We all know Covid-19 is having an enormous impact on our lives right now. Work and social routines are significantly disrupted and sporting activity across the country, from community sport to high performance sport, has come to a halt.
This isolating period is likely to be challenging for everyone, and it will challenge us to be inventive with how we stay physically active.
Of course, for coaches and participants, there is nothing more frustrating than not being able to do what you love. So, here are some tips on how coaches can make use of this unexpected break in sport.
Tip 1: Read
For a start, there are dozens of great books on coaching and coaches. You can find a few here. Or, find a scientific article on an area of coaching that interests you. There are a number to search through at Science for Sport.
Tip 2: Reflect
Reflection is a key piece in the ‘how do I keep getting better’ puzzle. So, take the opportunity to reflect on your coaching and identify an aspect of coaching you would like to improve, and why. Or perhaps consider how you would like to be coaching in five years. Read one coach’s story about how reflective practice helped them here.
Tip 3: Connect
Connect with your club and team. Setup a Facebook page or Whatsapp group if you haven’t already and check in regularly to give each other a boost. You could run a remote training or workout session, and doing a photo competition is another good idea. Try to be creative and stay connected with your team.
Tip 4: Ring
Call or Skype another coach you know, perhaps one at your own club or school, and have a conversation about coaching. Ask questions of each other like: Why do you coach? What has coaching taught you? What energises you about coaching? Share some tools or resources. And maybe even discuss what collaboration might look like. For a brilliant talk by Ken Blanchard (the ‘One minute manager’ guy) on the power of collaboration (one of Sport NZ’s four core principles of coaching) go here.
Tip 5: Register
Register for an online course. There are many sites (for example Coursera) offering free and self-paced courses on a huge range of subjects, including coaching-related subjects (e.g. Sport Psychology) for different levels of experience. Here are a few places to start looking:
Tip 6: Relax
Take some time to relax and be inspired by watching a great movie on coaching. Or watch a short, funny coaching video. Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine.