How to Keep Your Athlete Active (and Safe) During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Being an athlete requires commitment and consistency.
A high level of physical fitness and sports skill isn’t just about genetics. It’s about dedication and staying focused on your craft at all times.
The truth is, many athletes are struggling right now. You may be one, or you may be living with one (we see you, parents).
When experts stress the importance of social distancing in response to the new COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to know how to keep your athlete’s body and mind healthy while you and your family are spending your days at home.
5 Tips for Helping Athletes During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Whether you’re a parent or coach, you want what’s best for your athlete. It doesn’t matter if they’re a young child or a college athlete – these tips can help them stay in shape (mentally and physically) and keep their skills sharp.
1. Fuel Them with Healthy Foods
Nutrition is at the core of any athlete’s routine. Focusing on fruits and vegetables might seem like a no brainer, but access to fresh produce can be difficult if you are limiting your trips to the grocery store. Stocking up on frozen fruits and vegetables means a longer shelf life, and a great opportunity to make smoothies packed with essential daily vitamins. You can find a number of different smoothie recipes, or try a simple formula of 1 cup of water to 2 cups of fruits/vegetables. (Bonus tip: Add a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt for a protein boost)
To minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, try tackling a few healthy meal prep options at the beginning of the week. This allows you to worry less about what’s for dinner, and focus more on the things that matter. Who knows, you (and your athlete) may discover a new favorite recipe along the way.
2. Create a Schedule
Give your athlete time to burn off their energy each day. This can mean a scheduled workout period indoors, or casual practice in the yard. Experts advise the average person to get 30 minutes per day of physical activity. Athletes may need more. If you aren’t a coach, consider contacting one to get ideas for what your athlete should work on. It all depends on what they’re aiming for, be it strength, cardiovascular endurance, aerobic capabilities, or some combination of the above.
Getting into a routine can be hard, especially if you have multiple people in your household. If you have young children who benefit from a more structured schedule, try using a template to plan your days. This is great for parents working from home, athletes who need to maintain a consistent routine, or children who need structure.
3. Try New Activities
To keep your athlete’s schedule fresh, try something new. There are plenty of fitness apps out there that are waiving participation fees during this time. Although these exercises may not be sports-specific, they are a great guide to breaking a sweat and staying in shape.
You can also consider getting your whole family involved. Youtube channels like SarahBethYoga offer a wide range of yoga videos ranging from 5 to 30 minutes in length, with a great selection of practices for beginners.
If the weather allows, don’t forget to get outside. Use common sense when out in public spaces, but family hikes, jogs around the neighborhood, or evening walks are a great way to burn off energy and stay active.
4. Stay Positive
Mental health is just as crucial as physical health. It’s important to stay positive during social distancing and remember it won’t last forever. Staying mindful and connected to close friends and family can help calm the nervousness and anxiety you may feel during this time. If you find that staying mentally fit is a struggle during this time, try a few tips to rewire your brain during this stressful time.
5. Plan for the Return
When you’re searching for things to be positive about, consider the benefits of all this newfound downtime. Athletes can research new techniques for their chosen sport, create new workout routines, learn new healthy recipes, and share their passion with their family. Not only will using the downtime efficiently help it move faster, but it will also allow the athlete to return to the field, court, track, or gym with a renewed sense of vigor when the coronavirus is behind us.
Training Right Means Training Smart
A priority of any athlete’s training regiment should always be safety. Training smart and taking the proper precautions allows the athlete to keep their body in optimal shape so they can continue their training on a consistent schedule.
2nd Skull’s priority is the health and safety of the player, but we know the reality is we cannot protect them from everything. For more information regarding health and safety recommendations, visit the CDC.