The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down schools, businesses and industries all over the country. While there is no denying the seriousness of the issue at hand, the shutdown means that a lot of teachers and coaches across America are finding themselves with a whole lot of extra time on their hands.

Sure, you could binge watch something on Netflix or Game of Thrones again…OR you could use the time to get better.

Since seeing the shut down announcement, there has been a groundswell of great ideas from some really good coaches out there about how they’ve decided to use this time to give their program an edge.

In this article today, as we face a shutdown destined to last weeks in most cases, I wanted to share some ideas that I’ve seen out there, and provide a few ideas of my own as well on how we can be productive and find creative ways now to give our programs an edge come fall.

     WORKOUTS:     

While players won’t have access to your weight room or facilities, that’s no reason for your players to take three weeks off of lifting. Especially for those guys you have that have been in the weight room consistently over the winter, three weeks of just sitting around isn’t going to do anyone any good.

The key is to be creative in finding workouts that everyone can do without any equipment, and there are a ton of resources out there for just that. Chances are your guys aren’t going to come back to school and set a new PR, but continuing to create, or develop, the mindset of getting better and staying in shape is just as important during this trying time.

Here are a few ideas and resources to help you get some ideas to get that going for your program (if you haven’t already). There are a ton more ideas out there, these are a sampling.

The plan for our program at Comstock Park is to share an upper / lower / or full body workout from DareBee.com on the days we would normally lift and invite all levels (youth, middle school, and high school) and all sports to get in on it.

     SCHEME:     

As soon as we heard news of a possible shutdown here in Michigan, our staff started to brainstorm ways we could use the downtime to get better. Since we’re entering our first year with the program, there is a lot of learning we need to get done and now we’ve got to approach it in a non-traditional way.

To at least introduce our new offense and defense and expectations, our defensive coordinator had the idea to put together a presentation for the kids. Being able to deliver to each of them remotely via Hudl will allow us to have a virtual clinic of sorts with players. Thanks to Hudl, we will also have the ability to see who is logging in to view it as well via the “Manage Team” tab.

Is utilizing Hudl the best way to reach your kids? Could you find a way to do (within school rules) via a social media channel they’re likely going to be on a ton anyway? Those are decisions you’ll have to make.

     CULTURE:     

Whether you’re working to build a new culture, or striving to maintain and build upon the one that you have in place, this shutdown can provide some valuable time for you to reflect on what you feel is important in building your program, and how you’re communicating what you and your staff believe is important.

My suggestion? Take this time to do a deep dive on your program’s motto or your core values as a program and find stories that illustrate those things.

For us at Comstock Park, we’re embracing the term #GoldBlooded. Gold being the championship standard we want to have in mind when we do everything, from our work on the field, to how we interact with friends, teachers, and complete strangers, to how we approach every detail of our lives. We want that gold standard to become part of our blood, so we have championship standards without giving it a second thought.

While watching the For the Love of Basketball documentary the other day, this story (a quick two-minute listen) came up and gave me the idea of sharing this type of stuff with our players during the break to help illustrate the type of culture we’re aiming to build.

Do some digging, and keep an open mind, to find similar stories in sports, history, or everyday life that allow you to share stories to deliver messages about your culture. The history of storytelling throughout mankind is rich and studies have proven it to be one of the most effective ways of learning.

     MORE TO COME IN PART 2 OF THE VIRTUAL CLINIC 2020 TOMORROW…     

 

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Content manager - Doug took the reins in 2011 and the website has been better ever since. A former college player and small college coach, Doug now serves as the head coach at Comstock Park HS (MI).