It is hard to imagine that just 10 days ago I was working with our softball team at Central York, preparing for our high school season. I was also preparing for our summer recreation season where our teams would be playing 900 games over the next 2 months. Then Coronavirus changed our world. It closed schools; cancelled or postponed seasons; closed shops; closed restaurants and other gathering places. And most believe that the impact on our lives is not over yet.
If you are a coach, parent or player it is OK to be disappointed if you are feeling sad or down about your season. It is not fair to have your season postponed or cancelled and it’s understandable and you are right to feel that way.
But sports teaches us to be resilient. When things are not going our way in a game, we must find a way to overcome whatever is thrown at us. Even when we are disappointed, we work to shift our focus.
As a coach, I explain to players all the time that we can only control what we can control. We can’t control the other team or the officials. But we can control what we do. As citizens, we can’t control what the Coronavirus will do. But we can control our reaction to the pandemic.
Players and athletes can use this time to recognize how important it is to take excellent care of your body when things are difficult. When we experience fear and stress it is important to pay attention to nutrition, hydration, exercise, and sleep.
Continue to be a great teammate. Text your teammates and stay in contact with them. Ask them how they are doing and whether they are OK.
Be courageous about asking for help. Parents, coaches, and other trusted adults want to support you during difficult times. You may feel overwhelmed, anxious, fearful or depressed – let an adult you trust know very specifically. Ask them for a time so that you can have an honest talk with them.
Remember that what we are being asked to do now is the essence of some of the best life lessons sports can offer. Athletes learn through sports that there is a great nobility in fighting for our teammate and we are now being asked to come together to support one another. Strive to remember that being part of a team speaks to a higher calling – one that takes precedence over our individual concerns.
Be that great teammate!