With another wave of the coronavirus pandemic sending alarm bells ringing loud across the nation, it has become imperative for parents to restrict their kids from participating in regular sporting activities for their safety. This complete shutdown of an otherwise normal lifestyle may give kids the illusion that the pandemic is one long-drawn vacation. However, research shows that when athletes return to sports after a long period of inactivity, they are more prone to injuries. Moreover, the need to stay healthy and safe has never been more urgent than right now. It leaves the parents with the challenge to ensure that their kids get at least some exposure to physical activities within the bounds of the home. The following points could help overcome this very challenge of safely practising sport while staying safe during these difficult times.
Safety Comes First
- As much as possible, restrict all activities to the bounds of the house.
- If kids do play in the neighbourhood or shared grounds, masks and gloves must be worn at all times (mask may be taken off during intense activities) and hand regularly sanitised.
- If the local clubs and academies are functional, then the concerned authorities must ensure that the campus is amply and regularly sanitised.
- Parents must ensure that kids carry their equipment and make it a habit to sanitise their personal sports gear regularly.
- Limiting team size and enforcing rules limiting spectator capacity is a must and should be strictly observed.
- Everyone must maintain social distancing at all times (except the players DURING the game).
- Kids who are sick or showing symptoms of infection must be taken to a doctor’s clinic and not to a playground.
- The pandemic provides young players with an excellent opportunity to focus on their technique. After all, flawless individual process forms the foundation of a professional career.
- Parents could take their kids to whatever open area is accessible (patios, society courtyards etc.) and mark small courts for individual drills.
- Parents and relatives could play with the kids and help them with the drills.
- Kids should also be motivated to practise independently and without adult supervision in whatever space is available.
- Teaching kids new skills like juggling the ball, front-foot strokes, backhand shots, etc., can help widen their skill-set and keep them interested in practising.
- Parents should encourage kids to video stream replays of professional games to get exposure to higher levels of technique and gameplay (some supervision is advisable here as kids tend to get distracted on video-streaming platforms easily).
- Join online interactive sports training sessions
Keep Your Fitness Up
- First and foremost, parents must make sure that kids adhere to healthy eating habits at home, both in the quality and quantity of food intake.
- Fitness activities like a workout (light), yoga, Zumba etc., should be made part of the daily routine. Subscribing to an online program would help ensure that the kids do it consistently and under expert supervision.
- Every family member should set fitness goals for the month and design up a daily routine to achieve them. Kids must be encouraged to draft their routine, as doing so will give them a sense of responsibility and commitment. After all, personality development is the entrée to the buffet that is sports.
- Even simple activities like skipping, lifting light weights (made out of bottles filled with water or sand), jumping, stretching, climbing up the stairs etc., if done regularly, can go a long way in maintaining basic fitness levels.
- Inventing new exercises and physical activities from time to time can also help keep kids engaged and interested.
- Encouraging kids to participate in household chores also keeps them active.
- Rewarding the kids when they achieve their goals is an excellent way to boost morale and keep up the momentum.
At The Sports School, we value the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff above all else. Despite the prevailing uncertainty, our commitment to integrating sports and education to nurture young talent has not wavered a bit. We observe strict enforcement of all necessary safety protocols, from regular and thorough sanitisation of the entire campus and the sporting equipment to (and not limited to) routine health checks and temperature checks of all students and staff. Use of masks, sanitisation of hands and social distancing is strictly and unconditionally enforced at all times. As our campus is located on the city’s outskirts, it ensures that there is limited to no interaction between the campus and residential areas. We have also started online innovative classes for sports training for our students who may not reach the campus for practice, hoping that our young students can make the best of their time at home.