Shift To Normal

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Sydney Williams May 6, 2021 Founders Corner

Now’s the time to plan your shift to normal.

State and local officials are ending COVID-19 restrictions in many areas across the country. Hard hit states in the Northeast, for example, are announcing a full reopening starting Memorial Day and sooner.

Several athletic programs currently have to navigate shortened seasons. Fewer competitions are taking place. In many instances, tough restrictions still apply to spectators and travel. However, in contrast to fall and winter sports, a large percentage of programs now conduct full in-person practices.

Expect seasons, competitions and training this fall to return to normal, or something not too far off normal. Even this summer, many people who coach, supervise or compete could experience conditions closely resembling life back in 2019.

Don’t let ‘normal’ surprise you! If you’re prepared, then your program will succeed.

  • Plan for consistency in training and competitions. Over the past year, coaches have had to anticipate erratic or non-existent seasons.
  • Match expectations and leave no one behind. Coaches remember what normal entailed. Athletes may have a different recollection.

Stride supports a seamless transition across all conditions, whether people are remote, hybrid or fully in-person.

  • One data set. Users collect and analyze data on a single platform. Data form an unbroken timeline for easy reference.
  • One process. Users perform tasks as usual. Workflow doesn’t change. Coaches schedule training. Athletes review feedback. Supervisors manage coach-athlete interaction.

As you map out the rest of 2021, we suggest three courses of action.

1. Capitalize On Summer Break

Many coaches have had to manage shortened seasons and disrupted training. Several fall and winter sports teams, even if they trained, hardly competed. Coaches have had an almost impossible time improving skills and fitness among athletes.

Here’s the good news: young athletes are good at acclimating.

A coach, for example, could look to the upcoming summer break as an opportunity to prepare athletes for the next school year.

Outline a training plan on Stride and adjust it to level of play. Add instructional videos. Encourage fitness progressions.

Athletes, meanwhile, can measure their work in voluntary workouts.

2. Get back Into Long-Term Routines

COVID-19 restrictions hampered people’s ability to find consistency. A coach might have begun a regimen only to end it suddenly a week or two later. Many coaches couldn’t even plan a regimen, not knowing what lay ahead in restrictions.

Inconsistency puts individuals, teams and organizations at risk.

Take advantage of a more stable environment. Define and implement basic routines that you expect to sustain over extended periods.

Stride supports coaches, athletes and supervisors rediscovering routines. Share ideas on team chat. At the same time, you can also post recurring events on the team calendar.

3. Set Goals To Help Yourself Adjust

As perspectives shift from days to months and longer, add supporting goals. Stride makes it easy to set goals over any time period.

A goal becomes a benchmark that you assess. Even if you make your goals too ambitious or not ambitious enough, the simple step of recording them reinforces your intent.

Any shift to normal requires adjustment. Goal-setting helps you to adjust and improve performance.

Above all, you’ll learn more about yourself and avoid costly setbacks.

Sydney is Stride’s Founder.