I know this is a challenging moment in time and there is no place you would rather be than on the court or field with your team celebrating a victory or the end of the school year. There is still a way for you to impact the success and motivate your student-athletes, so they will come out of this stronger and ready to compete.
You can check out my previous article on embracing the “mamba mentality” during this time to help stay active and sports ready at-home here. It is also just as important to be focused on how you can continue to guide and influence your athletes when you are not in the same room together.
Stay in Touch with Your Athletes
First and foremost, make sure your student-athletes know that you are there for them. Whether it’s texts, phone calls, social media, virtual meetings there are so many ways to reach out. BSN SPORTS has developed free digital e-cards online tool for coaches to send to their athletes to let them know they are here for them, celebrate a great season, or just provide some words of encouragement. Everyone is in a different situation at-home and it is so important to let them know that they still have a support network outside their home.
Break Down Film
We all have a bit of extra time right now, and likely are spending more time behind a screen. Take this chance to continue to provide positive reinforcement and teachable moments to your athletes. If you have film from old games or practice break it down for each player on your team. A simple way to do this is to provide two “positive” clips reinforcing their best skills to help build their confidence and lean-in to their strengths; and two “teachable” clips to highlight areas of their game that they can improve. While you may not have your team for in-person practice and games this is a great way to continue to coach from the sidelines at home.
Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
Obviously home-cooked meals are the focus right now. The key is ensuring your body is getting the right vitamins, nutrition and staying hydrated. Below are simple daily nutrition approaches I’ve been focused on for myself and my son, TJ, during this time at home:
- Take daily vitamins: Vitamin C, Zinc, B-12, D-3
- Stay Hydrated: Water, water, water, veggie juices, orange juice
- Cook smartly with three-balanced meals a day
If you know of food shortages, or issues at your athletes’ homes, many schools and food programs are providing access to bagged lunches. Get involved and help provide those resources if you know your athletes may be struggling at home with food access
Encourage Staying Active
Getting out of the house in the fresh air is key to balance right now (with social distancing). You don’t need a gym to stay active. My son and I have come up with some fun, innovative activities using what we have around the house to enhance our physical activity. Every day we’ve been putting in 4-5 sets of 15 reps each of these simple exercises:
- Step backs
- Squats (You can use your body weight, or hold something heavy – I’ve held my dog)
- Curl containers of Milk
- Sit-ups (targeting low and high abs)
- End with a 2-minute plank
There are many free online resources to at-home workouts that require minimal to no fitness equipment. Encourage your athletes to do something active every day, even if it is just getting outside to go for a walk. It will not only help with the obvious benefits of staying in shape, but it will also help their mental health and get those endorphins pumping.
No excuses. No explanations. I firmly believe in accountability and reiterate this with my team. I am accountable to them to be there as their coach and leader. My athletes are accountable to me whether it’s giving 100% at practice or executing the right plays during games. You can set that tone of accountability even while your athletes are at home. Staying in touch, breaking down film, encouraging healthy eating and staying active are all ways to help your athletes stay accountable and game ready.
We have a new norm. We all need to shift and flex. This downtime at home can give you and your team an opportunity to prepare to get back out their stronger than ever before. There is a lot we can’t control, but you can continue to be a resource and guide your athletes during this time.
Free Coaching Clinic Webinars
BSN SPORTS has turned their coaching clinics into virtual webinars, so coaches can attend from the comfort and safety of their homes. These coaching clinic webinars are hosted by Olympic Gold Medalists, former professional players and coaches. The webinar topics range from speed and strength, softball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, basketball, track and lacrosse and wrestling. Check out the schedule and RSVP to upcoming webinars here.
BSN SPORTS Women
At BSN SPORTS, we realized there was a clear need to elevate women’s sports at all levels.
From providing more support to coaches of female athletes, to connecting women working in the sports industry, we’re committed to doing our part. Because of this, we’ve made it a priority to uplift and empower women in sports through our key partnerships, programs and content.
Learn more about the other BSN SPORTS women’s initiatives here.
BSN SPORTS Customer Service Hotline
If we can help you in any way during this difficult time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Sales Pro, or our Customer Service hotline, 1-800-856-3488.