to the people we know or the people around us, but even to people across the other end of the world, to people and situations in different continents. What we do affects everyone and everything in this planet, so we need to act responsibly.

 

Don’t let fear overtake the better of you

Fear will make you act in uncanny ways. It will give rise to insecurity, anxiety, self-doubt and makes you weak, both physically and mentally. This is fast lane to self-destruction. Fear makes you lose even before you face the actual situation.

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