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Young athletes across the globe are grieving the loss of their sports seasons. They’re missing the companionship of their teammates just as much as the games. So how do you boost morale when sports play is on hold?
It’s important to help youth athletes truly live every day. Here are five ways to do it:
Find fun online fitness classes like boot camps, CrossFit and Zumba. You can also check in with teammates via TeamChat and log family runs. Exercise boost feel-good chemicals in the body, to help keep kids feeling positive.
Staying at home doesn’t have to mean staying inside. If you have a yard or driveway, encourage your child to practice sport-specific skills. For example, when my daughter played high school volleyball, her father or I would go outside and hit balls at her so she could practice her defensive skills. You can also set up cones or objects for dribbling. Get creative.
Set and Track Goals
Set a weekly goal for the next month to keep kids looking ahead, and then help them set a plan to work toward those goals. Be sure to celebrate progress with your kids as they reach certain milestones. Without all the distractions, it is quite possible that your child could come out of this stronger than when they went in.
Keep a Journal
Even if your child doesn’t normally enjoy writing, jotting thoughts in a journal can be both therapeutic while writing, and insightful later on. Give kids guidance on what to write. Some suggestions include examining frustrations, grief, anger, goals and dreams. Encourage your young athletes to think about what they are learning through this time.
Chronicling this season will embed its lessons more deeply.
Encourage kids to connect with one or more teammates every day, just to see what they are doing and to support one another. The camaraderie can still benefit them and lift their spirits, even while they’re not physically together.