This pandemic has affected so many facets of our society.  I know and get that, but I’m going to talk about the cancellation of sports and the young athletes that it affects. I am a speed and strength coach, so you don’t want me analyzing the economy correct?

School sports are suspended or cancelled.  Club sport practices are cancelled.  Club tournaments are cancelled.  Showcases for high school athletes are cancelled.

Schools are going to be closed until May 1, minimum, which means another month of no sports.

What is an athlete to do if they can’t go to practice?

Obviously, they will be forced to sit around, get on the electronics, maybe do some online school work, and groan about missing sports.

They can’t go to practice and get better so they will obviously get worse right?

WRONG!!

I have said for years, you get better not by what you have to do, but doing things that is not required of you to do.

Meaning, is it required to go outside and practice your dribbling on your own?  No!

Is it required to do lifting for your sport to get stronger and/or faster?  No!

Is it required on an off day to take 500 foul shots to try and improve your free throw percentage?  No!

Point being is that back in the day there were no club sports making you play/practice 365 days a year.  Once you were done with your season, if you wanted to improve your game, you worked on it on your own.

And to be honest, I don’t think this is done nearly enough by today’s athletes.  They feel they are getting their work in by going to structured practices all the time.

GASP!!  The thought of actually going outside for a measly 30 minutes and work on your ball skills for soccer, taking swings off a tee, or hitting the tennis ball against a wall sounds outrageous.

In a time when you need to stay active, but be pretty much isolated from people other than your immediate family, seems to me to be the perfect opportunity to improve your game.

Your online homework will not take all day.  You do not have to go to a 2 hour practice or drive 30 minutes for a game.  You absolutely have the time to go outside and work on your game by yourself.

But will you??

This is the absolute perfect time to work on being a better athlete.  Think about all the factors working in your favor:

  • You don’t have any other activity happening to take away from your energy and leave you rundown.
  • You can probably go to bed at a decent time and get plenty of rest to recover from whatever you are doing that day.
  • You can devote your energy for that day on the single objective you want to accomplish – strength training, serves, hitting off the tee, etc.
  • You can’t really do anything else so you might as well do this right???

When you can’t rely on all those amazing coaches and their fancy facilities, it goes back to “old school” tactics.  You have to show some initiative and work on your game when it isn’t required of you.