As a new schedule disrupter spread across the globe, the Spring season of Covid-19 began to fade like Marty McFly in a photograph. In some ways this pandemic did take us back to the future, but more like Back to the Future II, where the Cubs had actually played in a World Series and our teams began to meet digitally through Zoom and Google hangouts. As coaches adjusted everything from calendars to programming, this is article is about what we should and can look forward to as we return to field this Summer.
The old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder, comes to mind during this time. We’ve experienced absence from our friends, family members, classmates, teammates and coaches. As we begin to line playing fields and gather under the Summer sun, here are three things I hope we see more of as sport returns and comes back into focus from High School to the pros.
Sports Are About Relationships
Sports are not only key to learning, developing and acquiring life skills that will serve you beyond your playing days, but also vital to evolving socialization for many student-athletes. This I believe is one of the biggest setbacks from shutdowns. Many of our best friends are met ad cultivated through athletics. Many of our real learning opportunities come through this people connected to our sport.
I don’t just want us to be excited and value the obvious ones we missed; our coaches and teammates. Let us be kind, authentic in creating relationships also with our conference, our fellow athletes, our classmates, our athletic trainers, our officials and administrators. The greater we care for all those involved in our sport process, the more meaningful that process will be.
Without competition and while isolated, training on our own we find out how hard people are willing to work alone. We also quickly realize workouts with our teams are a bit more enjoyable overall. Our opponents only present the tests in our progress, but the real competition in sport and in life is how we are improving. This is the only measuring stick we continually take on our journey through sports and beyond. You’ve been at home isolated, if you haven’t figured out the main competition is in the mirror, focus on that today! Focus on improvement more than the opponent.
With certain health restrictions in place, we may be surrounded by our teams early as we return, but the internal competitions is what will improve yourself and your team!
Platform for Change
Meaningful progress in this country has always gone through sports before it’s gone through Congress. History shows us sport has always provided a platform for to make needed messages louder and clearer. While systems of sports still have a long way to go in providing equality from youth athletics to NCAA coaching positions, I believe the societal focus, provides a platform that will continue to unite and teach.