In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, local schools are closed until at least May 1. With these closures comes the cancelations of extracurricular activities such as sports. Parents, coaches and student-athletes are grappling with ways to cope with the disappointment.
Parents are encouraged to allow student-athletes to discuss their feelings but not wallow in them.
“Parents and coaches should acknowledge the fact that it’s OK to feel frustrated or disappointed over the cancellation of a season,” said Casey Miller, vice president of external relations for Positive Coaching Alliance. “It doesn’t make you weak to grieve, but afterward students should try to find the positives in the situation.”
Positives include working on a new skill or drill the athlete has yet to master.
Blake Braden, an eighth-grader at Fall Creek Junior High School in Fishers, plays soccer with Indy Premier Soccer Club.
“We aren’t having practice anymore, but our coaches are sending us videos of skills we can try, so we’re staying active and not sitting at home doing nothing,” Braden said. “They’re posting on Instagram and using an app called sportsYou so we can stay connected.”
Braden has a positive attitude about the situation.
“I’m bummed out about it, but I know this is to being done to keep us safe,” he said. “As long as we all do what we need to do and still practice, I think we’ll be fine if we do get to come back later this year.”
Parents, meanwhile, are encouraged to coach their children at home.
“They should ask for permission to offer feedback,” Miller said. “Then they should offer truthful and specific feedback about their performance rather than a generic response of, ‘Good job.’”
For more, visit positivecoach.org.