FNF Coaches Talk — 5 Tips for Dealing with Coronavirus, HS Athletes Losing Seasons, At-Home Workouts

Good afternoon, Coaches. We’ve got a few stories on coronavirus best practices for you. Don’t worry — it’s won’t be all-coronavirus, all-the-time. We just thought these were helpful today in the midst of all that’s going on.

Before we get started, an offer!

1. 5 Tips for Managing Anxiety Induced by Coronavirus (BroncoBOLD)

Boise State Athletics, through its BroncoBOLD program, provides resources and support to community members facing physical or mental difficulties brought on by any of life’s many challenges, including the current coronavirus pandemic.

Stephanie Donaldson, Boise State’s Director of Athletic Performance, Psychology and an expert in mental health and wellness, launched BroncoBOLD, an initiative designed to encompass and showcase all aspects of the department’s mental health programming for student-athletes, coaches and staff.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has prompted unprecedented changes around the world. Sudden and unexpected events can elicit all kinds of emotions and thoughts. During a pandemic, it is normal to feel anxious, fearful or sad. Sustained high anxiety can make it difficult to respond in a constructive way. The following suggestions, based on psychological science, can help you deal with coronavirus anxiety.

1. Focus on What You Can Control.

There might be a lot that feels out of your control right now. Focus on the factors you can control. Develop an action plan to decrease risk. Practice good hygiene and follow CDC recommendations. Pay attention to thoughts that breed anxiety and work to shift your focus.

2. Limit Media Influence.

While it’s helpful to stay informed, it’s also important you don’t allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day. Limit media consumption to a certain time frame or number of articles. Mute alerts on your phone.

To read the last three, click here.

What advice are you giving your players now that social distancing practices have gone into effect?

2. No Gym? No Problem: 5 home exercises for football players (NFL.com)

A longtime certified strength and conditioning specialist wrote this column in 2015, but it’s exactly the type of content people will be pulling up in a Google search under the current circumstances.

While much of the advances in strength and conditioning equipment have dramatically improved current athlete’s strength, speed and agility, there are still basic bodyweight movement exercises that can improve an athlete’s performance. Bigger and more expensive is not always better.

This article will focus on five bodyweight resistance exercises that will train the entire body. No membership, travel or fancy equipment is needed for these exercises.

1. Push-Ups

An “oldie but a goodie.” This exercise, when performed correctly – with the elbows close to the trunk and no arching of the lower back – is a great upper body and core strengthening exercise. To build increased muscles size, perform four to five sets of 15 reps. If power is desired, more weight than your body might be needed, so a weighted vest may be used to increase the intensity of the movement. To improve power, three to four sets of five to six reps is the target. There should be total fatigue at the fifth or sixth rep. If there is not, increased intensity/weight will be needed.

2. Sidelye Up

This exercise may look easy to execute, but it is a challenge for your hip muscles. This exercise targets the hip muscles that assist in lateral speed and agility. To perform this drill, lie on one side and separate the legs from each other (about a foot). Then, only using the lower forearm that is in contact with the ground for support, lift the hip off the ground and rise up as high as possible. Then return back down to the floor in a slow, rhythmic fashion. Furthermore, maintain the one-foot distance between the legs consistent throughout the entire movement. Perform three sets of 10 reps on each side.

For the last three, click on the entire article.

What training programs are you suggesting for your athletes who might not have access to weights?

3. Texas high school athletes feel impact of coronavirus (KVUE)

Unlike the NCAA, there’s no way for high schools to grant athletes another year of eligibility, which means seniors in all spring sports have potentially lost their final season.

“Your heart goes out to the seniors,” Vandegrift head coach Allen McGee said. “Especially my group of seniors, I love those guys to death. They have worked their tails off for four years and some of them are just now getting the opportunity to play up on varsity. You just feel for those guys because a lot of them, across the nation, this is the last time they’re going to play baseball.”

The suspension affects younger classes, as well.

For some, high school sports are a path to an athletic scholarship at the next level. With no high school ball, there’s no opportunity to play in front of college coaches.

“It’s disappointing because it is my junior year and this is the season where most colleges are going to look at you because your senior year you’re already supposed to be committed,” Westwood junior outfielder Quincy Jones said.

Empty fields and locked gates will be the site throughout the state for the immediate future, as organized team activities won’t be allowed until the curve is flattened and until the UIL gives the green light.

Football may be the one sport COVID-19 doesn’t impact too significantly, but spring football is in question.

Most high schools don’t hold practices until late April or early May, giving many high school coaches hope they can still hold them.

If they can’t, it’ll mean another week of practices come fall time, something programs like Cedar Park haven’t done in over 10 years.

“We don’t know,” Cedar Park athletic director and football coach Carl Abseck said. “That’s the one common phrase is ‘I don’t know what the future holds’ and if we’re able to do it then we will. The other seasons being prolonged kind of impact that too because we have a lot of kids that play multiple sports. We’re just going to have to kind of wait and see and we’ll adjust and adapt to what we have circumstance-wise.”

Is there any way your team can gain on other teams during this period?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk