- Online Training
It should go without saying that you should be frequently washing your hands throughout the day, not touching your face or mouth, being aware of the surfaces you touch, and disinfecting any surfaces that you come in contact with. The weight room can be a breeding ground for germs or in this case, a virus. The first thing I did when I got back to my weight room was disinfect every bar, plate, dumbbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, and cardio equipment. Everyone should do the same!
In terms of being in social settings, TRY NOT TO BE! Practice "social distancing," which means you should stay more than six feet from other individuals and refrain from shaking hands - I’ve been giving people fist bumps and elbow rubs.
As strength coaches we are only contradicting ourselves if we sit back and hit send on the at-home program to our athletes. We should be lifting or staying active ourselves. Practice what you preach! Take a hike, walk around the park; do something instead of sitting inside binge watching Netflix. If for some reason we do all get quarantined in our homes for 14-days, then you could pick-up gardening, crafting, or do those projects that you’ve been putting off around the house. Home bodyweight workouts are not ideal, but they are better than nothing! If you have a home gym setup, then I am very jealous at the moment.
Restaurants are closing and there’s talk of grocery stores closing, so making smart food choices will also be a critical component for getting through this COVID-19 pandemic. I’ve made it a priority to stock up on meat, rice, frozen veggies, frozen fruit asparagus, and snack bars. Again if you are preaching to your athletes to stay healthy, then you should do the same! This is also a great opportunity to connect with your athletes by sharing your healthy meals and snacks.
There are several books out there and last time I checked Amazon was still delivering packages. (*Update: Amazon is only delivering essential items) I challenge you to pick out a book that has nothing to do with training or leadership. Read on psychology, finance, business, or any topic outside of strength and conditioning. It’s surprising how useful the information can be. To be honest, how many books do we truly need on strength and conditioning?
What I would even recommend instead of reading books (because I get bored easily) would be to sign up for an online course. I just finished Brett Bartholomew’s Valued Course, which I would recommend to anybody in any profession. But there are other online learning platforms as well. Here’s just a few that I recommend:
This is also a great time to connect with other strength coaches. Try to use video platforms, such as Zoom or GoToMeeting that will allow you to have a virtual meeting with multiple colleagues. It’s refreshing to share your own experiences that can help others!
When I say people you care about, I am also referring to your athletes. If it’s possible try and check on your athletes. Ask them how their families are doing, ask about online classes, and ask how the home workouts are going. Who knows, they may have a full weight room at their house, and you can write a different program. If you don’t check in with your athletes, it could be perceived that you don’t care. I’m not saying individually text all of your athletes, especially if you have multiple sports, but put a message in a GroupMe, group text, or TeamBuildr Team Feed just to let them know you are thinking of them. They won’t forget that!
This is also a great time for quality family time. Especially when you can’t talk to them on the phone as often as you wish. Per the CDC, refrain from visiting anyone above the age of 60 or individuals suffering from a preexisting condition.
A lot of people are going to take a financial hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Private facilities are losing members or being forced to close. If you have any gyms that are still open, go and support them by giving them your business. Obviously, make sure you wipe down your equipment before and after usage, but it could also be a great way for you to make a connection while helping out another strength coach.
I have also seen a few of my friends selling E-books, which is a great idea. Even if you feel like you don't need it, buy a copy of their E-book anyway. I hate the saying “we don’t get into this profession for the money”, but this is uncharted waters for everyone and we are all trying to figure out what to do during this current situation. Unfortunately, just because some of us can’t go to work, it doesn’t mean the bills stop coming. Help someone however you can and if you have the means. Whether it’s buying some apparel, letting a friend design a logo for you, buying their E-book, or working out at their facility, any contribution can help.
As coaches and members of the community, it is important that we learn how to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. Hopefully, someone can take away something from this article. Writing is my go-to when I have free time; it’s really helpful to get your thoughts out on paper. The most important thing is that you take this time to focus on the things that mean the most to you. A lot of coaches are getting their wish of being able to spend more time with the family and kids, let’s take full advantage of it. Don’t waste all this precious time you have away from work by doing absolutely nothing. Be productive, be active, and be in the moment!
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