ADVICE FOR YOUNG ATHLETES DURING COVID-19
"Go have fun. Don’t worry about playing a sport. Go be creative outside." - Tyler Palmer
I asked a couple personal trainers that work specifically with young athletes what our student-athletes should be doing during this time.
What is the best thing an athlete could be doing right now? 1. Use this time to complete all academic assignments. 2. This can be a time to evaluate and build on their faith in Christ, family relationships and staying connected electronically with their friends-be an encourager! 3. Fitness-as an athlete who is used to being coached or trained they will have to convert to being self-directed and this starts with making the firm decision that they will train for a certain amount of days per week with a self-structured training regimen. There are great resources on-line that they can google and try different approaches. I will leave a link of what we have posted at the Y and we will be adding to this soon. We have daily workouts on our Y Facebook and website to help people stay fit and improve fitness and athleticism. https://www.wabashcountyymca.org/home-workouts
Enjoy the break. If you are dying to get back to your sport fall in love with the process of becoming a master of the fundamentals of your sport and body. Meaning you love the day to day work and focus that goes into playing the sport, not just the thought of winning a championship. Also, use this time to think outside the box. Get creative with what you have. It seems like now more than ever the only time kids practice their sport is at a structured practice or with a trainer. You have to be driven enough to go outside and get it done on your own. As Plies said in a recent video, “it’s too many hungry kids out here that want it. So, if you gotta be micro-managed, save everybody the headache and the hassle and find something else to do because you ain't doin nothing but wasting everybody’s time.”
-Tyler Palmer How could you see this break from school and club sports as a positive?
I think this will be an emotionally hard time for most as teens love spending time with their friends and team members and coaches. However, dealing with the reality we have is a part of maturity. The steps I listed above of taking this time and investing in developing faith/family/friends and fitness is very productive and “do-able” and staying positive and focused is critical. Mental attitude and self-direction for personal development can make them stronger in all areas if they choose to do so. Set small specific goals and then do them! For example, if a teen needs great speed do speed workouts 2-3X per week. If they need upper body workouts do 100-500 pushups and supplement with home-made dumbbells with cans or anything with some weight to it. It is easy….just do it! Shoot your coach or me an email if you need some help in designing workouts!
Free play and having fun. I have seen more people out in the park hooping or kids playing on my street than at any time in my 3 years of living in Fort Wayne. This break can also bring the fun back to sports. You don’t realize how much you love (or don’t love) the sport until it is gone. I also think that student-athletes will be itching to get back to their sport. They will have more desire and fire to get back on the field/court than they have in a long time.
-Tyler Palmer What mistakes should they be cautious of during this quarantine?
I see 3 things to avoid: 1. First is not putting their health and others at risk by not following guidelines. 2. Keep a can-do attitude and use this time to everything you can do stay in and get in better shape. 3. Do not allow anger at these circumstances to move you to make dumb decisions…do not party or do anything that can hurt you.
If you do need to be prepared for a sport when the quarantine is lifted, you cannot just sit around and do nothing. There is significant data that shows when you go from doing nothing to high stress on the body you are at a significant increase for risk of injury. For example, if your sport requires high levels of sprinting and high-speed change of direction it is imperative that you do high levels of max speed sprinting and high-speed changes of directions. You don’t necessarily need a ton of space to do sprinting and change of direction. You can get 4,6, and 8 step starts in about a 15-20 yard space. Work on change of direction in a small space as well. Cuts similar to ones you would be making in sport. Create open-chain reactive drills as well as closed-chain change of direction drills to build up work capacity. MILE RUNS/JOGGING WILL NOT PREPARE YOU FOR THE DEMANDS OF YOUR SPORT UNLESS YOU ARE A CROSS COUNTRY RUNNER. Jogging is fine if you are just looking to build up some aerobic qualities, but YOU MUST SPRINT, rest, SPRINT, rest, SPRINT. Train your body to be fast, not slow.
Advice for seniors whose high school career was cut short?
This is a tough pill to swallow for all and we as adults are grieving the loss for them…and each athlete is already in the grief cycle. Everyone hates it that the last season is gone. That being said there have been painful times that many of our teens have already experienced in tough life challenges…. and they will get through this and move to the next fun steps in life. “Focus on what you have left rather than what you have lost”…..family, friends, many great times in sports…good health….the ability to see, walk, run …the list is endless and the future bright
1. Don’t take anything for granted.
2.“It aint about hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” – Rocky Balboa. As cliché as that line is, it is true. There will be times in your life when you do everything right, you work hard, you are the most qualified, and you are the best candidate and you still lose. The direct quote comes from Star Trek’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. It is not weakness. That is life.” It will happen when you try to get a job. It will happen when you are dating. It will happen in sports. There are countless areas where this will play out. You must learn to persevere. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything right, but that you must always give your best effort and try!