Youth Sports Clubs Showing Outstanding Resilience During Coronavirus Crisis
Updated: May 15
Coronavirus has rocked our lives to an extent that none of us could have imagined. It has us all devastated for obvious reasons, but something we thought never would happen happened...professional sports basically shut down. We all look forward to the Olympics and seeing our favorite athletes compete, but this year’s summer games were postponed and everyone is talking about it. But what they aren’t talking about is youth sports teams and how they are dealing with quarantine.
You might be surprised to hear about the determination to keep players in shape and maintain their skills for the upcoming season. Youth soccer clubs have been starting spring training virtually. Young soccer players are now attending Zoom meetings 2-3 times each week with teammates and coaches to work on ball skills, juggling, strength work, and striking the ball against a wall. Players are told to use shoes, socks, or even paperclips in exchange for cones.
“It is getting normal now, just like soccer practices were before, but now we do it from home. Everyone has different conditions, so we have to adapt and make sure we all get the most out of what we have.” says Anonymous, player for Mill Valley Soccer Club (MVSC) and attendee of the virtual Spring Academy. Players are using the materials and spaces that they have, whether it be a backyard, patio, or even inside their own rooms, to make sure they keep their skills good enough for the fall season while staying in shape.
Zoom meetings take place after 3:00 pm in order to make sure all children can participate even if their school has regular school hours. These “virtual soccer practices” are for kids registered for Spring Academy, which would usually be taking place right now. They use a recurring code to come into the meeting, then mute themselves while their coach explains and demonstrates the drills and warm-ups. It is different from their regular practices where they see and interact with teammates, but coaches try to use familiar drills to make adjusting to this new reality easier for kids. Players share and compare scores from different exercises with each other, which makes it feel a little more normal. Missing pre-Coronavirus life is obviously normal but these kids and coaches are meeting this challenge head-on and making sure they aren’t slacking during quarantine.
These young athletes don’t know when they will be able to play on the field again, but they are still preparing as hard as they did when they knew it was coming. They are hoping to see their teammates again and be able to compete in their regular matches in the fall as usual, but because these events draw a crowd of players and families, teams are not so sure. But even still, they are making sure that if it does happen and they are able to play again this fall, that they are ready. They have all shown tremendous resilience and we can all learn from what these clubs are doing.