Did COVID-19 Give Athletes More Independence?

More or less Independence?

With schools being shut down to enter facilities until minimally August 17th now, it's hard to get one's head wrapped around when, if ever, athletic endeavors in Arizona high schools will start up again. Yes, the AIA has put out Recommended Guidelines for Returning to Athletic Activity but with the overall spike in cases in Arizona the past few weeks, it's unclear of the when and how fall sports will once again start rolling along. So many questions we all have as coaches, parents, and athletes about how to keep safe but at the same time be ready for when our seasons start up again.

There are team Zoom meetings, training schedules sent out by your coaches, and even social distancing workouts with fellow teammates on occasion. But, how are you handling training in this viral climate when, in the end, it's up to you to decide if you're going to do that HIIT workout, run those many miles, or wake up before the heat is too unbearable to get in a good physical session?

While many of us are "trapped" in our homes because there is nowhere to go due to the pandemic, is there any part of you that feels a tad more independent because there is no hard-fast schedule that anyone can check to see if you are following it or not? Thus, you have more say in what you do or don't do. 

Intrinsic Motivation

This is when of course your intrinsic motivation needs to kick in, which is when you are motivated to behave in a certain manner or complete a particular task just for the satisfaction of completing said behavior or task.

And this is where so many of us are right now. We have so much more free time on our hands, but ironically not as much freedom as we once had before this pandemic. Some of us have taken advantage of this time and put in more training, have had time to recover from nagging injuries, and started eating and resting better than ever before. Some of us have rolled with the myriad of twists and turns this pandemic has brought us and have decided to focus on honing our craft, rather than allow the feelings of frustration to consume us. Some of us will be ready when that next race, meet, and competition comes about because we don't see our sport as something we are expected to do, but truly the life source that pulses through our veins and gives our entire being a bit more meaning. 

Your Choice

In the coming weeks and months ahead your choices during this historic time in the world will either set you up for success or leave you far behind the competition. We will compete again, just maybe not on the time schedule many of us hand in mind...

So be ready.

See this as time we have been given not lost.

Raise your goals now that you have more time to focus on them.

Keep a training log/journal if you don't already do so to track your progress.

Work on those areas of your training where you are weakest.

Be creative in your training. Where there is a will there is a way. 

Don't let this pandemic be an excuse of why you didn't succeed in 2020-21, but rather let it become the catalyst that allowed you to become the athlete you always aspired to reach.