Sports Are Back! Now What?

Tips to help with your return to sports.

YES! There is light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel (for now). Sports are making a comeback, so that means it is time for you to do the same!

 I know that many of you are ready to get back into your sports domain and dominate. But I also know a few of you may be having some racing thoughts over returning?

Am I going to be as good as I was?

Will I be strong enough? Can I even make it through practice?

Will I be able to perform all my skills?!

Can I make my same lap times?!

Is my form or my mechanics going to suck?!

Will my teammates be excited to see me?

The answer is YES, it may be a rough restart, but you are still the same athlete as when this unexpected COVID-19 break happened.

Yes, you will be as good as you were before the break… it just may take some time to get back into the swing of things.

Yes, you will become strong again. You may feel weak after not maintaining a regular training schedule, but that is expected!

 Yes, you will remember how to perform all of your skills. It is like riding a bike, you may fall or mess up a few times, but your body/brain will remember what to do if you let it! That’s the cool thing about “muscle memory” or motor memory.

Yes, you will make your same lap times. Again, it may take some time to regain speed, but as you get back into the swing of things, it will happen. Heck, your lap times may even improve!

Yes, your form or mechanics may be off for a few days/weeks. BUT THAT IS OK! You had an unexpected break; being a little “off” is anticipated.

Yes, your teammates will more than likely be just as excited and ready to see you as you are them. They have all been quarantined, too, and have been waiting for the day to get back! ENJOY the reunion.

Here are some of my tips for returning to your sport:

  • Remove your expectations for how you think it should be when you return. Have fun, enjoy each practice, and get back into the swing of things first! 
  • Take your practices for what they are! It is OK if they are a little off. Go in anticipating that they may be and be pleasantly surprised if they aren’t! Remember, you are just getting back!!
  • If you need a confidence boost, remember your strengths (even though they may not feel all that strong right now, they are still there!).
  • Set MINI goals for each day! Something small you want to achieve as you get back at it.
  • Avoid striving for perfection; strive for manageable goals instead. Perfection doesn’t exist (especially after a long, unanticipated break) and is only an added stressor.
  • ENJOY YOUR COMEBACK! Focus on what you missed about your sport, what you love about it, and why you are passionate about it.

PARENTS: As much as it is your kid’s time for a comeback, it is yours too…but be mindful of how you are interacting with your athletes. We know you want them to do well but avoid pushing YOUR expectations for THEIR return on to them. You aren’t the one participating; they are! It is their time!